NBA

LeBron: 10th Finals 'don't mean s***' without NBA title

By Sports Desk September 27, 2020

LeBron James says his 10th appearance in the NBA Finals "don't mean s***" unless he leads the Los Angeles Lakers to championship glory.

James scored 38 points and tallied 16 rebounds and 10 assists as the Lakers saw off the Denver Nuggets 117-107 in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals to clinch the series.

The four-time MVP is attempting to win his fourth NBA title, having won two with the Miami Heat and another with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Having tasted the disappointment of Finals defeat six times in his career, James knows the conference title will have little value if the Lakers fail to claim a first NBA crown since 2010.

"Right now, it don't mean s*** unless I get it done," James said to ESPN of reaching the Finals for the 10th time. "I got to get it done.

"We understand we have bigger fish to fry. We understand there's a bigger goal, but we can't take this for granted because this doesn't happen every year to anybody."

James and the Lakers have had to deal with extremely trying circumstances in his second season with the team.

The NBA world was shaken by the tragic death of Lakers legend Kobe Bryant in January before the campaign was stopped for four and a half months because of the coronavirus pandemic.

"I've been fuelled all year," James added. "All year. Even during the shutdown. I was still training."

James has the chance to become the first player to win Finals MVP with three different franchises having claimed the award with the Heat in 2012 and 2013 and the Cavs in 2016.

"I just want to travel my own journey, because it is my journey. I've appreciated everything that's happened along the way. I mean, throughout -- the ups, the downs, the ups on the court, the downs on the court, the wins and losses," said James.

"But I've been able to, I guess as Frank Sinatra would say, 'I did it my way.'"

Related items

  • 'We needed a kick in the a***' – Rodgers after Packers suffer first defeat to Brady's Bucs 'We needed a kick in the a***' – Rodgers after Packers suffer first defeat to Brady's Bucs

    The Green Bay Packers suffered their first defeat of the NFL season at the hands of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and star quarterback Aaron Rodgers believes it is a necessary wake-up call for the franchise.

    Green Bay carried a flawless 4-0 record into the Week 6 contest, but the Packers were upstaged by Tom Brady and the Buccaneers 38-10 on Sunday.

    It was a forgettable day for the Packers at Raymond James Stadium, where two-time MVP Rodgers threw a pair of interceptions and a pick-six as he finished 16-of-35 for 160 yards without a touchdown.

    "You don't ever want to lose like this," Rodgers said. "I felt like we needed a little bit of a wake-up call at some point this season because things have been so good and there's been so much talk maybe outside the building about the ease with which we're moving the ball on offense and scoring.

    "I think we needed kind of a kick in the a*** a little bit. There's a little bit of wake-up to stop feeling ourselves so much and get back to the things that got us to this position. I think this would be, unfortunately but fortunately, something we can really grow from."

    It was a rare pick-six for Super Bowl champion and MVP Rodgers, who had only been intercepted and returned for a score on two previous occasions in a stellar career dating back to 2005.

    "That s*** happens," Rodgers, who was replaced by Tim Boyle late in the game, said. "I haven't had a lot of those over the years. But the wind was blowing pretty good right to left, and like I said, I felt good about the spot.

    "I knew it was tight, we've hit throws like that, but I missed on my spot by probably a foot, or so. And the kid made a good play."

    Rodgers – interception-free on his first 156 passes of the season before that run came to an end against the Bucs – added: "I don't feel like we ever got into a rhythm, or even the 10 points to start the game. We had off-scheduled plays to keep our drives alive. They deserve credit -- they got us out of our rhythm."

  • Clarke dazzles on full All Blacks debut as Hooper gets personal with All Blacks wing Clarke dazzles on full All Blacks debut as Hooper gets personal with All Blacks wing

    Caleb Clarke has made quite the impression at the start of his international career, forcing Australia captain Michael Hooper to use a rather unique method in an attempt to slow the wing down. 

    After making his New Zealand debut off the bench in the Bledisloe Cup opener in Wellington last weekend, Clarke started in the second game between the trans-Tasman rivals in Auckland. 

    Clarke capitalised on the opportunity too, earning comparisons to the great Jonah Lomu as his running game helped his side to a resounding 27-7 triumph at Eden Park. 

    He beat 12 defenders during the course of the game – the second-highest number recorded by a player in a Test since the beginning of 2010. 

    It was on one such burst that Wallabies back-row Hooper made contact with Clarke in a way that certainly caught his attention. 

    "You know what, Michael Hooper grabbed my nuts just then," he told Sky Sport in an interview after the game. 

    "They were really sore. I turned and tried to push his hand off." 

    While watching a montage of his performance, Clarke – whose father, Eroni, played for New Zealand in the 1990s – also admitted that he tried to do the same to Hooper. 

    "On this run, I tried to get him back," Clarke said while watching a replay. "Our physio said to get him back, so I tried to do it there." 

    He certainly grabbed the attention of those watching on, with George Gregan praising a performance that belied the 21-year-old's lack of experience at the highest level. 

    "We saw the makings of a wonderful player during Super Rugby with this man," the former Australia scrum-half said, per Fox Sports. 

    "He comes from a pretty good lineage with his father, who we played against in Eroni Clarke, but today just reinforced how important power and precision are and he has the ball skills and went looking for work. 

    "He was dynamic, it was a great example of a young man backing himself and his skill-set."

  • Santos suspend Robinho contract after backlash Santos suspend Robinho contract after backlash

    Santos have suspended their contract with Robinho following a backlash in the wake of his signing. 

    Robinho returned to Santos for a third stint this week but the club came under fire due to the player's past sexual assault conviction.

    The former Milan forward was in 2017 sentenced by an Italian court to nine years in prison for his alleged involvement in the rape of a 22-year-old woman at a nightclub in 2013. He has lodged an appeal against the ruling after firmly denying any wrongdoing, and the legal process is continuing.

    Brazilian orthodontics franchise Orthopride announced it had pulled its financial backing of Santos "out of respect for women", while other companies were said to have demanded action from the club.

    A club statement read: "Santos and Robinho report that, by mutual agreement, they decided to suspend the validity of the contract signed on October 10 so that the player can focus exclusively on his defence in the process that runs in Italy."

    In a video posted on his official Instagram account, Robinho said: "With a lot of sadness in my heart, I am telling you that I made the decision with the president to suspend my contract at this difficult time in my life.

    "My goal has always been to help Santos. If in any way I'm getting in the way, I had better leave and focus on my personal stuff. For the fans [of Santos] and those who like me, I will prove my innocence."

    The announcement came after Brazilian media outlet Globo Esporte published what it said were excerpts of court documents from Robinho's case and transcriptions of some of the recordings that were used as evidence.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.