Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports
By Steve DelVecchio | Last updated 8/2/16
LeBron James immediately began training harder and earlier than usual after Kevin Durant joined the Warriors. David Liam Kyle/NBAE/Getty ImagesBy returning to Cleveland and winning a championship, LeBron James has already cemented his legacy as one of the most unique we have seen in sports history. But now that Kevin Durant has signed with the Golden State Warriors, King James has found himself more motivated than ever.
In an excellent feature for Sports Illustrated, Lee Jenkins wrote that LeBron started getting up a bit earlier to work out after Durant made his decision. Though, James did claim the Warriors aren’t the only reason for the adjustment to his routine.
Shortly after Durant signed and the NBA’s tectonic plates shifted, James started setting his alarm for 5 a.m., working out in a West Hollywood gym at 6. He insists the Warriors are not the impetus, but he acknowledges that he rarely trains this hard this soon.
LeBron himself makes it hard to believe that the Warriors signing Durant hasn’t lit a fire under him. The Eastern Conference looks weak once again, so we can tentatively pencil the Cavaliers into the NBA Finals. And, of course, Golden State is the favorite in the West. That means there’s a good chance Durant, Stephen Curry and the gang will be the only thing standing between James and a fourth NBA title.
Couple that with the fact that LeBron openly admitted he is chasing Michael Jordan and it’s easy to piece everything together.
“My motivation is this ghost I’m chasing,” James said. “The ghost played in Chicago.”
“My career is totally different than Michael Jordan’s,” he continued. “What I’ve gone through is totally different than what he went through. What he did was unbelievable, and I watched it unfold. I looked up to him so much. I think it’s cool to put myself in position to be one of those great players, but if I can ever put myself in position to be the greatest player, that would be something extraordinary.”
Can LeBron, who is 31, win three more rings before he retires? It’s certainly possible. Between chasing Jordan and his infamous “secret motivation,” it is clear James does not consider himself to be anywhere close to finished.