Nike signs James to an lifetime endorsement deal. The terms are not revealed, but a source says it easily surpasses Kevin Durant’s 10-year, $300 million deal. Nike has made 13 versions of James’ signature shoe, and annual sales in 2015 for his line are estimated to top $400 million. James:
I’m very humble, man. It’s been an unbelievable time for myself and my family, and I’m just grateful that Nike and [Nike founder] Phil Knight and everyone over there just believed in a skinny-old, skinny 18-year-old kid from Akron, Ohio, and I’m happy to be a part of such a great company…It meant a lot to me even when I signed my first deal just to be with Nike, and it means even more that they’ve given me this.
We can confirm that we have agreed to a lifetime relationship with LeBron that provides significant value to our business, brand and shareholders. We have already built a strong LeBron business over the past 12 years, and we see the potential for this to continue to grow throughout his playing career and beyond.
James performs as Prince, singing Purple Rain at the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Halloween party. Cleveland forward, Love, has a front-row seat for the performance and shares his video footage:
James plays himself, in his acting debut, in Judd Apatow’s comedy, Trainwreck. The film co-stars Amy Schumer and Bill Hader. When told he will play himself:
I can just show up, I’m LeBron, I’ll play basketball, and shoot some jumpers, I can dunk. And it was like ‘uh no, you’re actually going to be Bill’s best friend in the movie.’ And I’m like ‘so that means I’m going to have … lines?
During an appearance on Bleacher Report Radio, James says he still feels the pain of his 2015 NBA Finals loss to the Golden State Warriors:
I just don’t feel like you ever move on from losing in the Finals. You feel like you’re right there. You have a great opportunity to do something special … I guess there’s nightmares, now, about them, about situations throughout the games, and it’s always replaying in my head. You know, it was definitely difficult, and I’m getting better every day, but you know, it takes quite a while for me to get out of the funk.
The Golden State Warriors defeat the Cleveland Cavaliers in six games to win the NBA championship. Curry had 25 points, 8 assists, 6 rebounds, and 3 steals. Iguodala had 25 points, 5 assists, 5 rebounds, and 2 steals. James had 32 points, 9 assists, and 18 rebounds. Iguodala is named the NBA Finals MVP. Curry:
I’m kind of speechless. This is special. To be able to hold this trophy and all the hard work we’ve put into it this season, this is special. We’re definitely a great team and a team that should go down in history as one of the best teams from top to bottom.
James, despite playing a historic series, falls to a 2-4 record in the Finals:
Doesn’t matter if I’m playing in Miami or playing in Cleveland or playing on Mars. You lose in the Finals, it’s disappointing.
James explains the Cavaliers NBA Finals loss and reviews the season:
It’s never a success if you go out losing. But I think we put ourselves back where this franchise needs to be, being a contender. But we’ve still got a lot of work to do…It hurts me to know that I wish I could have done better and done more and just put a little bit more effort or whatever the case may be to help us get over the hump. But it just wasn’t our time…I knew it was going to be a tough task, and I continued to tell you guys we were undermanned…I don’t even know if it’s ever happened, for a team to lose two All‑Stars and still be able to make it to The Finals…I put my body through a lot, you know, but it’s the price for your body feeling this way for winning…I didn’t win a championship, but I’ve done a lot of good things in this first year back, and hopefully I can continue it.
The Golden State Warriors defeat the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 5 of the NBA Finals and take the 3-2 series lead. Curry drops 37 points, 4 assists, 7 rebounds, and 2 steals. James puts up 40 points, 11 assists, and 14 rebounds. Curry:
It was a fun moment, but it will only mean something — and I’ll probably have a better answer for that question after we win that championship — but signature moments only come for players who are holding the trophy
James, despite being on the brink of elimination:
I feel confident because I’m the best player in the world
The Golden State Warriors defeat the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 4 of the NBA Finals and tie the series at 2-2. For the Warriors, Curry puts up 22 points and 7 assists, and Iguodala puts up 22 points and 8 rebounds. For the Cavaliers, James has 20 points, 8 assists, and 12 rebounds. Mozgov also contributes 28 points and 10 rebounds. Curry:
Tonight we came in with the mentality that we had to win this game
Iguodala on guarding James:
Make him work as hard as possible. Make him take tough shots. You look at his strengths, you look at his weaknesses, and you try to take him out of his comfort zone. Sounds easier said than done, but we all have a lot of talent and when we go out there we want to make our stamp on the game.
