LeBron James is done with losing.
LeBron said he doesn't forget the Spurs celebrating on his home floor in Cleveland in 2007 Finals.— Al Iannazzone (@Al_Iannazzone) June 5, 2013
The Spurs took down the Cavs in four successive games and could be found celebrating on Cleveland's floor—on James' floor.
James is determined not to let that happen again.
"I've lost enough," he said. "I don't need anymore fuel from losing."
LeBron James: "I've lost enough. I don't need anymore fuel from losing." pic.twitter.com/4pdmRoLlpI— The NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) June 5, 2013
This isn't the same player the Spurs saw and took advantage of in 2007. This isn't the same James who shot 35.6 percent from the floor and 20 percent from deep in that series. The Miami Heat version of James is different.
LeBron: "I'm a better player (than 2007) and you can't dare me to do anything I don't want to do."— chris palmer (@ESPNChrisPalmer) June 5, 2013
San Antonio forced James to shoot jumpers that series, shots that he missed frequently. But that was 2007. This is 2013.
Daring James to shoot jumpers won't work any more. He'll give in, and he'll take them. He's just not going to miss.
LeBron said Spurs dared him to shoot jumpers in 07. Said he'll hit them now, and no one dares him to do anything he doesn't want to do.— Al Iannazzone (@Al_Iannazzone) June 5, 2013
Burying outside attempts has become a strong suit for James. He shot a career-best 40.6 percent from beyond the arc during the regular season. Missing from the perimeter is something he's no longer accustomed to.
Gregg Popovich and the San Antonio Spurs know this. They know there is no one better.
Gregg Popovich on LeBron during Finals Press Conference: "He knows basketball better than everybody put together in this room."— NBA Guru (@NBAGuru) June 5, 2013
Clanging shots off the rim and failing when it matters is now a foreign feeling for James. Winning championships is what he does now.
That's why he's "here."
James has lost before; he refuses to lose now.
Go ahead and tell him he's wrong. See what he does.
He "dares" you.