LeBron says ‘bubble’ season the toughest challenge of his career

Orlando: LeBron James says leading the Los Angeles Lakers into the NBA Finals after nearly three months inside the league’s “bubble” in Orlando ranks as the biggest challenge of his career.
The 35-year-old superstar is readying for a 10th NBA Finals appearance on Wednesday when the Lakers face the Miami Heat in the championship round of an unprecedented season that began 11 months ago.
The coronavirus pandemic forced the NBA to shut down in mid-March, and anger over racism and police brutality almost prompted James and the Lakers to abandon the season in August.
James, who is hoping to win a fourth championship ring with a third different team after previous victories with Miami and Cleveland, said on Tuesday that this year’s disjointed season ranked as the toughest of the lot.
“It’s probably been the most challenging thing I’ve ever done as far as a professional, as far as committing to something and actually making it through’’, James told reporters.
“But I knew when I was coming what we were coming here for. I would be lying if I sat up here and knew that everything inside the bubble, the toll that it would take on your mind and your body and everything else, because it’s been extremely tough.
“But I’m here for one reason and one reason only, and that’s to compete for a championship. That was my mindset once I entered the bubble, once I entered the quarantine process the first two days. The main thing was for us to finish the season and compete for a championship.”
James who in July jokingly compared entering the bubble in Orlando to starting a prison sentence, said he had lost track of time in Florida. — AFP
‘Feels like five years’
“I don’t even know how many days it is. However many days it is, it feels like five years,” he said. “So it really doesn’t matter. I’ve been as locked in as I’ve ever been in my career.”
James said until the Lakers departed Los Angeles for Orlando in July, he hadn’t even been certain that the season would be completed.
“I didn’t know that this was a possibility until we actually got on the plane in LA to fly here to Orlando’’, he said.
“Until we landed here, actually got off the plane, got on the bus and pulled up here to the hotel, that’s when it became a reality to me.