Erik Spoelstra remarks on keys to LeBron James’ ‘greatness’ ahead of NBA Finals clash

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On Tuesday, Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra paid tribute to former Heat star LeBron James in the buildup to the 2020 NBA Finals.

The Heat and James’ current team, the Los Angeles Lakers, will play Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Wednesday night, with James joining a rare category of players who have led three different teams to the Finals.

The 35-year-old James is in his 17th season, having spent four seasons under Spoelstra while playing for the Heat from 2010 to 2014. In each of those seasons, James helped lead the Heat to the Finals and was named Finals MVP when the Heat won titles in 2012 and 2013.

James will be competing in his 10th finals. Despite the lengthy amount of time he’s spent on the court, he’s still performing at an elite level, finishing second in this year’s MVP voting.

Entering the 2019-20 campaign, there had been some questions as to whether James was beginning to slow down after injuries limited him to a career-low 55 games last season.

James erased any such concerns with per-game averages of 25.3 points, 10.2 assists, 7.8 rebounds and 1.2 steals during the regular season.

In the postseason, James has continued to excel by contributing 26.7 points, 10.3 rebounds, 8.9 assists and 1.3 steals per game.

Defending both James and Anthony Davis will be the most difficult task that Spoelstra and the Heat will have to undertake in the upcoming series.

However, having lost just three of their 15 games in the postseason thus far, the Heat have the momentum and drive necessary to capture the franchise’s fourth NBA title.

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Brad Sullivan is a freelance writer for, having been an avid fan of NBA basketball for more than four decades. During that time, he's watched the Heat evolve from gestation period to expansion team all the way to three-time NBA champions. He'll follow their quest toward again reaching those lofty heights, and do so by offering some perspective along the way.