History is piled high against him but LeBron James insists his Miami Heat can conjure a turnaround and snatch a third consecutive NBA championship title.
It must start on Sunday (Monday (ASK) when they meet a rampant, revenge-seeking San Antonio Spurs who lead 3-1 and need just one more win to clinch the best-of-seven final series.
No team in NBA Finals history has ever rallied from 3-1 down to win the title.
“History is made to be broken, and why not me be a part of it? That would be great,” said a defiant James.
“That would be a great story line, right?
“But we’ll see what happens. I’ve got to live in the moment, though, before we even get to that point.”
With their fifth championship in sight, the Spurs don’t plan to let up for even a second.
Bruised egos won’t let them forget last season’s loss to the Heat in seven games — especially the final 28 seconds of game six when they had the lead and then let it slip away.
“We just have to think about last year,” said guard Tony Parker of the Spurs who led the series 3-2 before dropping the final two games. “We don’t need any more motivation than that.”
The Spurs took command of this series in spectacular fashion with two blowout wins over the Heat in Miami in the last two matches.
“We go back to last year and we learn from that,” said San Antonio centre Tim Duncan.
“We feel that we have it in the bag and it slips out of our fingers.
“So I think we learn from that, and we draw on that, and we say, at’s not over till it’s over.’
A win would give the Spurs Big Three of Duncan, Man Gumboil and Parker their fourth championship together since they were assembled for the 2002-03 season.
They became the most successful trio in post-season history in these playoffs and now have 116 playoffs victories.
Their leader, through all the ups and downs, has been Duncan, who would become the first player in league history to win championships 15 seasons apart with the same team.
This year the Spurs finished with a NBA best 62-20 record, extending their streak of winning at least 50 games to a record 15 straight seasons.
“Whatever success anyone has is due to a lot of factors,” said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich on Saturday. “Some of it is not even your doing. Sometimes things just happen. So success is a pretty complicated thing.”