LeBron on ‘personal goal to be the greatest’
by Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY Sports
MIAMI — At 8 a.m. the day before the 2013-14 NBA season began, Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra sat in his office working. He heard loud music coming from the weight room at American Airlines Arena.
“It was as loud as a concert,” Spoelstra said.
Curious, the coach walked down to see who was there that early. When he looked inside, he saw one man — reigning NBA and NBA Finals MVP LeBron James — working out.
A short time later, before practice started at 10 a.m., Spoelstra heard the ball bouncing on the practice court. Yep, it was James again, and he was joined by teammate Ray Allen working on shooting.
When Spoelstra officially ended practice around noon, there was James, with Allen, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Michael Beasley, still working out. Until 12:45.
“It’s not extra,” James said. “It’s what it’s supposed to be.”
This is a snapshot of James’ pursuit for a third consecutive NBA championship.
A snapshot of James’ quest for greatness.
The pursuit begins tonight in Miami, the epicenter of the NBA. The Heat will receive their 2012-13 championship rings just before playing the Bulls. The game also features the return of 2010-11 MVP Derrick Rose, who missed last season recovering from a torn ACL and is the only guy not named LeBron James to win MVP in the past five seasons.
James is a four-time winner of the Maurice Podoloff Trophy as NBA MVP. He has two championship rings along with two Finals MVPs. If James wins another regular-season MVP, he will join Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (six), Bill Russell (five) and Michael Jordan (five) as the only players in NBA history with five.
James can also accomplish a feat never done before in the league: win three consecutive MVPs, three consecutive championships and three consecutive Finals MVPs. Jordan didn’t do it. Shaquille O’Neal didn’t. Bill Russell might have in 1961-1963, when Russell won three MVPs and the Celtics three titles in a row, but there was no Finals MVP then.
James can also become the only player to win the MVP five times in six seasons.
What drives a guy who has so much to … [For more on LeBron James on his 'personal goal to be the greatest', click here.]