Offensively we were terrible. Sometimes, your offense just doesn’t show up.
While adjusting his shorts, James briefly exposes his penis before game four of the 2015 NBA Finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors.
The Cavaliers defeat the Warriors in Game 3 of the NBA Finals. James scores 40 points and also has 8 assists and 12 rebounds. Dellavedova contributes 20 points, 4 assists, and 5 rebounds in the victory. For the Warriors, Curry puts up 26 points, 6 assists, and 6 rebounds. James:
I’m just trying to do whatever it takes to help our team win. It’s the Finals, and it’s whatever it takes. This is a totally different challenge.
I think I found something when it comes to how I’m going to be able to attack their pick-and-rolls. I’ll keep that in the memory bank going into Game 4.
The Cleveland Cavaliers win Game 2 against the Golden State Warriors to tie the series 1-1. James leads the Cavaliers with a triple-double, putting up 39 points, 11 assists, and 16 rebounds. For the Warriors, Thompson puts up 34 points and 5 rebounds. Curry, despite having 19 points, is only 5-23 from the field. Curry:
Shots I normally make I knew as soon as they left my hand that they were off. That doesn’t usually happen. Mechanically, I don’t know if there is an explanation for it. Just didn’t have a rhythm and didn’t find one the whole game.
I tried to give it all to my teammates. And they do a great job of giving it back to me. Total team effort. To be back in the same position we were in three days ago and to come back and even the series is big time.
In Game 1 of the NBA Finals, the Golden State Warriors defeat the Cleveland Cavaliers in OT. Curry leads the Warriors with 20 points, 8 assists, and 6 rebounds. James drops 44 points, 6 assists, and 8 rebounds for the Cavaliers. James:
I got to where I wanted to get, step back, made them before. It’s a make-or-miss league, and we had our chances.
Curry on the overtime:
It was just a classic five minutes that we needed to get that win.
The Cavaliers win 118-88. James scores 23 points, Smith scores 18 points and Thompson scores 16 points and 11 rebounds. Teague scores 17 points and Millsap scores 16 points for the Hawks. Cleveland wins East Series 4-0. James on NBA Finals:
I’m a guy who believes in unfinished business…I understood what these people were going through, the people here. Not only in Cleveland but Northeast Ohio and all over the world who love and bleed wine and gold. To be at this point tonight, it’s very emotional.
We’re in Cleveland. Nothing is easy here.
The Cavaliers win 114-111. James scores 37 points, 18 rebounds and 13 assists, Dellavedova scores 17 points and Smith scores 17 points. Teague scores 30 points and Millsap scores 22 points for the Hawks. Cleveland leads East Finals 3-0. James on Game 3:
I gave everything I have.
On exhaustion colapse:
I’ve been better. I play to exhaustion. I give as much as I can give, and sometimes the body just shuts down…In overtime I asked to come out, but I actually had a second thought. I wouldn’t have felt right about the situation. It was mind over matter there for me. I’m playing through a lot but it doesn’t matter. If I’m putting on the uniform and I’m on the floor, I have to make things happen for our team. It’s that simple.
Coach Blatt on James:
He just wouldn’t let us lose.
Coach Budenholzer on Game 3 loss:
I’m very proud of the way our guys competed.
Cavaliers win 94-82. James scores 30 points, 11 rebounds assists and Thompson gets 16 . Schroder scores 11 points for the Hawks. Cleveland leads East Finals 2-0. Coach Blatt on James:
How much does it help to have LeBron on your team?. Do I really have to answer that?
On his birthday wish:
Just a Cavs win. That’s all I’m asking for.
Coach Budenholzer on Game 2 loss:
In the playoffs, it takes more. It takes better execution, better screening. You’ve got to do things harder.
The Cavaliers win 97-89. James scores 31 points, Mozgov scores ten points and 11 rebounds. Teague scores 27 points, Horford scores 16 points, Millsap scores 13 points and Kent Bazemore scores ten points for the Hawks. Cleveland leads East Finals 1-0. Coach Blatt on Lebron:
When he gets hot. He gets smoking hot.
Coach Budenholzer on Carroll:
DeMarre is a complete player. He has a big impact at both ends of the court.
Once I start shooting. Everybody keeps telling me to keep shooting.
James on Carroll injuries:
We’re all a brotherhood. You don’t want anybody to get hurt like that.
