The NBA Finals are finally here. It’s been a long road for players on the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat, who entered the bubble two and a half months ago. They’ve been away from home and some have been without their families for the entire time.
Even for the most elite players it hasn’t been easy. LeBron James, a man of singular focus and drive, admitted on Tuesday that it’s been tougher than he ever could have imagined.
LeBron is locked in and ready for the Finals
“It’s probably been the most challenging thing I’ve ever done, as far as a professional,” James said during a news conference. “As far as committing to something and actually making it through. But I knew what we were coming here for.
“Obviously I would be lying if I said up here that I knew that everything inside the bubble, whatever, the toll that it would take on your mind, your body, everything else. It’s been extremely tough.”
It’s been hard, but those are the sacrifices he and every other player have willingly made to compete at this level, to fight it out for the biggest prize in basketball. James is beyond ready to finish the journey he began not just two and a half months ago, when he entered the bubble, but 11 months ago when the NBA season began. (Yes, it’s actually been that long.)
“I am here for one reason and one reason only, and that’s to compete for a championship,” James said. “And that was my mindset once I entered the bubble, once I entered the quarantine process the first two days. And then right from my first practice my mindset was to, if I’m going to be here, make the most of it and see what you can do and lock in on what the main thing is. And the main thing was for us to finish the season and compete for a championship.
“So that’s just been my mindset throughout these — I don’t even know how many days it is, whatever how many days it is, it feels like five years so it really doesn’t matter. I’ve been as locked in as I’ve ever been in my career.”
James has lost count of how many days he’s been in the bubble because it’s felt like such a long time. For people who have been in quarantine for months on end, that’s extremely relatable.
But he’s almost to the end. The NBA Finals start on Wednesday night, and LeBron sounds like he’s got that fourth ring in sight.
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