Heat’s LeBron James plans to wear headband for Finals Game 7 against Spurs
MIAMI — With a night to weigh the pros and cons, LeBron James announced Wednesday that he plans to dress his forehead like usual for Game 7 of the Finals against the Spurs.
The decision comes one day after the 2013 MVP enjoyed a strong fourth-quarter push that happened to coincide with his trademark headband getting knocked off during Miami’s 103-100 overtime victory over San Antonio in Game 6.
“I’ll probably start off with it, man,” James said, referring to his headband. “A little superstitious. If it gets knocked off, then me and him [the headband] will have a discussion if he will return.”
James’ ever-present headband — suddenly gone — was a major discussion point on Tuesday night and into Wednesday. Game 6 has already been dubbed the “No Headband Game” on Twitter.
“I’ve never seen him play without his headband that long, since his rookie year,” Dwyane Wade said. “He got very aggressive. He really got to the paint and he was going to give everything that he had, and he did. He had an unbelievable fourth quarter for us.”
The 2013 MVP said that it has been nearly a decade since he went so long in a game without his headwear.
“My rookie year preseason,” James said, when asked the last time he went headband-less. “I think we were in Detroit in my rookie year. I didn’t play too well. I didn’t like it.”
Chris Bosh told reporters that he was convinced the headband’s departure took James’ game to a new level.
“It’s like [when] Bruce Lee tastes his own blood,” Bosh said, referencing an iconic scene from the 1973 martial arts movie Enter The Dragon. “[He] just goes crazy. It was an incredible performance by [James]. You could tell he didn’t want to give up. He had the will to win it. He just gave it his all. He came through in huge situations. … I was surprised. I thought he was going to put his cape back on. But he did well without it.”
Miami dug out of a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit to even the series at three games apiece and avoid a season-ending loss. James scored 16 of his game-high 32 points in the fourth quarter, including a key three-pointer with 20 seconds remaining in regulation.
“The Spurs had trouble finding him and recognizing him,” Shane Battier said of the headband-less James. “They thought he was somebody else. Maybe his cousin Larry. Larry James. He was able to use a little stealth down the stretch.”
James added 11 assists and 10 rebounds to compile his second triple-double of the 2013 Finals. Afterward, he called Game 6 “by far” the best game he’s been a part of during his 10-year NBA career.
Game 7 is set for Miami’s American Airlines Arena on Thursday.