The King Speaks: Lebron James Talks State of Game at All-Star Weekend

LeBron James spoke at his press conference on Friday:

Q. Everything would be on the table, make changes to the game, moving everything, what would you suggest?
LeBRON JAMES: What do you mean?

Q. To improve the game.
LeBRON JAMES: To improve the game? I think the game is at an all-time high right now in our league. I don’t see us improving the game or anything right now. I think the league is great. Both conferences are doing extremely well. We just want to continue to grow.

Q. LeBron, can you talk about the difference in your role now compared to the beginning of the season and the factors?
LeBRON JAMES: Well, I think the problem sometimes in sports is everyone — they want instant success. And I understand, being a part of the process before, that it takes time. It takes time for a team to gel. Especially a new team to gel and come together and build camaraderie. That’s exactly what we’re going through. We were going through early season struggles because we didn’t know each other both on the floor and off the floor. But over the last month or so it’s clicked. And I think it has a lot to do with us gaining each other’s trust and learning each other, and we’ve played some really good basketball, winning our last 14 out of 16 before the break.

Q. Can you tell us about your relationship with your coach.
LeBRON JAMES: Every day we get closer and closer. I think he’s great. He’s handled his first stint in the NBA extremely well so far. And I’m happy to be playing for him.

Q. Do you think he’s the guy to bring multiple rings to the Cavaliers franchise?
LeBRON JAMES: That’s what we hope. That’s what we all hope for.

Q. What about Shumpert?
LeBRON JAMES: I think the three pieces we have to start with, J.R., he’s given us a knockdown shooter and a defensive guy. He’s very underrated defensively and very underrated with his passing. Shump is a true professional and only cares about winning. And that defensive grit he has, we don’t have many guys like that in our league. And that’s just added to our success.

Q. What’s the difference of being a star player having a great year and taking the next step to be an MVP or worthy of being an MVP?
LeBRON JAMES: Consistency. You have to do it over and over and over. Every year. It’s not just doing it one season or one month. You have to do it year after year after year. And you know when teams gun for you and you’re still able to produce every single night, I think that’s what defines it.

Q. Can you talk about the responsibility, the stake in whether this team wins or loses
LeBRON JAMES: Absolutely. Absolutely. Winning is everything.

Q. Can you talk about Klay Thompson and the improvement of the Warriors and steps they’ve taken this season.
LeBRON JAMES: It’s obvious; they’re winning because of those two guys. Their motor, their ability to make shots, their ability to have fun, and they — you can tell they play with so much chemistry and camaraderie because they love each other. From outside looking in obviously I don’t know, but it looks that way. And everyone just follows their lead.

Q. I’m from Cleveland. I’m a huge Cavs fan. Can I give you a hug for coming back to Cleveland?
LeBRON JAMES: Yeah, off camera.

Q. Please, just one tiny hug.
LeBRON JAMES: You get me off camera.

Q. It’s Valentine’s Day tomorrow, what are you hoping to Savannah gets you?
LeBRON JAMES: Nothing but love. That’s all I need.

Q. What are you going to get her?
LeBRON JAMES: I can’t tell you. Because if I tell you, she’ll know what I’m getting her.

Q. Not only to provide a championship to the city of Cleveland, but to the whole state of Ohio, how difficult is it?
LeBRON JAMES: Unbelievable pressure, man. You go out, you do what you were taught, you always go back on your fundamentals, and you play hard. Everything else will take care of itself.

Q. Still you’re like a messiah. All the people just looking at you. Learning from you. They want to see a championship. Is it difficult for you to know that you have to fulfill everyone’s expectations?
LeBRON JAMES: I carry a lot of responsibility. I understand that. I’m only one man, and I’m going to do the best job I can. I’m going to leave it out on the floor both on and off the court. And whatever happens after that I can be satisfied.

Q. Is the All-Star Game still fun for you?
LeBRON JAMES: Absolutely.

Q. What’s your communication like with Coach Blatt after games, preparing for next games?
LeBRON JAMES: Very well. We communicate every day.

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Thomas Derlan worked directly in the online casino industry for a number of years as an affiliate manager at a large online casino and writes about the global gambling industry for Rouletters.com