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TD GARDEN, BOSTON
JUNE 7, 2012
GAME 6, EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS
RANDY MIMS, James's friend and business partner: I flew from Boston to Miami right before the game started. I wanted to be there because we were down 3--2, and I figured if we lost, you didn't know what he'd be like mentally when he got home. I was wearing a heat hat, and I sat down on the plane next to a Celtics fan. He was like, "You guys had a great season. You worked hard." I said, "Talk to me when we land." He said, "O.K., I'll let you know how bad you lost."
TOMMY HEINSOHN, Celtics' TV analyst: When LeBron was with Cleveland two years ago, he played [a postseason game] against Boston, and he didn't show up. It was a big event, and he was in another world. I remember saying, "What's the matter with this guy?" You could tell right away, everything was different this time. I've gotten to the point where I watch people come out for warmups and get a feel for if they're up for a game, or too tense, or taking it too lightly. He sat on the bench like he was in a trance. I just watched him. That's what everybody did. We just watched.
UDONIS HASLEM, Heat forward: You could tell on the bus. He wasn't going to let us lose.
ERIK SPOELSTRA: Once the game started, we saw that look. We just call it the look. We have a picture of it now, bigger than life, outside our locker room. It's the look of the ultimate competitor.
LeBRON JAMES: You know how in school, around the classroom, there's always the alphabet? The capital A and lower case A has an apple. The capital B and lower case B has a ball. I always looked at the L, because of my name, and it had a lion. That's why I love lions. The look they're talking about is the look lions get when they're seeking prey and it's time to feast.
RAY ALLEN, then a Celtics guard: We let him get comfortable early. We didn't pressure him. We didn't double-team. We let him come off screens looking at the basket, and then he got in a rhythm, and when a guy like that gets in a rhythm, it's over.