Even the best athletes in the world sometimes need some extra motivation and LeBron James is no exception.
Though the Cleveland Cavaliers superstar is making things look easy this postseason as he eyes his second-straight NBA title (and fourth overall championship), even he needs an extra kick from a teammate or coach from time to time.
According to David Fizdale, who was an assistant coach with the Miami Heat during LeBron's time in South Beach, King James is easier than most other athletes when it comes to kick-starting his work ethic.
In an interview with ESPN's Scott Van Pelt, Fizdale - now the head coach of the Memphis Grizzlies - explains how he used to motivate LeBron to work even harder:
"I always brought it back to his legacy," Fizdale says at the end of the interview when asked what buttons he'd push for LeBron. "Any time he got pissed off at me or upset at the way I was going at him, I always reminded him, 'They're going to remember you lost, not assistant coach David Fizdale.' I always put that guilt in his head when I coached him and he really responded. He was so easy for me to coach as an assistant, so open to development. It just made it easy for me."
Clearly, current Cavs coach Tyronn Lue is succeeding at motivating his star player, too, as the Cavaliers have won all eight of their postseason contests so far.
As they await the winner of the Boston Celtics-Washington Wizards series, though, the real coaching must be done to keep the team from getting complacent.
Though the Cavs struggled down the stretch and lost the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference to the Celtics, Fizdale said he's not worried about where James's head is at now that the postseason has started:
"He prepares for this," Fizdale said in the interview with Van Pelt. "This is what he does. Everything is pointed toward this moment in time and everything is geared toward the playoffs for him."
If LeBron and the Cavs can get past the Celtics or Wizards in the upcoming Eastern Conference finals, James will be making his seventh-straight trip to the NBA Finals (having gone all four years with the Heat and the last two with Cleveland).
Based on the success the Heat had during Fizdale and James's time together in Miami, Lue may want to give the Grizzlies coach a call to pick his brain to learn even more than he already knows about LeBron.
Take that for data.