When the Cleveland Cavaliers take the floor on Monday night, it will be their first basketball game in more than a week. The Cavs swept the Indiana Pacers, so they had some time to kill while they waited for the start of their Eastern Conference Semifinals series.
Game 1 of the Cavaliers’ matchup against the Toronto Raptors will take place in Cleveland. Apparently, this is kind of to the chagrin of LeBron James. After the team held practice on Friday, James met with the media and explained that he actually prefers playing games on the road in the postseason.
“I just like the adversity of the road,” James said, according to ESPN. “Home cooking is great; love the home fans for 14 years. But I love playing out on the road more than I love playing at home. It’s just a weird thing. I love the adversity, I love the ‘Tonight is not the night’ LeBron slogans. I love the ‘You’re overrated’ and all those things. I like all that. I don’t know, man. It’s the bunker mentality of knowing it’s 15 guys plus the coaching staff and whoever there that’s traveled with us against the whole state and the whole city.”
Opposing crowds always seem to bring it a little more when LeBron comes to town. Sometimes it works out, sometimes you get moments like Games 5 and 7 of the 2016 Finals, when LeBron goes supernova and submits an otherworldly performance.
Sure, there’s something familiar about sleeping in your own bed, going through your usual pre-game routine in your own arena, and posting up in your own locker room. But for LeBron – along with a host of other NBA players, in all likelihood – the challenge of going on the road and silencing a hostile crowd is a ton of fun.