LeBron: 'Only time will tell' if Boston-Miami is a rivalry

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LeBron: 'Only time will tell' if Boston-Miami is a rivalry

By Jessica Camerato
CSNNE.com

BOSTON - The visitors' locker-room door swung open and he silently emerged. As he walked down the hall, a herd of reporters scurried after him. There was no doubt which player could draw such a crowd without saying a word.

On Tuesday night, LeBron James held court before the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat kicked off the 2010-11 NBA season:
Instant rivalry?
"Only time will tell if the Celtics and Heat are Eastern Conference rivals. I think it's two good teams, two great franchises. I bet every time we go against each other, it's going to be a battle. Only time will tell. They've played Boston numerous times in the playoffs, and I've won against them in Cleveland, and there's been some great games, but we'll see what develops out of this series."

Lessons learned from Celtics Big Three
"I just think how they just sacrifice everything. Their first year together, they didn't worry about points or rebounds, anything individually. They just went out and did what's best for the team. It's not like we needed it, but you could look at that as an example and we've taken it."

Forty points arent necessary
"I don't think I have to score a lot for us to be in the game because we have so many options. There's going to be times where I do score a lot of points. There's going to be times when D-Wade and C-Bosh score a lot of points. But at the end of the day, it's about winning."

Putting the pieces together
"It's different because I haven't been in this situation where we've had a brand new team in a long time. I think in '06 or '07, we had a brand new team in Cleveland, I think it took us a little while. Even last year, we started the season 0-2 and everybody was like me and Shaq couldnt co-exist and things weren't going to work, and then we ran off a lot of games straight. So only time will tell. We'll see what happens tonight, but one thing we can control is just playing hard."

Analyzing the Nike commercial
"I think what I look back on is, should I be who you want me to be? Or should I just be me? That's where I've got to this point. I respect everyone who's had an opinion, but at the same time you've got to do whats best for yourself. I think everyone has to do that."

Jessica Camerato is on Twitter at http:twitter.comJCameratoNBA.

Crowder on Wizards' all-black 'funeral' plans for Celtics: 'That's cute!'

Crowder on Wizards' all-black 'funeral' plans for Celtics: 'That's cute!'

The Washington Wizards plan to roll into tonight’s game against the Celtics donning all-black clothes, as in a funeral procession, a sign of solidarity and an omen of sorts for a game that they hope ends with them burying the Celtics.
 
When Jae Crowder was asked about the Wizards all-black gear, his initial response...“That’s cute!”
 
More than anything, the Wizards (24-20) are putting a significant amount of value into tonight’s game. A victory would extend their home winning streak to 14.

Meanwhile, the Celtics (26-17) come in looking to snap a two-game losing streak.
 
“This is definitely not Game 7 or the playoffs,” said Isaiah Thomas. “But if they want to take it that serious, they can.”
 
The idea to arrive at the Verizon Center donning all-black was hatched by Bradley Beal, who has some contentious moments, to say the least, with the Celtics recently.
 
Celtics coach Brad Stevens knows all about the funeral talk which to him is just that, talk. He’s more concerned with his team doing what they need to do in order to win.
 
Nothing more.
 
Nothing less.
 
“At the end of the day, good basketball teams are physical,” he said. “There’s a line you don’t want to cross. Ultimately, you have to be appropriately physical at a high level. It’s about playing well, focus on your next task at hand. This is a great opportunity to see where we’re at.”

In the Celtics' 117-108 win over the Wizards on Jan. 11, Beal was whistled for a flagrant-1 foul after getting into it with Marcus Smart.
 
Last season, Beal was on the receiving end of a left forearm to the face from Smart, who was driving to the basket at the time. The blow resulted in a broken nose for Beal in addition to spending time in the league’s concussion protocol program.
 
And then there’s his backcourt mate John Wall.
 
He was fined $15,000 for his role in a postgame incident with Jae Crowder (who was fined $25,000). Crowder pushed Wall’s nose with his finger, which led to Wall retaliating with a slap towards Crowder’s face.
 
And when the two met back on Nov. 9, Wall was hit with a flagrant-2 foul (an automatic ejection) when he threw Smart down hard to floor in the final moments of a Wizards win.
 
The Celtics have a few games that have become more physical than others recently, but there’s something about this Celtics-Wizards matchup that brings out an elevated level of feistiness.
 
“It’s just all talk; that’s all it is,” Thomas said. “I guess they taking it and running with it. I don’t know what it is. I [saw] the funeral and the all-black thing last night and I just laughed about it. We’ll be there tonight for a game, not a funeral.”
 

WATCH: Celtics vs. Wizards

WATCH: Celtics vs. Wizards

Tune into CSN to watch the Celtics play the Wizards in Washington. You can also click here to watch the Celtics livestream presented by McDonald's on the NBC Sports App. Coverage begins at 7 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live Presented by ACE Ticket.

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