Thursday, August 2nd, 2012 at 1:50 pm  |  33 responses

Pat Riley Says LeBron James Transformed Himself in Order to Win a Championship

Pat Riley, the architect of the Miami Heat, opened up about the personal transformation that LeBron James underwent during the journey to his first NBA title. From WQAM in Miami (via SRI): “What have you seen with LeBron in the last 12 months?: ‘The truly gifted athletes and great, great players, where all of the responsibility, or a good portion of the responsibility is thrust on them to produce for your team to win, he’s an example of one of those guys. You go back in history and the biggest fights or championship games in all sports, and somewhere one of those players like LeBron will always rise above the norm. … So, how he changed over the course of the season really had to do with a man that came to terms with really, who he was, what he was trying to project out there, and he said this many times, was somebody that he was not. And I think he was in constant disharmony with the media and how he was being covered. … I think he’s erased all of that and I think great, great players who are highly judged get the credit, get the criticism and then they get the fame that comes with all of that. … He overcame incredible external adversity, internal adversity with how he felt about himself and in the very end of the day, he was the one raising the trophy.’”

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  • SeanMagicJuan

    Bottom line- He learned about post play.

  • http://www.runninglikwidworks.com MrRLW

    ^^ What SeanMagicJuan said.

  • http://jza.me JZA

    I still think miami heat should have won the championship last season. They were unstoppable all the way to the finals. Even in the finals they had double digit leads, they were dunking on Dallas, it was all a mental breakdown that make Miami failed to achieve that championship and LeBron was a big part of it, but I think he wasn’t alone. Dwyane never step up on the 4th nor anyone else. Comparing that to the game they showed versus the Thunder this year where Mike Miller, Battier, and James Jones, light it up from 3.

    Miami had those shooters the year before, like James Jones, and point guards Bibby and others, but they simply were kept benched for most of the finals versus Dallas. I blame the coach for not giving them minutes to step up to the challenge.

  • permaculture james


  • Mike Gilbert

    I think its cuz he got eddy curry

  • bike

    It’s tough when you have the potential to be the G.O.A.T.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    ^KD handles the pressure well though you have to admit :)

  • http://redoftoothandclaw.ca/ niQ

    I still can’t believe Eddy Curry will get a ring.

  • kobesBESTfriend

    DRose getting injured,a lockout shortened season with no training camp,a nixed cp3 trade to the Lakers,a hobbled Celtic team and the zenmaster retiring didn’t hurt his chances either

  • Sizzle

    Bulls are several pieces of way from winning the chip. Unless Chi-town brings in some talent, I see a similar path of repeated failures for D-Rose. Yet no one will blame him because he is “humble.”

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    No one will blame D-Rose because he won’t be the reason for his team losing even if he takes that blame on himself. It will be because there is no other player around him who can create for himself or the rest of the team just as it was last year in the Playoffs. It will have nothing to do with his “humility”. The biggest piece is a 2 guard just like it was this past season. Rip isn’t the answer. The Bulls would do well to ease some of the burden Rose has offensively once he returns by getting him that piece.
    There is no asterisk on this Heat championship. Not D-Rose’s injury, definitely not the nixed CP3 trade to the Lakers or anything else. It’s not about what could have happened, but what actually happened. What happened was LeBron was the best player in the world from December 25 until late June and it wasn’t close at all.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Kobe’s Friend
    That would be valid if this wasn’t the second year in a row Miami made the Finals.

  • kobesBESTfriend

    Heat were done until Bosh returned…no Bosh and this post would read “Danny Ainge says Rondo transformed himself in order to win another championship”

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    haters gonna hate

  • toinefan88

    I don’t see them getting it done without strong contribution from Mr. Bosh. But Bron did play Great.

  • LBJallDay

    Say what you want but there is no doubt Lebron put it down this past season. He definitely won it and if you all want to talk about the “what if” then let’s say… what if Lebron didn’t come up short in the 4th last year they would be going for a three-peat this coming year. Lebron finally put down his phone and turned on Beast Mode.

