Heat nation counts on LeBron’s hydration


VIDEO: GameTime: LeBron report

SAN ANTONIO – There is cool air pumping through the AT&T Center, site of The 2014 Finals again this weekend. And LeBron James is confident he’ll be playing in Game 2 Sunday when the series resumes, his Miami Heat club down 1-0 to the San Antonio Spurs.

But that doesn’t mean James has moved on yet from the cramps that derailed him down the stretch in Game 1. He was achy and exhausted when he met with the media Friday, a non-practice day for the Heat but particularly an off day for James.

“I’m pretty sore right now just from the muscles spasming up and they’re starting to release, but I’m pretty sore in my legs,” James said early Friday afternoon. “What I went through the last twelve hours was getting up and using the restroom a lot. I got two-and-a-half bags of IV last night right after the game. So between 2 a.m. and 11 a.m. I got up about six or seven times. So obviously I got no sleep.”

As James spoke in a makeshift interview room at the Spurs’ practice facility on the outskirts of town, there still were about 54 hours to go before tipoff of Game 2 Sunday night. It sounded as if James planned to use every one of them in his rest and re-hydration.

He initially joked playfully that he might have to sit the next one out, but quickly swatted away his own set-up lest someone take it wrong and add to the criticism that already had come his way.

“No, I’ll be all right,” James said. “I should be 100 percent on Sunday. … Training staff said I should take it light today. Give the body another day to recover, tomorrow I should be back on my feet full go, and I got all day Sunday to get ready for Sunday night. Don’t worry, you guys can talk about me as much as you want. I’ll be there on Sunday as well. I’m not hiding.”

The electrical system responsible for the cooling system in the Spurs arena had failed sometime before tipoff, zapping the AC while permitting the lights to burn (the Spurs announced Friday it had been repaired). That led quickly to a warm building that grew more stifling as the game played on.

Several players on both sides said Friday they still felt drained or fatigued nearly 15 hours later. James referred to it as “extreme conditions,” and said he noticed during warm-ups the building’s unusually hot temperature.

“I felt it get a little warm. And I actually sat on the scorer’s table for 10 minutes and stopped warming up, so I could cool down a little bit,” he said.

By the start of the second half, James had changed his uniform, had maxed out his fluids intake and still was feeling the ill effects. He subbed out sooner after halftime and then locked up completely after his driving layup with 4:09 left. His left leg cramped up and wouldn’t let him move. Miami, up 94-92, got outscored 16-3 the rest of the way.

James finished with 25 points on 8-of-12 shooting with four rebounds and six assists, but then, he didn’t didn’t exactly finish. He hobbled back to the locker room to begin treatment before the final horn.

“My body just shut down,” he said. “Basically my body said, ‘Okay, enough jumping for you for the night. You’ve had enough.’ Nothing I could do about it.”

James has gone through this before.

The Heat star has dealt with this before, most famously in Game 4 of The 2012 Finals against Oklahoma City. It has given him a layman’s expertise, far more experience and knowledge of cramping than he’d prefer to have.

“I’ve been very preventative,” James said. “This happened to me a few times. Happened to me a lot in high school. I have been tested for it; all the tests came back positive. So we’re always up on it, and stay ahead of the curve, and [Game 1] was one of those nights.

“The body just decides to shut down. I mean, I hydrated as much as I could to the point where your stomach feels like it just can’t take anymore. Last night it just got to a point where the body just had enough, just dehydrated. Between jumping and running and cutting and sweating and a little bit of everything, exhaustion, you know, the body just hit the shutdown. … You know, it’s frustrating for sure, but nothing I can do about it.”

Someone suggested that James might be endorsing the wrong sports drink or wearing the wrong accessories, given the extreme heat and toll it took on the players’ bodies. He preferred not to get sidetracked from the challenge of getting primed and healthy.

“I’m here to win a championship, you know,” James said. “And obviously I’m conscious about the things that I endorse, but that’s not in the forefront of my mind.”

