Former Cleveland Cavaliers big man Tristan Thompson recently revealed that former Cavs superstar LeBron James gave his teammates Spartan shields ahead of their 2016 championship run.
“Everyone says the same thing about Thompson: His impact is lasting,” wrote Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. “But if he ever needs a reminder, he can stroll into his home office. There’s a memento that captures it. No, not the shiny championship ring. That’s somewhere else. In a much safer spot.
“A shield — a piece of memorabilia that looks like it came from the set of ‘300’ — is displayed next to an autographed Kyrie Irving ball from their rookie season together. According to Thompson, LeBron gave him — and every teammate — the shield before the 2016 playoff run. It has Thompson’s name along with the number 16 in roman numerals.”
Thompson, 29, said James gave his fellow soldiers the hardware in an effort to prepare them to battle the Golden State Warriors.
“I remember we had dinner at his house, and he gave it to us and said, ‘We’re going on a quest like the guys in 300. Everyone is talking about Golden State’s 73-9 record, so it’s an us against the world mentality,’” Thompson recalled. “I remember taking that shield home and thinking, ‘We really have a chance at something special.’”
Coming into the 2016 postseason, all the attention was on the Warriors. After all, they secured the best regular season record in NBA history during the 2015-16 campaign.
In addition, the Cavs had extra motivation since the Warriors upended them in the 2015 NBA Finals.
The Warriors looked like they were going to win another title after taking a decisive 3-1 lead in the 2016 NBA Finals. However, James willed the Cavs back in historic fashion.
The four-time MVP carried the Cavs back from a 3-1 hole to take the title over the Warriors. James put up 29.7 points, 11.3 rebounds, 8.9 assists, 2.6 steals and 2.3 blocks per game during the 2016 NBA Finals.