Just when Paul Millsap thought he could have an 'easier' path to the NBA Finals in the Western Conference, his nemesis/bully LeBron James followed his footsteps and left the Los Angeles Lakers in 2018. Millsap wasn't a Cleveland Cavaliers fan, but he felt that move as one of them since he knew Bron in the West was going to be a problem not only for him but for the rest of the teams.
During a recent interview with Kendra Andrews of The Athletic, Millsap revealed what he told LeBron as soon as he found out the King was coming to the West. He believed he was finally free of facing LeBron in the postseason but James had different plans.
“I told him, ‘Man, I tried to get away from you in the East,’” Millsap told The Athletic. “‘Then you came to the West.’ But finally, we’re at this juncture in the Western Conference Finals fighting to get to the championship game. He’s got several championships and I’m trying to get my first and I feel like this is my time to do that.”
Millsap played four years for the Atlanta Hawks facing LeBron twice, getting swept each time. He left the Hawks in 2017 to sign with the Denver Nuggets. Everything looked fine for him during the first season but as soon as he heard the news about LeBron, he knew that was a problem. He takes that as motivation to get past LeBron and now the Nuggets have a big chance to do so in the Western Conference Finals.
Paul revealed he is extra motivated to face the Lakers in the WCF this year.
“I’d be lying I said I didn’t,” Millsap said on having a personal goal of beating James in the conference finals.
“I felt like we had really good teams and we always came up short and at the end of the day I’m just tired of coming up short in those situations, especially against him,” Millsap said. “Nothing personal, but you want to compete against the best and beat the best and I’m ready to make that next step.”
Right now the Lakers are up 2-0 in the series after Anthony Davis hit a game-winner on Sunday night. Millsap knows the job is even harder now but the Nuggets aren't a team that gives up just like that. They have returned from two 3-1 deficit in prior rounds and it looks like the Lakers are on the way to put them in the same situation. However, LeBron and co. won't collapse as the Utah Jazz and the Los Angeles Clippers did.