The Cavaliers win 94-73. Dellavedova scores 19 points, James scores 15 points and Thompson scoress 13 points, 17 rebounds. Butler scores 20 points and Rose scores 14 points for the Bulls. Cleveland wins East Semifinals Series 4-2. James on Cavaliers:
These guys work their tails off every single day when you guys are not around. Yes, I’m a little bit surprised because of how we’ve handled the postseason so far. These are first-timers right here (Dellavedova and Thompson) as well as Kyrie and Kev before the injury. They want to be good, they want to be great, and every single day they prepare the right way.
I do everything for my team, do everything for my teammates. I want these guys to be able to feel this moment. That’s what I came back here for. I’ve got four guys that never made the postseason that played a huge role on this team.
Coach Thibodeau on Bulls:
Yeah. Until they tell me I’m not, I expect to be here. That’s the way I’m going to approach it.
The Cavaliers win 106-101. James scores 38 points, 12 rebounds, six steals and three assists and Irving scores 25 points. Butler scores 29 points and Dunleavy scores 19 points for the Bulls. Cleveland leads East Semifinals 3-2. Irving on James:
I commend him for putting us on his back.
James on Game 5:
Yay. No turnovers! That was the first stat I was looking at after the game. I was trying to be efficient for my teammates and I was very efficient.
Gibson on ejection:
I was surprised (to be ejected). I really just tried to release my foot because as soon as I got up off the ground, I just felt somebody tugging on my leg.
Coach Thibodeau on James:
We were slow. He was quicker.
Cavaliers win 86-84. James scores 25 points,Mozgov scores 15 points and Smith scores 13 points. Rose scores 31 points, Butler scores 19 points for the Bulls, The East Semifinals Series is tied 1-1. James on win shot:
I was supposed to take the ball out. I told Coach there was no way I’m taking the ball out unless I could shoot it over the backboard and go in. So I told him, Have somebody else take the ball out.’ The play that was drawn up, I scratched it. I just told Coach, Just give me the ball. We’re either going to go into overtime or I’m going to win it for us.
Rose on James:
There’s nothing you can do about it. He hit a great shot. He’s a hell of a player. We just have to make sure that if we’re in that position again, just make sure that we force him out a little bit more or make someone else get the ball.
I thought the last two (games) could have gone either way. They’re hard fought. They’re a great team.
The Bulls win 99-96. Rose scores 30 points, Butler scores 20 points. James scores 27 points and 14 assists for the Cavaliers. Chicago leads East Semifinals 2-1. Rose on Game 3 performance:
I’m just thankful and grateful that my teammates gave me the ball. They believed in me down the stretch. They kept getting me the ball, kept encouraging me to play the way that I usually play. And no, I did not call glass.
Butler on Game 3 win:
It was huge. We needed that. That’s what he does.
James on Game 3:
You follow the game plan, they make a shot – you live with it. It’s when you make mistakes during the game plan, those would be the ones that are hard to live with. I know it’s easy for me to say that. The shot was not made on me. The guy took a tough shot. Tip your hat to him.
On Noah hard foul:
I’m a father with three kids. It got very disrespectful. I’m OK with competing against Jo. I love the competitive nature, but we should leave it there. The disrespectful words that he said to me were uncalled for.
The Cavaliers win 106-91. James scores 33 points and Irving scores 21 points. Butler scores 18 points, Rose scores 14 points and ten assists and Gasol scores 11 points for the Bulls. The East Semifinals Series ties 1-1.
James on Game 2 comeback:
It was in my locker and I decided to give it a go. It was time for it to make a comeback.
On Cavaliers injuries:
We’re a little banged up, we’re short-handed, so I have to be aggressive. Even more aggressive than my usual self, and I was happy I was able to make a couple of plays to help our team win tonight.
Irving on James:
There wasn’t one possession where he wasn’t dominant. When he has that mindset, he’s the greatest player playing our game right now.
The Bulls win 99-92. Rose scores 25 points, Gasol scores 21 points and Butler scores 20 points. Irving scores 30 points and James scores 19 points and 15 rebounds for the Cavaliers. Chicago leads East Semifinals 1-0.
Rose on comeback:
I just appreciate everything. getting back on the floor, my fans, every aspect of basketball. It’s allowed me to change my life and my family’s life. I owe so much to this sport. I’m just trying to roll with it.
James on Game 1 loss:
We all just have to play better. I wasn’t that good tonight.
Butler on Rose:
Derrick was making the right plays every time.
You can’t get wrapped up in it. We’re going to have to play a lot better in the next game.
