A motivated LeBron James is currently on a record pace in the NBA Finals. The four-time MVP is averaging a monster 41.0 PPG, 12.0 RPG, and 8.3 APG in the Finals and has his injury-riddled Cleveland Cavaliers leading Golden State 2-1.
James is also averaging a ludicrous 47.4 minutes per game and has played a whopping 142 out of a possible 154 minutes through three games. The nitpickers will point out that James is only shooting 40-percent from the field, which is down 17 points from last year’s Finals. But there’s no arguing with results. And staking his team to a 2-1 series lead while surrounded by the likes of Iman Shumpert and Matthew Dellavedova is a gosh darn result.
How and why has James upped his game to historic levels? Analysts will tell you it’s because Golden State is playing the “King” man to man, allowing him to get to the basket at will.
However, earlier this week, James alluded to his motivation for greatness. Yes, he’s motivated to get his teammates a ring, as well as bring Northeast Ohio a championship and end its well-publicized drought, but there’s something else at play.
“My motivation is to make sure my guys are ready and prepared every night we step on the floor,” James told ESPN.com. “And I have some other motivation that I won’t talk about right now.”
So what is this other motivation? With the caveat that we don’t know James personally and have no knowledge of the inner workings of his mind, here are our odds on what’s stoking the King’s fire this post-season:
- proving to management they can deal Kevin Love: 2/1
- honoring his fallen headband: 5/1
- overshadowing Matthew Dellavedova’s rising star: 8/1
- eulogizing Caitlin Jenner the only way he knows how: 15/1
- demonstrating his credentials for the 2016 Republican Presidential Nomination: 25/1
- boosting the hype for his next TV special, The Decision 2: The Decisioning: 35/1
- hoping to get invited to next year’s Nickelodeon’s Kids’ Choice Awards: 50/1
- making sure he has time to watch season 3 of Orange is the New Black: 100/1
- winning his $20 side-bet with Steph Curry: 1000/1
- pure, unbridled love of the game: 10000/1
Have your own highly-informed thoughts on the matter? Let us know in the comments!
(Photo credit: Keith Allison from Baltimore, USA (LeBron James) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons. Photo has been cropped from its original.)