SAN ANTONIO – Two days later, the alarm bells finally stopped clanging.
There was no latest update on the bags of IV fluid taken in by LeBron James, no count on the bags of liquids he’s ingested and, thankfully, no longer a step-by-step total of the trips he’s made to the bathroom.
James appeared less tired, more confident, more chipper and even channeled the ghost of Allen Iverson when teammate Dwyane Wade chided him for spending too much time chatting with media.
The four-time MVP has been resting and working with the Miami medical staff since he was forced to sit out the last 3:59 of Game 1 on Thursday with severe cramps.
“I’m going to get some work done today,” James said before the Heat’s practice on Saturday afternoon. “But there is no way to test my body for what I went through. The conditions are nowhere near extreme as they was, unless I decide to run from here to the hotel, that’s the only way I would be able to test my body out.
“But I’m doing well, doing a lot better. The soreness is starting to get out. I’m feeling better than I did yesterday and with another day, I should feel much better (Sunday).”
James said he continues to get treatment which involves icing, stretching and hydrating.
“I’m going to get some cardio in today, get the heart rate going,” he said. ” A lot of fluids, kind of get my body above the curve. Bike and running.”
“Whatever he’s willing to do,” said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra. “It’s not going to be a Bahamas-like training camp practice today.”
James said he will not go into Game 2 with any mental burdens from the incident, won’t wonder if and when his body might give out again.
“Well, for me and the situation that happened in Game 1 is like you don’t know it’s going to happen,” he said. “Obviously I felt the extreme measures, but I wasn’t the only one out there on the floor. So you just play and you worry about the results later. You can’t think about what may happen in the third or fourth quarter, live in the moment. And for me, whatever I can give my teammates if it happens again, hopefully I can make an impact while I’m on the floor and that’s all that matters to me.
“I can live with the results. If I’m giving my all and playing as hard as I can, I’m putting my body and my mind on the line for us to win, you know, for that guy back there in the back, it’s all that matters.”
James also reiterated his statement from Friday when he said he’s the “easiest target in sports.”
“I don’t think it, I know it,” James said.
“I just am. I don’t know. Because I’ve been in front of the camera and the camera has been in front of me since I was 15 years old. You guys have seen everything from me, from being an adolescent kid just playing the game of basketball because he loves it as a hobby, to now playing as a professional, to succeeding, going to the top, to falling off the mountain, to going up to the top again. You guys have seen everything that my life has had to offer since I was a 15-year-old kid. I don’t know if (ESPN reporter) Brian Windhorst is in here somewhere, is he? He could tell you my life story almost better than my mother could.
“So I think that has a lot to do with it. Half of my life I’ve been in front of this, so it makes me an easy target.”
At that point, Wade entered from the back of the room and took a microphone.
“Ready to go to practice so we can get better, bro?” he asked. “You been talking all day, let’s go!
“Practice?” James replied laughing. “Not the game! You talking about practice? All right. I gotta get to practice.”