The Cavaliers win 101-93. James scores 27 points, Irving scores 24 points and Shumpert scores 15 points. Thomas scores 21 points and Sullinger scores 21 points for the Celtics. Cleveland wins East First Round Series 4-0.
James on Olyk’s intentional foul:
Seen a lot of tie-ups in my day, but that one looked different.
Irving on physical Game 4:
Things got a little chippy. Game 4 was the most physical game I have ever played in.
Thomas on Game 4:
We are all men here. We don’t need to cry. It’s playoff basketball. You need to move forward.
Coach Stevens on Celtics performance:
I like our progress but I like to win. So I’m disappointed.
The Cavaliers win 103-95. James scores a double-double (31 points and 11 rebounds), Love scores 23 points, Smith scores 15 points. Turner scores 19 points and Bradley scores 18 points for the Celtics. Cleveland leads East First Round series 3-0.
Coach Blatt on Smith’s performance:
He didn’t necessarily have to after scoring 30 points in Game 2. But he wanted to be with his teammate.
James on teammate Smith:
We were together last night watching playoff games. He said he wanted to go early and I said, ‘Let’s go’.
You want to make sure that we play as well as possible for however many games we have left.
James is temporarily quitting social media in order to focus on upcoming games. He says he only needs to communicate with family and teammates.
I don’t have no phones, no social media, I don’t have anything. I don’t care about nonsense. There’s too much nonsense out there. Not during this time, this is when I lock in right now and I don’t need nothing creeping into my mind that don’t need to be there.
The Cavaliers win 99-91. James scores 30 points, Irving scores 26 points and Mozgov scores 16 points. Thomas scores 22 points for the Celtics. Cleveland leads the East First Round Series 2-0. James:
I’ve been in this moment before, and a lot of our guys haven’t. I thought it was important for me to put a stamp on this game.
Coach Stevens on Celtics loss:
We made those guys earn everything they got. And that’s a step in the right direction. We were in a three-possession game and we shot 38 percent.
It wasn’t perfect, it wasn’t pretty. But we got it done.
The Cavaliers win 113-100. Irving scores 30 points, James scores 20 points and Love scores a double-double (19 points and 12 rebounds). Thomas scores 22 points for the Celtics. Cleveland leads East First Round Series 1-0. Irving on James, Love:
We are the Big 3. We have really great players on this team, but we set the tone.
James on teammates:
They were phenomenal. Those two guys, they succeeded for the first time being in the postseason.
We’re still confident. Guys are ready for Game 2, knowing that good or bad you’ve got to have a short memory. There are possibly seven games in this series and it could go either way.
The Cavaliers win 99-94. James scores a triple-double (20 points, 12 assists, ten rebounds), Irving scores 27 points. Dunvealy scores 24 points and Brooks scores 17 for the Bulls. Coach Blatt:
I’ve been doing this a long time, I’ve never seen three like that in one game.
The basketball gods were on their side today.
James on Irving’s three-point shoots:
I told him to just throw it up there and see what happens, and it went in. I told him to just cast it, and it definitely was the difference in the game.
Some I thought were defended well, some weren’t. They had three heaves that went in.
The Cavaliers win 114-108 against Heat. James scores 23 points, Irving scores 23 points. Thompson has 15 rebounds. Deng scores 17 points, and Whiteside scores 17 points for the Heat. Wade on his knee injury:
When you go down like that, I couldn’t bust into a split, I’m not that flexible, I knew I was in trouble on my way down. It’s just unfortunate. Nothing happened I guess. I was a little concerned. Once they did the tests on my knee to make sure all my ligaments were strong and straightened, it’s a little better.
Coach Spoelstra on Wade’s injuries:
It looked like it was a lot worse. It looked like he was doing the splits.
The Cavaliers wins 111-89 Grizzlies. Love has 20 points and 10 rebounds, James scores 20 points. Coach Blatt:
We came to play. We were focused on having a defensive presence in the first quarter, and I thought we had that right from the get go
Everyone really stepped up in the third quarter. So it was really, really good basketball.
We obviously know how great they are defensively, especially in this building. For us to move the ball and share the ball like we did in the facet that we did was very impressive.
James passes Ray Allen to climb to No. 21 on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. James’ fast-break layup pushed him past Allen.
