Now back in the finals again for the 2012-13 season, LeBron James admits that it can be "very healthy" for a team to have friction between its players and coaches on the game's biggest stage.
That's right. LeBron understands that it's not about having a room filled with yes men. It's not about always agreeing with one another. It's all about the goal of winning it all and doing whatever it takes to get there—and that includes a few bumps in the road along the way.
"We've had a couple [of sessions] where, you know, the players didn't like the coaches," James said. "Coaches didn't like the players. And I think that's very healthy. It happens. The coaches want the players to do everything right, and sometimes the players want to do it or believe that they're doing everything right. So we've had film sessions where we both left out of it, I guess, not liking each other, but agreeing on what happened and owning it and seeing the ways we can get it better in the next game. And it usually happens during the playoffs.
It's natural for players and coaches to have these moments, and these types of things happen on almost every team.
Has LeBron James become a better leader since last season?
The biggest takeaway from James' comment is that he's still learning—as are his teammates—and there is no reason to stop evolving just because the team has made it to the NBA Finals in three straight seasons.
LeBron wants to go down as the greatest ever to play this game, and if he's going to achieve that lofty goal, it's not going to be handed to him.
James is proving that he's now the leader that the general public has always asked him to be, and he's elevating his game and his team in the process.
The coaching staff and the players are all human beings, and emotions come out when unified by a goal that is bigger than the individual.
It's all about getting that Larry O'Brien trophy.