INDEPENDENCE, Ohio (AP) — LeBron James lifted his personal media boycott during the playoffs to phone a friend.
Cleveland’s superstar does everything he can to block out distractions during the postseason: turning off his cellphone, avoiding Twitter and watching NBA games only with the sound muted.
But he made an exception on Saturday, when close friend Chris Paul made a game-winning layup in the final seconds of Game 7 to send the Los Angeles Clippers past the defending champion San Antonio Spurs.
“I called him from my wife’s phone,” James said following Monday’s shootaround as the Cavs prepared to face Chicago in the Eastern Conference semifinals. “He answered the phone and was like ‘Wassup?’ I told him ‘don’t say nothing, you’re not allowed to reply, you’re not allowed to say anything.’ I told him how amazing he was and how great he was and I hung up on him.
“I haven’t spoken to him since, it’s the truth.”
Although he resists the temptation to engage on social media during the postseason, James didn’t completely stay away from the TV on Saturday, which featured a bonanza of big events ranging from the Kentucky Derby to the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Manny Pacquiao title fight.
James said it was difficult to stay off Twitter, but he’s glad he did.
“I had a lot of comments, and thank God I didn’t have social media because there’d be some story lines today,” he said. “It’s been a protection for me. It was a great day for me, Saturday, obviously in the sports world and for my family, my father-in-law turned 70. That was a great day, my son had a soccer game, I was able to watch Game 7 of the Spurs and the Clippers and also watch one of the biggest sports events that sports has ever seen.”
The Cavs haven’t played since April 26, when they completed a four-game sweep of Boston. The eight-day layoff seemed like an eternity to James, but he was able to stay plenty busy.
“I watch the playoff games that were on,” he said. “I put it on mute and listen to music. My kids are in school during the week we were in here working. During days off I was still in here working. I found myself very productive. I’m not a log. I don’t just sit around. I try to find myself very productive.
“I’m glad the eight days are over. I’m ready to get back to work.”