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LeBron James claims Nuggets matchup isn’t motivating for him

On Tuesday night in the Mile High City, the Los Angeles Lakers will go head-to-head against Nikola Jokic and the defending NBA champion Denver Nuggets for the first time since they were swept in the Western Conference Finals by Mike Malone’s squad. There was no shortage of talking after that series came to a conclusion, with some bitterness on both sides.

Ahead of this season-opening matchup next week, superstar forward LeBron James claims he doesn’t need the trash-talking and all that came with the Nuggets beating them to motivate him. James motivates himself, as he told Dave McMenamin of ESPN.


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“I don’t get motivated against [who] the opponents [are] pretty much anymore,” James said following one of the last training camp practices for the Lakers before the regular season tips off Tuesday in Denver. “I don’t need it, I don’t want to say I don’t get motivated to play, because I do get motivated to go against the competition, I love competing against the best. But I don’t need an individual or a team to motivate me. I’m self-motivated. I’m enough.”

The Lakers are considered to be legitimate title contenders heading into the upcoming season. The team made some impressive moves during the offseason in order to put arguably the deepest team on the floor.

James believes the Lakers can be a really good team this season but isn’t looking too far ahead.


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“We could be a really, really good team,” James said. He added: “I don’t even look to June. It’s too precious — the game is too precious — and I don’t play with the basketball gods like that. I don’t take it for granted.”

Tuesday’s game will be telling as it will become clear if James truly isn’t a little extra motivated to take on the defending champions and get a little revenge to start the season.

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