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LeBron: Dwane Casey is 'part of the reason I am who I am today'

David Richard / USA TODAY Sports

LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers steamrolled the Toronto Raptors 128-110 in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference semifinals matchup Thursday. It's probably little consolation to Toronto fans that James credits part of his career success to the strategic prowess of Raptors coach Dwane Casey.

James says Casey made a big impact as the defensive-minded assistant on Rick Carlisle's staff in 2011, the year LeBron's Miami Heat was upset by the Dallas Mavericks in The Finals.

"I wasn't that good of a player in that series. I wasn't a complete basketball player," James told reporters from the podium after Game 2. "Dwane Casey drew up a game plan against me to take away things that I'm good at and to try to make me do things that I wasn't very good at.

"So, he's part of the reason I am who I am today."

After the Mavericks dispatched the Heat in six games, Casey left the organization to join the Raptors as head coach. James has been exacting revenge ever since. The Cavaliers eliminated the Raptors from the playoffs in each of the past two seasons, and have a 2-0 lead this year as the series heads back to Ohio.

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