As for his on-court style and its contribution to heat retention, James said: “I actually don’t wear a lot of [stuff]. I wear a pair of tights, underwear, jersey and shorts, socks and shoes and a headband, arm sleeve.

“Compared to my teammate D‑Wade, he looks like a football player compared to me.”

 

15 Comments

  1. aura says:

    best team should win it on the best condition not in worst where it affects the players like what happen on game 1.. if i where the spurs i would like to beat the heat in the best condition so no excuses if we win or loss.

  2. Patrick says:

    Not that I want to clue in LBJ but tights retain body heat, so why’s he wearing that??

  3. kobeballhog says:

    Spurs bandwagoners are commenting here. The heat never complained that the heat costs them the win. Thwy just stated the truth that the game was played on extreme conditions. It was like playing under the heat of extreme sun with the competition of a great nba game. The spurs players stated those as well. You bandwgoners just giving excuses to hate. Spurs went on a run after lebron was taken out for good. So yeah it does contributed to the loss, losing your best player is hard. Lets see if tony parker or tim duncan geta an injury and out for thr rest of the finals. Heat is a factor that affected both sides and the miami heat never blamed it for their loss. They lose game 1 because if lebrons cramping up. You bandwagoners just git nothing to say. Game 1 was fought by 2 great teams. Spurs made mire play down the road. At least its not spurs pacers or heat okc ir else ita gonna be a sweep by spurs and heat against those two overrated teams.

    • Lovinthenba says:

      Just in case u wasn’t watching, tony Parker was out during that time too. He came in with two in a halve minutes left in the game. You just don’t realize it cuz they play the same way, no matter who’s in.

  4. shoot1st says:

    Both teams got hurt by the heat, but the big worry is how it might affect the players in Game 2.

  5. Arnold Pineda says:

    I thought he jogs in Miami?

    • 0_o? says:

      He Jogs in miami yes, but not Sprint, Jump, Leap and Dribble/Shoot for 40++ minutes you idiot…

  6. Fredryk says:

    The Heat beaten by heat. You kidding me? Seriously, all this cramps talk is just rubbish.
    San Antonio wanted the W more. Period.

  7. okcDoke2014 says:

    Have a Gatorade or two…………..

  8. vonhulland says:

    We were in a very crowded bar watching the game. When James left the court you could hear all remarks ” Watch the Heat blame the loss because there was a problem with the air conditioning.” Why not admit you lost because the Spurs played a better game! Spurs didn’t complain and kept on playing. You think your the best team but there are other teams that are just as good as you think you are. Takes more than one player even though James could not play your team should have went ahead and played since they think they are so great.

  9. olsonbeat says:

    Look I really don´t care this Finals , look I don´t even have to pay my bills so…I will watch worldcup soccer as a southamerican guy as am I. Let the franchaises earn their money meanwhile I don´t even have to pay my cell phone. Who cares the Finals? Who cares the sports? Most important thing is how we built our world as equal we are not like uneaqual economic countries here in Amercia being doing,

  10. vonhulland says:

    We were in a large bar watching the game and all you could hear when James went off the court “Watch, Heat will blame how hot it was and that was why they lost” Why not just admit you got beaten in this game. Spurs never complained but you did because you did not win. Heat isn’t the only good team in the NBA!

    • Max says:

      Watching game one in a large Bar? Must have been tipsy, if you think game one was won by the best team. Now, I can call it like it is, because during the NBA season I was not a Heat fan, but after my favorite team was eliminated, then I showed my desire to see the best player in the NBA. However 6 more games to go, right?

    • Garen says:

      Damacia!!!

      • MR. Nobody says:

        I don’t understand why people are bringing up the ” why are people blaming things like the AC or stuff like that ” wen clearly there is NO ONE bringing up any excuses, it’s too funny because it is the same (HATERS) that are bringing up the
        -obviousthingstoblameabout- excuses and saying that ” there are people complaining about things wen at the end of the day like.. no one is saying anything…. I mean like wow…. those same haters, same people are bringing all this stuff up. It’s unbelievable.