LeBron James feared that an Eastern Conference Finals loss against Boston in 2012 would’ve spelled the end of Miami’s famed Big 3.
James, who scored 45 points in a historic Game 6 performance against the Celtics that pushed the Heat into the championship round, said it might’ve been the “quickest breakup in basketball history” had things gone south during a forty-five minute Instagram Live chat with fans Thursday night.
LeBron added that his legacy would “take a huge, huge hit” had Pat Riley broken up the squad.
“My mentality was if we lose, [Miami Heat president] Pat Riley may break us all up,” James said. “And I don’t want that. It might be the quickest breakup in basketball history. Not only might they break it all up, but my legacy is going to take a huge, huge hit if I don’t go out here and perform at an all-time high.”
The Heat won the series in seven games and defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder in five games to win the franchise’s second NBA title. James was named the NBA Finals MVP.
The Heat won the 2013 NBA championship in seven games over the San Antonio Spurs, marked by Ray Allen’s 3-pointer in Game 6 that flipped momentum to the Heat as they faced elimination.
“Win, lose or draw, I had to be focused. I had to lock in and lead us to victory,” James said Thursday. “Didn’t know if it was going to happen that way, but that was my mindset.”