Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James underlined that making the NBA Finals won't mean nothing to him if he doesn't win it all. On Saturday, James put up a huge performance against the Denver Nuggets in Game 5 to help the Lakers win 117-107 and close out the series with a 4-1 win.
James, a three-time NBA champion, has now made 10 NBA Finals. "Right now, it don't mean s--- unless I get it done," James told ESPN. "I got to get it done." James played his first game in a Laker uniform when they met the Nuggets in a preseason game before.
"I remember that preseason game," James told ESPN. "I remember us running out of the tunnel. I remember the first pass I threw was to the Most Improved Player this year, [Brandon Ingram] for a layup and it was a great moment.
And I remember the first shot I made was a kick-out 3 over [Nikola] Jokic. I remember that. And the crowd. Damn. It was special. It was special."
James underlines the Lakers can't take this opportunity for granted
James said the team would celebrate a bit and then turn their while focus to the NBA Finals.
"We're going to enjoy it tonight, as we should, because this is not promised every year," James said. "There's only two teams that can advance to the finals every year. That means pretty much 30 players that only advance every year to the finals.
We're going to enjoy it tonight, but we understand we have bigger fish to fry. We understand there's a bigger goal, but we can't take this for granted because this doesn't happen every year to anybody."
The Lakers were playing an outstanding basketball in March just before the season was suspended and James was a candidate for the NBA MVP. "I've been fueled all year," James told ESPN. "All year. Even during the shutdown.
I was still training." After winning two NBA titles with the Miami Heat and one with the Cleveland Cavaliers, James is aiming to win an NBA title with a third different team. "I just want to travel my own journey, because it is my journey.
I've appreciated everything that's happened along the way. I mean, throughout -- the ups, the downs, the ups on the court, the downs on the court, the wins and losses," James said. "But I've been able to, I guess as Frank Sinatra would say, 'I did it my way.' "