Sunday May 22nd, 2016

Get breaking news and SI’s biggest stories instantly. Download the new Sports Illustrated app (iOS or Android) and personalize your experience by following your favorite teams and SI writers.

LeBron James was involved in a scuffle in the second quarter of the Cavaliers’ 99–84 Game 3 loss to the Raptors on Saturday, and was fouled hard by Bismack Biyombo later.

After the game, James was asked about his mentality after said fouls, and his tendency not to react with physicality toward other players. He told reporters that he plays a couple of lines from Jay Z’s “Streets is Watching” in his head.

“I always think back to the Jay Z phrase, and a line he had of, ‘If I shoot you, then I’m brainless. If you shoot me, you’re famous. What am I to do?’ So, that always plays in my head any time I feel like I want to react. I’ve got to keep my brain.”

MORE NBA: The Bismack Biyombo Game | Dwane Casey blasts officiating

He said he carries that mentality because of something that happened to him in high school.

“At the end of the day, I'm important to this team. I can't afford to react in any kind of way that will get me thrown out of a game, but I will protect myself,” James continued. “I will protect myself. When I was in high school, I got low-bridged playing in an AAU tournament as a junior in high school. A kid just low-bridged me and I fell and broke my wrist. That kind of thought always plays in my mind either when I'm getting thrown to the ground or if it's a borderline dirty play.”

Cleveland suffered its first loss of the postseason, and leads the series 2–1. Game 4 tips off on Monday at 8:30 p.m. ET.

– Kenny Ducey

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.