OAKLAND — You can’t really rattle LeBron James. He’s been in the brightest of basketball spotlights since he was 16 and on the cover of Sports Illustrated. He’s seen it all, heard it all. Draymond Green tried to get under his skin in the last NBA Finals and it ended being Green who got himself suspended.
After a blowout loss in Game 1 of this year’s NBA Finals, there was plenty of criticism of the Cavaliers and LeBron. While he had 28 points and 15 rebounds in the game, LeBron also had eight turnovers and was burned on defense by Kevin Durant more than once. He was the best Cavaliers player, but to beat this version of the Warriors LeBron may need to be close to perfect.
Just don’t think the criticism got to him.
“I really don’t hear the noise,” LeBron said before the Cavaliers practice Saturday. “I couldn’t really care less. It really doesn’t matter to me. I’m just here to play ball and compete for a championship. The narrative and people writing articles and things like that, I don’t care. Those things doesn’t bother me. So it’s hard for me to even tell my teammates, hey, don’t listen to it, because I don’t even get involved in it. I stopped caring a long time ago, so it doesn’t even bother me at all.”
The outside commentary isn’t going to bother LeBron as much as his own play will — he knows he wasn’t good enough in Game 1. Expect that to change in Game 2 Sunday night, the only question is will that be enough?