In LeBron James‘ chat with Rachel Nichols for CNN’s Unguarded — airing tonight at 10:30 p.m. ET — he already admitted to losing a few pounds, which could spell trouble for Cavs opponents. But James also talked to Nichols about his decision to come back home this summer, and how a return might have been delayed had the Heat not been thumped so severely by the Spurs in June.
James admitted if the Heat had successfully defended their back-to-back NBA titles to achieve a three-peat this past summer, it’s less likely he’d be returning to Cleveland so soon. There’d be a natural drive to got after four straight titles, for sure, and his fractured relationship with Cavs fans and owner Dan Gilbert might not have been so conveniently repaired this summer. Here is James, with a tip of the hat to the Sun-Sentinal‘s hard-working Ira Winderman, explaining what would have happened if the Heat had beaten the Spurs in the Finals for the second year in a row:
“It’s a greater chance, for sure,” James told Nichols. “I mean, it would be hard to leave back-to-back-to-back championships and try to go for four. But, obviously, you really can’t live and think of what may have happened. For me, I’ve always been a person kind of live in the moment.”
(Fast forward to 1:43 for the quote)
Since James has joined the Cavs, his goals are a tad different. He’s no longer promising “Not 1, not 2…” because he knows how hard it is to reach the top of the mountain.
“I understand what it takes to get there,” James told Nichols after reaching the Finals in all four seasons in Miami, while capturing a title in 2012 and 2013. “I understand what it takes to win. It’s so difficult. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life.”
Would James have stayed if he had captured a three-peat?
Follow Spencer on Twitter at @SpencerTyrel.
Follow Dime on Twitter at @DimeMag.
Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook HERE.