Instead of granting us the typical puff interview after winning the 2013 NBA Finals MVP award, LeBron James actually offered some insightful thoughts.
James posted 37 points and 12 rebounds in the deciding Game 7, hitting shots from all over the floor including the icing jumper with 27 seconds left.
He entered the final game averaging 23.3 points, 10.7 rebounds, 7.5 assists and 2.3 steals per finals game. While Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh had an up and down series, James was consistent throughout. He posted triple-doubles in Games 1 and 6, clearly earning the MVP award.
After doling out some typical congrats to the San Antonio Spurs, James fielded a pair of questions from Doris Burke.
His response to Burke's first question is just so incredibly true. Comparing James now to back in the early 2000s is like night and day. Back then, he had to be a physical tank to win a game like this. He would have senselessly trucked through the loaded paint, playing right into San Antonio's hands.
In Game 7, James took just three shots inside the painted area. While he did make them all, what was impressive was his ability to hit open shots. The Spurs gave him all the space in the world to get whatever jumpers he wanted.
It all culminated in his final bucket, the one that sealed the win for Miami. Kawhi Leonard massively overcompensated for James' drive threat and sank into the paint defensively. That left James open for the jumper that he spent the season improving.
From there, Burke asks the obvious question about all the criticisms and noise James has to deal with on a daily basis. James shrugs it off and I think has one of the most human moments of his career.
Rarely does James do anything relatable to the common public. When he does, it tends to feel forced, like his 'congratulations to me' commercial.
LeBron TALKS basketball damn near as well as he plays it.— Michael Smith (@michaelsmith) June 21, 2013
For once, James sounded like anyone would when discussing a love for their job. He walks into the locker room to see a jersey with his name on the back, and feels blessed. As anyone would.
He may now have two rings and two NBA Finals MVPs, but maybe the greatest thing he did Thursday night was show us a human side after a superhuman performance.