Despite bringing the City of Cleveland its first major sports championship in over 50 years, despite coming back from a 3-1 deficit in the NBA Finals against a historically great team, despite executing a play so great that it will forever live in NBA legend known simply as “The Block,” LeBron James found himself overshadowed just a few weeks after winning the 2016 NBA championship. That’s because Kevin Durant, arguably a top-five player in the league, decided to leave the team he’d played for his entire career and join the Golden State Warriors—making the team the Cavs had just dispatched in the Finals, unthinkably, even better.
The news cycle switched gears almost instantly. The Cavs’ historic comeback and LeBron’s third ring were swept under the rug as the talk of the league switched to how incredible the 2016-2017 iteration of the Golden State Warriors would be. News of this potential juggernaut squad even interrupted LeBron’s Los Angeles vacation, so he did what LeBron does. He got into the gym. From Sports Illustrated‘s recent cover story on LeBron:
Shortly after Durant signed and the NBA’s tectonic plates shifted, James started setting his alarm for 5 a.m., working out in a West Hollywood gym at 6. He insists the Warriors are not the impetus, but he acknowledges that he rarely trains this hard this soon.
LeBron is great at pretending he doesn’t see or hear what’s going on around him, when in reality he sees and hears all. So, yeah, LeBron definitely got in the gym early because of Kevin Durant, no matter how much he tries to play coy. The Warriors may have one of the best rosters ever assembled, but no one will outwork LeBron James.
Looks like it’s going to be Cavs vs. Warriors Round 3 next June. Get pumped.