LeBron on Celtics' No. 1 pick: 'I don’t think Boston fans need any more pumping up'

BOSTON -- LeBron James is just like the rest of us.

OK, that might not be totally true, but the Cleveland Cavaliers superstar had the same reaction as the rest of the NBA world when the Boston Celtics won the NBA Draft lottery on Tuesday.

"It was just like a 'wow,'" James said at shootaround before Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals on Wednesday. "It was like, OK. To be able to be a very, very good team and get the No. 1 pick, they got the better side of that situation with Brooklyn, I'll tell you that."

Boston is competing for a chance to go to the NBA Finals and deliberating over what to do with the top selection in the draft because of the 2013 trade that sent Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to the Brooklyn Nets. There are already 26 teams that wish they were still playing; it is incredible for the Celtics that there are now also 29 teams that would love to switch places with them on June 22. 

James previously faced Boston in the playoffs in 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2015. Asked if the top pick would pump Celtics fans up, he smirked and dismissed the premise. 

"I don't think Boston fans need any more pumping up," James said. "You're born with pump, if that makes any sense."

This is the Celtics' first trip to the conference finals since 2012. That season, they lost to James' Miami Heat in seven games. Few people expect this matchup to last that long, but James knows all too well that Boston fans will be losing their minds all the same. Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue, who was a Celtics assistant coach under Doc Rivers from 2009 to 2013, said that his team will have to "weather the storm early" because of the atmosphere. 

CBS Sports Writer

James Herbert is somewhat fond of basketball, feature writing and understatements. A former season-ticket holder for the expansion Toronto Raptors, Herbert does not think the NBA was better back in the... Full Bio

Show Comments Hide Comments
Our Latest Stories