MIAMI: LeBron James apparently didn't say all he wanted to the first time. As James prepares for Wednesday's rematch against his old team, James said he expects to talk just as much as he did the first time.
Much was made about how much time James spent jawing with former teammates two weeks ago in the Cavs' 118-90 loss to the Heat in Cleveland. With James preparing to welcome his former teammates to his new castle, he made clear on Tuesday that there wasn't any joking going on between he and the Cavs players.
"I joke sometimes during the game, but there wasn't no joking. The allegations of me and Daniel (Gibson) joking, it wasn't joking," James said. "If it was, then I was doing a good job getting them out of their game because I was in full focus. But there wasn't any joking and I'll probably be talking to them tomorrow -- again."
Asked if he would consider it trash talking, James responded: "I guess you could call it that."
That seems to be in stark contrast to his response Monday night, when he was asked after the Heat's win over New Orleans if he feels badly to see the Cavaliers struggling this season.
"Of course. I know what type of competitors the guys that I played with (are). They don't like to lose. When we were together, we never liked to lose, so it's definitely a tough situation going on in Cleveland. I wish those guys the best. It just so happened that they haven't won since we played them and now they're coming here when we're still rolling. As much as I would love for them to get back on track, I don't want them to get back on track against us in their next game."
In a surprising twist, former Cav Zydrunas Ilgauskas is the one who said he has no sympathy for his old team.
"I do not feel bad for anybody. Why should I? It's a business," Ilgauskas said. "They want to beat us just as badly as we want to beat them. Everybody is competitive."
The buildup and anticipation to this game is obviously much less than the buildup to James' return to Cleveland on Dec. 2. That game was almost a relief to both James and his new teammates to just get it out of the way. But James still has deep emotions when talking about his old team. Asked if facing the Cavs is like facing any other team in the league, James said "not yet."
"It's not just another opponent. It's only the second time I've played them since I left," he said. "It adds a little bit more fuel to it, of course, because you're going against some of your old friends, teammates and coaches from when I was there. It doesn't feel like just another opponent."