Lebron James: Losing to Celtics in 2012 Could've Ended the Big 3


Jacari McRae  | March 20th, 2020

Almost eight years ago, the Miami Heat trailed the Boston Celtics 3-2 heading into game six of the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals. There was huge pressure going into game six in Boston. A loss in game six could’ve sent the Heat home and raise questions about the future of the Heat’s superteam.

What Might’ve Happened?

During his 45-minute Instagram live Q&A session with fans on Thursday, LeBron James said if he had lost the game, he believed the Heat could have broken up the trio of James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh.

“My mentality was if we lose Pat Riley may break us all up. And I don’t want that,” James said. “It might be the quickest breakup in basketball history.”

After his struggles in the 2011 NBA Finals, James also believed his legacy could’ve taken a huge hit had the Heat lost. It was a thought that was on his mind as the team traveled to Boston.

“Not only might they break it all up, but my legacy is going to take a huge, huge hit if I don’t go out here and perform at an all-time high,” James said.

“Win, lose or draw, I had to be focused. I had to lock in and lead us to victory,” James said Thursday. “I’d don’t know if it was going to happen that way, but that was my mindset.”



Thankfully, it never got to that point because the Heat took care of business. In one of his greatest all-time performances, James scored 45 points and 15 rebounds to led the Heat past the Celtics in game six. James shot 19 of 26 from the field while playing 45 minutes, not resting until the game was over.



After defeating the Celtics in game six, the Heat clinched the series in Game 7. The Heat then went on to the NBA Finals, where they defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder in five games to capture their second NBA title. It was James’ first NBA title.

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