I didn’t know until I came to the bench and the guys congratulated me, and I was like, ‘For what? For making a layup?’ They go, ‘You passed Ray Allen.’ That’s one of my best friends. That’s a guy that I competed against, I grew up watching and then to be able to team with him the last two years when I was in Miami, I learned so much from him about work ethic, about being a professional, and it just added on to my game…To know that I passed him tonight, it’s very humbling. I guess I’ve done some pretty good things in this league so far.
The NBA suspends Harden for one game without pay for kicking James in the groin during a recent game. Harden says the kick was a reaction to what was happening after he fell to the floor while getting double-teamed. While he was on his back, he kicked James in the groin. Harden:
It’s a reaction. They called a flagrant. Next play we moved on.
Obviously that’s not a basketball play. Obviously the league will probably take a look at it. I have no idea why he would do that, but two competitors just trying to go at it and he won this one.
Cavaliers win (110-99) as James scores a season high of 42 points in the Cleveland Cavaliers vs Golden State Warriors game.
James becomes the most prolific passing forward in league history, topping Scottie Pippen for the most career assists by an NBA forward. James’ pass that led to a Kevin Love 3-pointer gave James 6,136 assists for his career, passing Pippen’s mark of 6,135.
It means way more than what I did passing Allen Iverson on Sunday. I’ve always took a lot of pride and I get more of a rush seeing my teammates succeed more than myself. And that’s what an assist is all about. I was taught the game the right way and seeing my teammates succeed has always been something that I’ve cared about more than anything and that’s what it’s all about…When I started to shape my game, I kind of knew that that point forward was something that was going to be my trademark. Obviously I looked up to Michael Jordan, that’s someone that gave me a lot of inspiration, but as a kid I never thought that I could get to that point. You know, Jordan just felt so surreal. Pippen and Anfernee Hardaway and Allen Iverson was those guys that I kind of really, really thought that I could be. Because MJ just felt like you could never catch him as a kid. I always just felt like he was so far in the distance.
After scoring 18 points against the Knicks, James passes Allen Iverson on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. James is currently No. 22 on that list.
It’s very, very humbling, and it’s an honor to just be named with some of the greats that I watched growing up. And now to know that I passed Allen Iverson on the all-time scoring list, for someone that’s not much of a scorer — as you guys have deemed me — it is pretty cool…It just means that my teammates have allowed me to do things to help them win ballgames, and I’ve been fortunate enough to go out and bless the game the best way I know how and just play hard.
James, Garnett, Irving, and Williams wear the black shirts with white text during the pre-game warmups for the Nets-Cavs clash, after Bulls guard Derrick Rose wore the same shirt in a Saturday pre-game warmup in solidarity for Garner. Nets guard Jarrett Jack, who played for the Cavs last season and says he supplied the Cavs players with the shirts after he heard James was looking for them:
I just heard people’s opinion on the topic, and I know [the Cavaliers] are on the road, this is the place where it happened, so if they wanted to be a part of the cause or make a statement without actually necessarily saying any words, I definitely extended the invitation…I know us as a team we’re gonna go out and try to make a stance and show that we’re a team that’s not with prejudice. We want to have tolerance for everybody.
James and Brinson welcome a baby girl, Zhuri. Zhuri joins her brothers, LeBron jr., 9, and Bryce Maximus, 7.
James announces on Instagram and Twitter that he will go back to wearing 23 on his jersey. James wore number 23 in his rookie season in 2003-04 to the 2009-10 season, his initial gig with the Cavaliers, but he switched to his Olympic number 6 when he went to the Miami Heart. James says his number change at the time was partly to help the league honor Michael Jordan by permanently retiring his number across the league, which did not happen.
James posts a picture on Instagram of himself in two different Cavaliers jerseys and asks the fans to choose which one he should wear to the homecoming.
James decides to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers. In a Sports Illustrated story, James says:
When I left Cleveland, I was on a mission. I was seeking championships, and we won two. But Miami already knew that feeling. Our city hasn’t had that feeling in a long, long, long time. My goal is still to win as many titles as possible, no question. But what’s most important for me is bringing one trophy back to Northeast Ohio. My relationship with Northeast Ohio is bigger than basketball. I didn’t realize that four years ago. I do now.
Miami Heat managing general partner Micky Arison posts on Twitter:
I am shocked & disappointed in today’s news. However I will never forget what Lebron brought us for 4 years. Thanks for memories.
According to James’ agent, Rich Paul, James’ will exercise the early termination option in his contract. James will be a free agent as of July 1, 2014. James had until June 30th to decide whether or not to opt out of the final two years of his contract with the Miami Heat. He would have made$20 million next season and had two years and about $42.7 million remaining on his deal.
