The Golden State Warriors responded to their Game 7 loss to James and the Cavs in 2016 by adding Kevin Durant to their team and although they didn't equal their record-setting 73-win regular season this year, they blew through the Western Conference and are a ideal 12-0 entering this year's Finals.
Is this the biggest challenge of his career? And if you add Pop [head coach Gregg Popovich] in there, that's five hall of famers.
"I think what it has to do with, it has to do with the fact he's got a nice, long, fat contract with the Cavs and he realizes that he can finally afford to pay me the money that he owes me for the shooting game back in 2000 or whenever it was", Brown said with a grin.
"I think throughout the course of the playoffs, I think each team wasn't going to be outdone, until we lost that game to Boston", Lue said, referring to the Cavs' loss in Game 3 of the conference finals. "This is a high-powered team".
James has been here before when it comes to facing loaded teams - the San Antonio Spurs in the 2007, 2013 and 2014 Finals immediately came to mind.
"I can't lie. I went when I was 23 years old and it felt like the Western Conference Finals was nearly like the championship", he said.
They are defending champions and decided underdogs.
That Warriors team James conquered in 2016 won 73 games during the regular season and was being mentioned as one of the best to ever take the floor.
Golden State has been putting on a basketball clinic over the past two months, winning 27 of 28 games since March 11 and becoming the first squad to start the postseason 12-0.
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"I'm glad he finally admitted that he owes me money because for many years he wouldn't admit that he owed me money".
The Warriors are using Durant in every imaginable way on offense, and James isn't surprised to see his good friend and Olympic teammate more mobile than he was with the Thunder.
Thomas said he never doubted that coach Brad Stevens and general manager Danny Ainge were more concerned about his future than getting him back into the game. So, it's the right thing to do. Obviously adding an MVP to a team that already has a two-time MVP makes them even more impressive.
Adding Durant did make them more hard to beat, but it also added to the Warriors' burden - after a 67-win season and a historic 12-0 sweep into the Finals, the series that their season will be judged on is the one still to be played. It's the matchup most expected, the matchup most predicted, and probably the matchup the Cavaliers and Warriors wanted as well. The only time a James team was the favorite in the Finals and lost was 2011, his first year with the Miami Heat, to the Dallas Mavericks.
"I only play blackjack in Vegas anyway, so it doesn't matter", James said of the Las Vegas sportsbooks doubting the Cavs' chances.
Cleveland features the best player in the game arguably the greatest of all time.
Maybe James has nothing to fear.
Despite having said all of that, I think that Stephen Curry has more to lose in this series.