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News » Medal is a heavier burden for James

Medal is a heavier burden for James

Medal is a heavier burden for James

For years, LeBron James has said he doesn't believe in pressure as a disarming answer to any question that includes the word itself.

Of course this isn't true. In fact, he's somewhat of an expert.

With that understanding, when James was asked to compare the Cavs' situation with the Orlando Magic to the stress of trying to win a gold medal in last summer's Olympics, he said the pressure levels aren't close. The Cavaliers entered Thursday night's game at The Q trailing, 3-1, in the Eastern Conference finals.

"I definitely feel the pressure was bigger with the Olympics than it is here," said James, who has been in contact with Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski several times during the playoffs.

"A lot of people may say different, but when you play for the Olympics team you're playing not only for Cleveland, you're playing for Orlando, you're playing for Los Angeles, Denver, you're playing for every city, every county and every place in the United States of America. So that was way more pressure than what is going on here."

That is more nationalistic than regionalistic, to be sure, but it matches James' feelings recently despite all the troubles his team has been having. All throughout the series, even when the Cavs have been at their lowest moments after difficult losses, he hasn't seemed to show the sort of frustration his teammates have.

He's been down after the losses but never seemed like it was wearing on him and always stayed upbeat.

"I've always had faith in myself and my teammates," James said.

Calling on pop: Cavs coach Mike Brown said he's been talking to close friend and mentor Gregg Popovich over the past several days in working on game plans. The San Antonio Spurs coach and Brown talk often during the season, but this is the first time the Spurs haven't been alive in the playoffs and the Cavs have, enabling Brown to seek more advice.

"Pop's always been a great sounding board for me," Brown said.

As for people calling Brown, that's quite different. Brown said over the past few days he's had plenty of people come up to him or call him with ideas of how to help with the Cavs' issues with the Magic - especially on defense and in guarding the 3-point shot.

"I've had a lot of suggestions on how to stop the 3 from my son to my best friend to you name it," Brown said.

West dinged: Cavaliers guard Delonte West left the game with 3:33 remaining in the fourth quarter due to a hip pointer. His status will be updated today.

Ratings continue to soar: Tuesday's Game 4 set a record for the most-watched NBA game in cable television history with 10.08 million viewers, though when the numbers come in for the Nuggets-Lakers Game 5 on Wednesday it could be pushed to second. TNT and ESPN have been scoring huge viewership increases all season.

So far, the Eastern Conference finals have seen a 41 percent increase in total viewers from last season's Boston Celtics-Detroit Pistons series. The local rating for Game 4 was an almost-unheard-of 30.3, which is higher than some Browns games were last season. The Cavs currently have the highest local ratings in the NBA.

To reach this Plain Dealer reporter: bwindhorst@plaind.com, 216-999-5166

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: May 30, 2009


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