"It took me to go all the way to the top and then hit rock bottom basically to realize what I needed to do as a professional athlete and as a person. I’m just happy that I was able to be put back in this position. I trusted my instincts, I trusted my habits that I built over the years and I just got back to being myself. And I didn’t care too much about what anyone said about me. I just kind of made my own path, but did it the right way.”
--LeBron James, discussing his mindset during the season and the 2012 NBA Finals, which led to an MVP season and a championship for the Miami Heat.
Trailing 3-2 in their series with the Boston Celtics, the Heat headed to Boston for Game 6 and facing another possible disappointing exit in the 2012 the 2012 NBA Eastern Conference Finals. Last season, the Heat lost to the Dallas Mavericks in the finals.
James' leadership and shot selection, the team's offensive strategy and head coach Erik Spoelstra's competence were being criticized, something that had been a constant occurrence over the past two seasons. That night, James scored 45 points and grabbed 15 rebounds in one of the best big-game performances in the history of the NBA playoffs.
After the game in Boston, he said, "I don't really hear the outside noise of what's said about me or my team."
The Heat went on to win Game Seven and then followed that up with a win in the NBA Finals, beating the Oklahoma City Thunder, 4-1.
Excerpts from www.nytimes.com (6/20/2012) and www.Sfgate.com (6/23/2012).
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