After reaching the NBA Finals for the 10th time in his storied career, LeBron James called on the words of one of his good friend, rapper and mogul Jay-Z.
"Finish Ya Breakfast," James said in an Instagram post, which showed him sitting on the court, surrounded by confetti, after the Los Angeles Lakers closed out the Denver Nuggets in five games in the Western Conference finals.
It's a line from Jay-Z's 2003 song "Public Service Announcement," essentially meaning that he has to get the job done.
That's what was on James' mind, he told ESPN, after he put together a superb performance in Game 5 to anchor the Lakers' 117-107 victory over the Nuggets. Denver, a team that had twice come back from 3-1 deficits in the postseason, had no answer for James in the fourth quarter as he finished with 38 points, 16 rebounds, and 10 assists.
With him leading the way, the Lakers barged into the NBA Finals for the first time in a decade. But James stressed that it was not enough.
"Right now, it don't mean sh*t unless I get it done," James said, as quoted by ESPN. "I got to get it done."
"We're going to enjoy it tonight, as we should, because this is not promised every year," he added. "There's only two teams that can advance to the finals every year. That means pretty much 30 players that only advance every year to the finals."
"We're going to enjoy it tonight, but we understand we have bigger fish to fry. We understand there's a bigger goal, but we can't take this for granted because this doesn't happen every year to anybody," he added.
To "get it done," James has to overcome the Miami Heat, the team where he first became an NBA champion. The Heat have been on an impressive run of their own in the playoffs, and on Sunday in Orlando, they eliminated the Boston Celtics for their first Finals appearance since 2014.
Back then, it was James who led the Heat, together with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. They won back-to-back titles in 2012 and 2013, with James winning Finals MVP honors both times.
Miami has changed drastically since James left, with Udonis Haslem the lone remaining player from those title teams. But Pat Riley is still there as the team's executive, and Erik Spoelstra is still the coach.
After their win over Boston, Spoelstra said they know they have a tough task ahead of them.
"We've been watching in the bubble. You're watching all the games," said Spoelstra, who is now in his fifth NBA Finals as a coach. "We know who we are facing."