LeBron James is reading ‘The Alchemist’: What does it mean for the Cavaliers’ chances to get back to The Finals?

BOSTON — LeBron James says he does away with social media and most TV during the playoffs and focuses by reading a good, old fashioned book.The paperback he’s carrying around during the Eastern Conference finals is ‘The Alchemist,’ the world renowned novel from Paulo Coehlo about a boy who looks for and finds his destiny.In the book, published in 1988, the main character, Santiago, a shepherd, has recurring dreams that he will discover his treasure in life in the Egyptian pyramids.Now, James is an admittedly slow reader, and he’s not done with the book. But this seems like the right piece of literature for James to be reading now, given the Cavs predicament — facing elimination by the Celtics following a 96-83 loss in Game 5 in Boston.As the Cavs were dressing quietly following this bummer of a loss — the Celtics won despite shooting 36 percent! — I asked James if he saw any parallels between himself and Santiago.A leader, in search of an ultimate prize, needing to overcome the odds and cruel twists and turns life offers to reach his goal.”It’s a book that I think should mean something to almost anyone,” James told cleveland.com. “If you have a goal, or a dream, or something you want in your life that would make it fulfilling, you should have to work for it. You should have to struggle. The journey is hard. Life is hard at times and you have to go through some things to get where you want to be.”The more I read it, yeah, I’m seeing some parallels with my life, but it’s really for anyone.”This is perfect for the Cavs and their fans, yes? To keep the franchise’s Finals streak alive, to keep his own seven-straight-Finals streak going, James is going to have to lead this team to consecutive wins, including in a Game 7 back here at TD Garden, where Cleveland has been terrible this entire series.Such a comeback would come after the Cavs already faced elimination once this season — in Game 7 against the Pacers. And before that, coach Tyronn Lue missed two weeks with health issues. And before that, general manager Koby Altman traded half the roster. And before that, Kevin Love broke a bone in his hand. And before that, the team nearly killed each other in a disastrous meeting in January, and way before that, Cleveland traded Kyrie Irving.And on and on.Did you know that not only has no team ever reached the Finals after being ranked 29th in the regular season, as the Cavs were this year, but that until Cleveland beat the Pacers in the first round no team rated so poorly on defense had ever won a playoff series?So, yes, James has taken teams to seven straight Finals and the Cavs are indeed the three-time-defending champs in the East. And, sure, the Celtics are missing Irving and Gordon Hayward, and somehow are not only still standing, but are on the doorstep of the Finals.If the Cavs were to somehow win these next two and get back to the championship round, it would be nothing short of incredible.So is this, I wanted to know, James’ treasure? Another Finals? If not that, then maybe a fourth title? Revenge on the Warriors, if it were come to that?”Nope, nothing,” James answered. “I already have my treasure. “There isn’t anything I want that I don’t already have. Raising my family, that’s what’s next for me.”If you’re reading this and you’re searching for some clue that James will play with reckless abandon and stop at nothing to rescue this series and season, maybe that last quote isn’t for you. But it is in line with what James told cleveland.com during the conference semifinals last season when he said he has “nothing left to prove.”At age 33, James has the three titles and four MVPs. He returned to Cleveland and delivered the franchise its first championship. He’s got more playoff points than anyone. He’s a milestone a minute, it seems.James is also tired. Lue said so after Game 5, said it looked like James was playing tired. James said “I had my moments,” in what was essentially a nod in the affirmative.If the Cavs make it to Game 7 against Boston, it would be James’ 100th game this season. For the first time in his 15-year career, he played all 82 during the regular season. He led the NBA in minutes per game at 36.9. He’s averaging 40.5 minutes in the playoffs and leading the league at 33.2 points per game.


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