Tristan Thompson: LeBron James sent fiery text to Cavs during 2016 NBA Finals
LeBron James apparently relied upon a previously used motivational tactic when he sent an inspirational text to his Los Angeles Lakers teammates ahead of the team’s Game 4 win over the Miami Heat earlier this week.
Tristan Thompson, who was James’ teammate on the Cleveland Cavaliers for four seasons, relayed this week that LeBron fired off a very aggressive text when the team found itself down 3-1 to the Golden State Warriors in the 2016 NBA Finals. The longtime Cavs star shared the story during an appearance this week on “The Herd.”
“LeBron sent a text message and said ‘Listen, I know we’re down 3-1 … but if you don’t believe that we can win this series, then don’t get on the f—-n’ plane.’”
James of course went on to lead the Cavaliers to an improbably stunning comeback by winning the next three games — including road victories in Games 5 and 7 — in the Finals to secure Cleveland’s first NBA title.
Given James’ relentless competitive nature, it’s hardly surprising he would put teammates on notice when things seem so dire and hopeless. Such a defiant message from James likely inspired the Cavaliers to refuse to roll over and surrender while facing such seemingly insurmountable odds.
James’ text this week differed, however, as the Lakers were said to be smarting following an uninspired Game 3 loss to the Miami Heat on Sunday. In the text, James suggested to the Lakers that Tuesday’s Game 4 was a “must-win” matchup necessary to regain control of the Finals.
Ironically, it’s James’ Lakers team this time that needs to fend off any possible complacency inspired by their commanding 3-1 Finals lead over the Heat heading into Friday’s Game 5.
What’s more, it’s the Heat who would be advised to heed the advice James’ dispensed to his Cavaliers teammates four years ago. Perhaps Jimmy Butler will say or do as much as the Heat hope to stave off elimination on Friday night.