It was like old times again, when Dwyane Wade interviewed his former teammate LeBron James fresh off the Cleveland Cavaliers edging the Golden State Warriors 96-91 in Game 3 of the NBA Finals on Tuesday night.
Working the Finals as an analyst for ESPN, Wade got his friend to open up and offer some insight. Amongst the highlights was Wade telling James that he has never seen him like this and asking him what his mindset is like.
"I'm just trying to do whatever it takes at this point and being undermanned, being counted out...everything is against us right now," said James, who posted 40 points, 12 rebounds, eights assists, four steals and two blocks in Game 3. "We don't have anything to lose."
Wade then evoked the names Michael Jordan and Karl Malone and how Malone won the league's MVP in the 1996-97 season, yet MJ's Chicago Bulls defeated his Utah Jazz in the NBA Finals. Wade wanted to know if being regarded the best player in the world, as Jordan was, and playing against the league MVP, Stephen Curry, makes James carry an extra chip on his shoulder.
"I don't think I needed [that extra chip on my shoulder]...I had so much motivation coming into the season, but I knew it was going to be a long process," James said. "I didn't think we were going to get to this point right now, but I was ready to lead if we got to this point. Every day I step onto the basketball floor, D. Wade you know me, I want to be the MVP for my teammates, whoever is looking to me as a leader. I can't say I wasn't upset finishing third [in MVP voting behind Curry and James Harden] because I know what I bring to the table."
As a kicker, the two friends shared a good laugh after Wade informed him that he took 139 shots during the 2006 Finals, which lasted six games, and James has already taken 117 shots through three games.
"Well, you on par, my brother, to have the best Finals," Wade told him.
Of course, Wade and James played together for four years (2010-14) with the Miami Heat, making four straight Finals and winning back-to-back titles from 2012-13.
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(Photo: Sports Center via ESPN)