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Here's LeBron's interview with Letterman that will air Tuesday night


 (LeBron walked out on the stage of the Ed Sullivan Theater to a standing ovation and Paul Shaffer and the CBS Orchestra playing “Some Like It Hot” by Power Station)

Dave: “Well, now that you’ve got this out of your system, are you ready to back to Cleveland and play some ball?”

LeBron (laughs): “Oh, right now, I’ll play no ball right now.” Dave: “Now, I was on you, I was furious at you.  I just thought, you know – you don’t care, do you?”

LeBron:  “That you [were] on me?”

Dave: “I just thought, ‘The opportunity was there, by God, I’m gonna stick it out in Cleveland and lift that city.’”

LeBron: “I heard all of that too from you.  You know, and I thought we were friends.”

Dave:  “We are friends.  That’s why it hurt me so bad.”

LeBron:  “You know, this is my fifth time on here with you, David.” (Dave, audience applaud) Dave: “You must have got tired of punks like me wising off.”

LeBron:  “You know what brought me here?  It was our shootout we had outside.” (referring to an earlier LATE SHOW on which LeBron was a guest) Dave: “I showed you something that night, didn’t I?”

LeBron:  “Yeah, you did.  You showed me that you [were] a great man and I was going to come over here and say, ‘You know, I’m gonna sit down,’ and then I was gonna leave, but I was like, ‘That’s a great man right there.’” 

Dave: “Thank you very much.” (audience applauds)  “This championship changes many things in your life, doesn’t it?”

LeBron: “Oh, absolutely.  Uh, I went from being ringless on Wednesday night to, you know, having a ring on Thursday night, so it changed that.”

Dave: “And also I think leaving Cleveland, a lot of people rooting against you and, therefore, rooting against your new team.  I think that’s changed now, don’t you?”

LeBron:  “No, it has changed some.  And the best thing about it, we were able to come together as a team through all the adversity that we’d faced in the last two years.”

Dave: “Had some injuries late, right in the middle of the playoffs.”

LeBron:  “Absolutely.  A big part of our team, Chris Bosh, got hurt in Game 1 and we didn’t know if we [were] going to have him for the rest of the playoffs, but guys stepped up, it gave him an opportunity to get healthy, and he was able to come back.”

Dave:  “Now, here’s another Cleveland question:  there’s no way to know this, but what would it have felt like if you were still in Cleveland and won the championship there.  Would it have been better or would this one be better?”

LeBron: “I think the feeling that I had on Thursday, I could have been on Mars and won that championship – it felt amazing…It was better than I expected.”

Dave: “Yeah, well, it’s transcendent because like I say, the force was against you and now, a friend of mine was telling me, in the NBA, nobody loves a winner more than basketball fans, and you certainly are the big winner...”

LeBron: “I appreciate that, thanks.” (audience applauds, cheers) Dave: “…Yeah, good for you.” *     *    

*Dave: “And Miami, what is it like? People just crazy over you in Miami?”

LeBron:  (jokes) “No, you got – Miami is, it’s the slowest city we have in America, you guys know that, right?” (audience, Dave laugh) 

Dave: “And then, if it were me, I’d take the summer off. I’d go fishing.  I’d play golf.  I’d do something – no, you guys and your buddies are going to the Olympics…” Later in the interview, Dave continues: 

 “…And now how many [games] will you play in the Olympic tournament?”

LeBron: “Uh, well, hopefully, if we win every game, we don’t have to play that many, so, uh…You know, I’m looking forward to it.” (audience applauds)

Dave: “Is this your first Olympic team?” LeBron: “No, this is my third, actually.  I was on the ’04 team in Athens, I was on the ’08 gold medal team in Beijing and now on ’12 in London.”

Dave: “It always seems like there’s no possibility that anybody in the Olympics can beat the American basketball team.  Am I right about that?  Is it a given or not a given?”

LeBron: (laughs) “The world of basketball is great.  You know, it’s expanded all over the country, all over the world and, you know, but as you know, the Team USA, we try to go out there and showcase our talent at the highest level and represent our country the right way, so, you know, we always look forward to bringing home the gold.”

 Dave: “Who will be a game for you guys?”

LeBron:  “Oh, Argentina is always pretty good, Spain is also a pretty good team, France – those are some really good teams that’s going to be competing in the tournament so we look forward to the challenge and we will be ready.”

Dave: “How long have you been playing in the NBA?  Since you were, like, 19 or something?” LeBron: “Uh, yeah, I got drafted when I was 18, so nine years.”

Dave: “Nine years, and you’ve now won your first championship younger than when Michael Jordan won his first championship.  So, you’re pretty much on target for winning multiple championships, aren’t you?”

LeBron: “Well, I would hope so.  That’s my dream and I looked up to Michael Jordan growing up and, you know, I’d seen the struggles he went through early in his career, so…And I looked at his situation and that always kept me positive and I’m happy to be in that championship room now.” *     *    *

Letterman ended the interview by taking the championship trophy out behind my desk and when LeBron saw it he said, “That’s my baby right there” and then kissed the trophy. *