LeBron James Interview
The sophomores beat the rookies by a score of 142-118 in the 2004 NBA All-Star weekend Rookie Challenge game. LeBron James spoke to the media after the game.
Q: What was it like for you to play out there with Carmelo, because you guys had a couple of spectacular plays combined between the two of you guys?
James: You know, it was great, to be out there with a good friend.
We work out, we have worked out in the summertime before and I know a lot of his stuff and he knows a lot of mine. So I know where he is going to be and he knows where I'm going to be and that's why we was able to hook up so good.
Q: You didn't want to compete in the dunk contest but it looks like you ended up competing in a dunk contest anyway.
James: Yeah, me and Amare, we are both not in it, so we had to have our own little dunk contest on Friday night. Everybody, I think everybody, Dwayne, Carmelo, Nene, Boozer, we had our little Sprite Slam-Dunk Contest tonight.
Q: Any extra incentive for you personally, given that you are not going to be able to participate in Sunday's game?
James: I think I'm satisfied. It was a great experience that I had tonight with the rookies and the sophomores. I'm just happy to be part of the All-Star Weekend festivities.
Q: Amare joked that this is a statement for him that he's still Rookie of the Year. What are your thoughts on him as a player?
James: He's a great player. He's the most athletic big man I've seen in a long time. He's been working on his game and all he's going to do is keep getting better. The sky is the limit for him. He is the Rookie of the Year and he made it seem like that tonight, too.
Q: Talk about your dunk off the glass.
James: Everybody wanted to match my dunk tonight. Booze matched my dunk off the glass. I took mine a lot further than Booze's, too. I went between the legs and Tayshaun came and I had to do something else and nobody else could finish what I did.
Q: Are you a for-sure lock not to compete tomorrow?
James: (Tapping fingers). This is going to be my tenth time saying this. No. N-o. No dunk contest for me.
Q: Is this something that you forgot to show tonight, some something you want to show?
James: No. I think, you know, when I'm in the flow, when I'm going to the basket, I just go up and I just be creative. I'm a person that creates when I'm in the situation. That's why I think it's a difference between a dunk contest and just being in the game. And that's what I am, I'm an in-the-game dunker.
Q: Can you talk about your chemistry with Carmelo and why you played so at ease together?
James: Just like I said, I know his game, he knows my game. You know, we feel comfortable playing together. It was just great just playing with him. You only get that once in a lifetime.
I guess we'll be playing next year in the Rookie-Sophomore game. Hopefully we'll be playing against each other in the Sunday game.
Q: It seemed like you wanted to make a statement that using the glass isn't out of style?
James: No, not at all. It's not out of style at all.
All-Star Weekend is all about the fans. We've got to give the fans what they come to see. Once the game got out of hand, I went up to all the players and just said, you know, let's give the crowd what they came to see, and we did that for last three and a half minutes. That's just what it's all about.
Q: You talked about knowing Carmelo's game, how close of friends are you? I've seen you today, the whole day you've been talking together, you've been hanging out all day, how good of friends are you?
James: Very good. He's like a brother to me. We don't get to see each other that much because he's on the West Coast and I'm on the East Coast. When we do, it's like a brother you've been away from for a long time.
We're real close. We see a lot of the same traits, so that's why we interact so good.
Q: You tossed your shoes into the crowd, was that a plan?
James: No, I got somebody's shoes. It was just a moment-thing. I hope I didn't hit nobody. I think somebody caught them. It's for the fans, just like I said. If I have a mic taped in my jersey, I'd have threw my jersey, too.