SAN ANTONIO -- LeBron James was sufficiently rehydrated when he met with reporters Friday, 2 1/2 bags of intravenous fluids after Game 1 of the NBA Finals helping the Miami Heat star feel somewhat better than he did the previous night.
“I'm pretty sore right now just from the muscles spasming up and they're starting to release,” said James, who had to sit out the final 3 minutes and 59 seconds of the Heat’s 110-95 loss to the San Antonio Spurs because of debilitating cramps, “but I'm pretty sore in my legs.”
James deadpanned that he would “probably be out on Sunday” in Game 2 before breaking into a smile. He was kidding.
His absence in the game’s final minutes was no laughing matter for the Heat, who were outscored 16-3 once their best player left the court.
Sweltering conditions inside the AT&T Center because of an air-conditioning shutdown appeared to exacerbate James’ predisposition to cramps. He also suffered them during Game 4 of the 2012 Finals against the Oklahoma City Thunder but said he had largely warded them off by staying sufficiently hydrated.
“This happened to me a few times,” James said. “Happened to me a lot in high school. I have been tested for it; all the tests came back positive. So we're always up on it, and stay ahead of the curve, and last night was one of those nights.”
James left the game after making a layup to pull the Heat to within two points.
“My body just shut down,” James said. “Basically my body said, ‘OK, enough jumping for you for the night.’ ”
James said he did not sleep Thursday night because he got up to use the bathroom six or seven times between 2 and 11 a.m.
Spurs Sports & Entertainment, which runs the AT&T Center, issued a statement saying the electrical failure that caused the air conditioning to malfunction had been repaired and was fully operational. The arena can use the Romeo Santos concert on Friday and a San Antonio Stars WNBA game on Saturday as test runs.
Heat Coach Erik Spoelstra said the Spurs should be fined if they are unable to fix the air conditioning before Game 2.
Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich, asked about James’ history of cramping in hot conditions, quipped that he saw the air-conditioning repairmen in the hallway on his way out of the AT&T Center on Thursday night and sent them home.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times