MIAMI — With six simple words, LeBron James explained the philosophy behind the way he now plays the game.
“I’ve done more and lost before,” he said Saturday, one day before he and the Miami Heat take on the San Antonio Spurs and try to even the NBA Finals at a game apiece.
Such was the response to a question presented to him about the perception that he needs to be more aggressive at times.
In short, James has put up awesome numbers in past playoffs but never got the awesome result he sought for nearly a decade until last season, when he and the Heat won a title.
“When I was in Cleveland we played Orlando in the Eastern Conference finals and I think I averaged 38, 36, or whatever I averaged,” James said, referring to the 2009 series where he averaged 38.5 points, 8.3 rebounds and eight assists. “I guess I should have done more in that series as well. But I can’t. … I do what’s best for the team. What’s best for the team, it doesn’t always result in a win.”
Case in point: Orlando won that series in six games.
“I wish we could go 16-0 in the playoffs,” James said. “That would be awesome. There’s challenges that come from the game. You learn from game to game in ways that you can get better. I want to win just as bad as anyone. I’m going to put myself and my team in a position to win. I have to try to make the plays. I can’t worry about if people are saying, ‘You should have done more, you should have been more aggressive’ because you got a loss.”
As for what’s in store for Game 2, James insists he does not know. As long as Miami wins, his stat line, he said, will not matter.
“The Spurs did a good job of shrinking the floor … so if that’s their game plan, we’re going to continue to exploit that,” James said. “And I believe our guys will be there to knock those shots down.”