Having gone to the Finals six straight years and being the reigning NBA champion has put a figurative ‘X’ on LeBron James‘ back.
Teams around the League, and especially in the East, are aiming to dethrone LeBron and the Cleveland Cavaliers, sometimes shaping their roster to counter Cleveland’s.
LeBron remembers being the hungry underdog trying to defeat Boston’s Big Three. But years of continually falling short led him to form his own star trios—first in Miami, and now in Cleveland.
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“I know teams switch and pick up new coaches or new players, and their whole goal is kind of they want to beat me,” James told cleveland.com, in a candid discussion about the upcoming year and his place in the sport at age 31, in this his 14th season. “It’s never just about me, but I always hear them saying, ‘We gotta beat LeBron.’ It’s not just me on the court, but I understand that teams get together in this conference and across the league to try to beat me.”
The Celtics, with Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen, among others, knocked the Cavs out of the playoffs in 2008 and 2010. Boston won it all in 2008 and lost to the Lakers in the 2010 Finals.
“And then at that time we didn’t even have any money to go get anybody. I knew personally that D Wade was a free agent, I knew Bosh was a free agent, I knew Amare (Stoudemire) was a free agent, I knew Carlos Boozer was a free agent, so I knew I had to try and get some guys to try and get Boston, man. That was my whole mindset.”