LeBron James said he hasn't forgotten the embarrassment he suffered at the hands of the San Antonio Spurs in the 2007 NBA Finals. Now playing with the Miami Heat, the four-time MVP is out to avenge his loss against the same band of guys that broke his heart six years ago.
"I have something in me that they took in '07; beat us on our home floor, celebrated on our home floor," James told ESPN during Wednesday's press conference. "I won't forget that. You shouldn't as a competitor. You should never forget that."
The Spurs, who's playing for their fifth NBA title in franchise history, pulled off one of the most lopsided victories in finals history when Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker pummeled James and his Cavaliers in four games in 2007.
"It's the same group of guys, for the most part. The same Big Three, and Coach [Gregg] Pop[ovich]. And I look forward to the challenge once again," added James, who averaged 26.2 points, 7.3 rebounds and 6.4 assists in the postseason.
In four games, the Spurs stymied the Cavaliers offense by simply shutting down one man: James. Spurs head coach Popovic deployed a horde of pesky defenders such as Robert Horry, Michael Finley and Bruce Bowen to keep James out of his comfort zone.
James shot 36 per cent from the field throughout the series as the Spurs completely closed all driving lane and forced him to be a jump-shooting player.
Since then, James' jumpshooting has improved dramatically over the year and he become an efficient scorer.
Tim Duncan, who played a crucial role in the Spurs' beatdown on the Cavs, understands James' eagerness to avenge that painful loss.
"I have to imagine he does [have revenge on his mind]," Spurs star Tim Duncan said. "He's a competitor, I can't imagine he's forgotten that."
Game 1 of the NBA Finals is scheduled on Friday (12 P.M Sydney Time) at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.