The San Antonio Spurs defeat the Miami Heat in Game 5 in order to win the 2014 NBA title. For the Heat, James puts up 31 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 assists. For the Spurs, Leonard puts up 22 points and 10 rebounds, and wins the Finals MVP award. James:
We had a great first quarter, but from that point on they were the better team, and that’s why they’re the champions in 2014.
It makes last year OK
The Spurs defeat the Heat in Game 4 of the NBA Finals and take a 3-1 series lead. Leonard puts up 20 points and 14 rebounds for the Spurs. James drops 28 points and 8 rebounds for the Heat. James:
They smashed us. Two straight home games got off to awful starts. They came in and were much better than us in these last two games. It’s just that simple.
Spurs coach Popovich:
I’m pleased that they performed as well as they did while we’ve been in Miami, and that’s about as far as it goes. Now we’ve got to go back home and play as well or better.
The Spurs defeat the Miami Heat in Game 3 of the 2014 NBA Finals. Leonard leads the Spurs with 29 points and 4 rebounds. For the Heat, James drops 22 points, 5 rebounds, and 7 assists. The Spurs have a phenomenal first half, shooting 25-33 from the field. Ginobili:
It’s not something you can plan for. There was no magic plays. We just moved the ball, and every shot went in.
Spurs coach Popovich:
I don’t think we’ll ever shoot 76 percent in a half ever again.
The Miami Heat defeat the San Antonio Spurs in Game 2 of the 2014 NBA Finals. James leads the Heat with 35 points and 10 rebounds. For the Spurs, Duncan puts up 18 points and 15 rebounds. Duncan:
Down the end there they executed really well. LeBron made some great passes and guys made open shots. We had the same result in the first game. They kind of flipped it in this one.
The San Antonio Spurs defeat the Miami Heat in Game 1 of the 2014 NBA Finals. For the Spurs, Duncan has 19 points and 10 rebounds. For the Heat, James has 25 points and 6 rebounds. The arena experiences an air conditioning malfunction during the match. Spurs coach Popovich:
It was tough on both teams. They were pretty dead. We tried to get guys in and out. … It was really hot out there.
James leaves Game 1 of the NBA Finals before the match is finished because of severe leg cramping. The leg cramping is caused by extremely warm temperatures after the air conditioning in the arena malfunctions. James
It was the whole left leg, damn near the whole left side. I was losing a lot [of fluids] throughout the game. It was extremely hot in the building, you know, both teams, fans, everybody could feel it. I was the one that had to take the shot.
James wins his fourth NBA Most Valuable Player award. James almost has a unanimous MVP selection, garnering 120 out of 121 first-place votes for the award. James averaged 26.8 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 7.3 assists per game for the season. He shot 56.5% from the floor and 40.6% from 3-point range. Heat president Pat Riley on James:
Over these 46 years, I’ve had an opportunity to see some great players — and all the ones I’ve observed, watched and have seen, they’ve always gotten better. In my humble opinion, I believe the man right here is the best of them all.
James expresses his displeasure at finishing second in the voting for the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year award:
It sucks. It definitely sucks, though, finishing second. Who wants to finish second?
James averaged 6.8 defensive rebounds, 1.7 steals, and 1 block per game for the season, but he says the most important aspect of his defensive ability is his versatility:
I guard everybody on the floor. I don’t know if it’s one player in NBA history that’s guarded 1 (point guards) through 5 (centers). It’s over with now, but it’s cool.
In an issue of Sports Illustrated, Durant expresses his frustration at playing in James’ shadow:
I’ve been second my whole life. I was the second-best player in high school. I was the second pick in the draft. I’ve been second in the MVP voting three times. I came in second in the Finals. I’m tired of being second. I’m not going to settle for that. I’m done with it.
Durant says he uses his frustration as a means to self-improvement:
I don’t watch a lot of other basketball away from the gym. But I do look at LeBron’s box score. I want to see how many points, rebounds and assists he had, and how he shot from the field. If he had 30 points, nine rebounds and eight assists, I can tell you exactly how he did it, what type of shots he made and who he passed to.
On their friendship:
People see two young black basketball players at the top of their game and think we should clash. They want the conflict. They want the hate. They forget Bird cried for Magic. A friend was getting on me about this recently, and I said, ‘Calm down. I’m not taking it easy on him. Don’t you know I’m trying to destroy the guy every time I go on the court?’