Dwight Howard has revealed that watching the closing moments of the 2014 NBA Finals' Game Five, and in particular the reaction of LeBron James at the end of the game, made him feel physically sick.
Speaking to USA Today, the Houston Rockets star admitted that he was left with the terrible feeling whilst watching the final moments of the San Antonio Spurs comprehensive victory over the Miami Heat last weekend:
"I started eating, and as the game started dwindling down, I was just sick," said the 2014 All-Star.
Whilst the way Gregg Popovich's team outplayed the Heat to win out 110-87 was enough to leave any fan in awe, it was the reaction of LeBron James that hit Howard the hardest whilst he was out enjoying a meal at his favorite seafood restaurant:
"I just couldn't eat no more. I just walked up out of the restaurant and got in the car. It was tough. I saw LeBron, just how he sat on the bench. It was so tough," continued Howard.
Tough at the top
LeBron and his Miami Heat teammates were left deflated after the emphatic 4-1 series defeat, with the franchise falling short of their aim to win three consecutive NBA titles.
And it is clearly something that has had a major effect on Howard as he watched on, with the way he spoke recently revealing to everyone just how keen the nine-year NBA veteran:
"I've been there in that position where you're watching the other team celebrate, and you worked so hard to get there and you know the other team is just clicking on all cylinders. It was really, really hard to watch," Howard told USA Today.
The 28-year-old has been to the NBA Finals once during his career, back in 2009 when he and the Orlando Magic fell to the Los Angeles Lakers in five games, and even though he wasn't involved in this year's season-ending series Howard was left frustrated:
"It was just extremely hard to get up there and watch, so I just had to get up and get out. I was pretty much mad for the whole night."
It was not due to a dislike of the Spurs, he praised Duncan and Leonard for their efforts, but a unquenchable appetite for success that has left Howard with aim this next season - to win.
Howard will be hoping that LeBron James could actually be lining up alongside him next season in Houston, with the Rockets amongst the favorites to snag the four-time NBA MVP should he choose to leave behind the Miami franchise this summer in search of a new challenge - an option available to him as well as Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
A number of reports have suggested the Rockets to be the frontrunners for LeBron with Sam Amick predicting the Texas franchise to be preparing for big plays at both James and Carmelo Anthony as they look to improve on an early 2014 Playoff exit.
With an intensely competitive Western Conference they will certainly be needing some reinforcements if they want to topple the free-flowing San Antonio Spurs in 2015.
What do you think? Should LeBron head for the Miami exit door?