LeBron James Says He Was Tired in Game 1 of the NBA Finals

by June 08, 2013

Similar to what teammate Dwyane Wade said after the Miami Heat’s Game 1 loss to the San Antonio Spurs, LeBron James admitted to the press that despite his triple-double effort, he felt tired late in the series opener of the NBA Finals. Per ESPN: “No matter what they might’ve said later, when LeBron James told Erik Spoelstra he needed a rest at the start of the fourth quarter in Game 1 against the San Antonio Spurs, it came as a surprise. Spoelstra is used to riding James without consequence this late in the season, regularly not giving him a breather in the second half of late-round playoff games. The Miami Heat coach has sometimes relayed the message he gives to James in such situations, telling him ‘you cannot get tired.’ He’d planned to do it again or at least wait longer because Spoelstra got stuck in his rotation when James made his request, and he had to rest both James and Dwyane Wade to start the fourth quarter. Trust that was never part of the game plan. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade began the fourth quarter of Game 1 together on the bench. ‘I had been accustomed to being able to start the fourth but the third quarter was so — I was in the paint, defensive rebounding, I was closing out Kawhi Leonard on shooters,’ James said. ‘It took all in the tank from me in the third quarter. So I needed a little breather.’ It isn’t often James shows physical vulnerability, but that’s what happened Thursday night as the Heat lost a fourth-quarter lead and went down 92-88 to the better-rested Spurs. James averaged 43 minutes in the series with the Indiana Pacers, the most in any seven-game stretch this season. But it was not out of the ordinary for this time of year. He averaged 44 minutes in the Finals in each of the past two years, making the 42 he logged in Game 1 a relatively ‘light’ night. Last year he had a bout of cramps during the Finals. […] ‘It is tough. But it is what it is,’ James said. ‘I put myself in a position to try to do everything for this team, a little bit of everything, and put myself in a position to win. It’s very challenging mentally, physically. But you have to figure out a way to just have will at this point of the season. There’s not too many days left. There’s no room for excuses.'”