  • LA Huey

    Hi, Haters. =)

  • http://slamonline Brion

    Ya my favorite game of last year was Brons 45 at the garden.

  • http://slamonline.com Brad Long

    LeBron was a completely different player mentally throughout the these playoffs. I’m not a fan, but I can admit the entire league is in trouble for the rest of the decade if he can keep the same mindset he had this year in the Finals.

  • JasonT

    I agree with “by any means necessary” comment, very well put!!

  • http://www.newyorkshockexchange.com Shock Exchange

    The cawk exchange gets fully aroused at the thought that someone thinks durant has potential to be goat. Ha!

  • Roscoe

    D’Heat beat the Tuna-der (Boom!) bc Harden tweaked his hand in the conference finals… not bc Lebron transformed like some kid in a costume at halloween.

    If Mc’Riles really believed his statement above he would have guaranteed a title next year when he held the gold ball, but instead was happy to soak the lime light away from E. SPOL on the night they clinched like some mash potatoes w/ gravey.

    Bron is a beast no doubt… but last year title comes with an “*” with a shortened season. IMO d’heat are not the best team in the assoc.

  • Roscoe

    KD is a billy goat that eats rubber tires SE

  • Basketball_iQ

    Chris bosh saved that az … Point-blank-period.


    throughout the playoff lbj stats were 30.3ppg(1st) 9.7rpg(8th) 5.7apg(11th) 1.9spg(fourth). i like chris bosh and all but that’s the reason Miami has a second championship

  • LeBrOn 4 MvP!

    yo yo, ya feel me, lebron go it pat down, to another level, east compton what!? yeyah, yo dont get me wrong players be great, but lebron be one of the greatest, contending for that full potentil to be the greatest, he aint there yet dont get me wrong yo, real talk, he got to get it down to a point, ya feel me yall? lebron till i die, miami stand up!

  • riggs

    the refs changed themselves into horrible ones.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Slick Ric

    co-sign kobesBESTfriend. lol

  • http://Juanm.Garcia@me.com TruthBtold

    Confucious says: “Winning a 10k is not the same as winning a marathon.”
    * season

  • miagus23

    the saying “haters will hate” is so true in some of these comments. If the reason Miami won the championship was because of other teams then the reason the Lakers won those past 2 championships was because the Suns were “hobbled” and the Celtics didn’t play well enough. You cant take away a team’s hard work away by saying that the reason they won was because of injuries or trades because if that were the case few teams would actually win a championhsip without these things happening throughout the season. It happens in every sport, not just basketball.

  • miagus23

    and i dont care how “hobbled” a team is, but when you go into one of the toughest venues to play in the whole world, facing elimination, and have a 45 point performance, it doesnt matter whats happened before, but thats legendary. And no shortened season or injured D-Rose could affect Lebron doing that.

  • Sizzle

    @Byanymeansnecessary your statement is proof of the double standard that is put in place on LeBron. When he repeatedly exited the playoffs in Cleveland he “quit” and “gave up” yet look at the trash that was around him. Trash bro, complete trash. There is a reason why everyone that was on his Cleveland team is pretty much non-existent in the league today. They were and still are garbage.

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    Those last two Cleveland teams he played on were only great regular season teams. Everyone knows that a team’s flaws show themselves clearly in the postseason. The only blame LeBron deserved in Cleveland was that infamous Game 5 disappearance. Every other game I watched, and I watched all of them, he played hard and did all he could. They just weren’t good enough. Mo Williams, Antawn Jamison, and the other guys that were brought there to help him failed. No one in their right mind should have expected any player with Larry Hughes as his best teammate at one point to win a championship. Again, no asterisks with this championship. Bosh helped even though he wasn’t 100%. Wade did his best even with a bum knee. But the biggest reason is LeBron played out of his mind all season and raised his level of play in the postseason. The best team wins in a 7 game series, period. The Heat were the best team this season. OKC just wasn’t ready. Both teams had all their cards in play. The Heat won fair and square.