LeBron James: Warriors are 'most healthy team I've ever seen in NBA history'

ByDave McMenamin ESPN logo
Monday, November 23, 2015

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio -- LeBron James says there is a not-so-secret ingredient -- beyond a talented roster that features reigning MVPStephen Curry-- to the Golden State Warriors' success: avoiding injuries.

"I think it comes with a lot of health," James said when asked about the Warriors tying the all-time mark for best start to a season at 15-0. "They've been healthy. They've been the most healthy team I've ever seen in NBA history, and they have great talent. Those guys all play for one common goal and that's to win, and that's all that matters."

Other than center Andrew Bogut, who has dealt with a variety of injuries in the last several seasons, the Warriors' core has mostly managed to stay on the court.

James said that continuity in the lineup has led to consistency in their play.

"They've just been consistent," James said. "I think the most impressive thing is the way they just they've been playing at a high level, man, for so long."

The Cleveland Cavaliers, meanwhile, are down four of their top eight rotation players at the moment with Kyrie Irving (left knee), Iman Shumpert (right wrist), Timofey Mozgov (right shoulder) and Mo Williams (right ankle) all sidelined.

"I'd much rather be on the other side and having guys in the lineup, having guys healthy," James said. "I've always heard that saying of, 'Is it a blessing that guys are out and guys can step in?' I think it's good for some of the guys that don't get to play as much -- they get an opportunity. But at the same time, I'd much rather be full and know what we're going to have and play at a high level for most of the year so we know what we can fall back on at the end of the season.

"But that's one thing you can't control. You can't control injuries. The one thing you can control is what you're doing out on the floor, how well you're playing, how hard you're playing and how much you're sacrificing and giving to your teammates."

The Cavs were missing Irving, Kevin Love and Anderson Varejao in their 4-2 Finals loss to the Warriors, while Shumpert and Matthew Dellavedova were also battling health issues.

Golden State has understandably been on Cleveland's mind this season, with James calling the Warriors the "more hungry" team thus far. Several Cavs players have also mentioned being motivated by the anger they felt over the Finals loss.

"They're going to be a tough team to beat all year and they've been great so far," Love said. "We'll see what happens."

Golden State hasn't been completely healthy, however. Luke Walton has filled in for coach Steve Kerr all season, of course, as he recovers from two offseason back surgeries. James, however, said you can't compare the loss of a coach to the loss of a key player.

"It would be more impressive if they were doing all this without Steph," James said. "Then there would be a conversation to talk about."