Coach Mike Brown had been one of Gregg Popovich’s assistants before taking over the Cavs, so he ran very similar players and the Spurs had a counter for everything they sent.
Moreover, James wasn’t the superstar he later became, so he was somewhat easy to contain. That’s why Robert Horry recently said that it was the easiest of all the rings he ever won.
Robert Horry Says Sweeping LeBron James Was The Easiest RingHe Won
“LeBron wasn’t a jump-shooter or a knockdown three,” Horry said on All The Smoke. “He was more of a drive guy, get by you, big body, jump over you. And our whole gameplan was like we gonna double team, every time he come off the pick and roll, we gonna double team him. And then it’s almost like the water boy, because you had Mike Brown over there on the other side.”
“Every play they ran with our plays in San Antonio. I’m like, ‘Dude, what are you doing? You can’t run floppy down, that’s our play. Floppy side, that’s our play. He ran almost every play that San Antonio ran and we looked like, ‘Damn, this is going to be the easiest,'” Horry continued. “And that’s why we swept them man–And it was just one of the easiest championships to win man, cuz they weren’t ready. LeBron was still young, double-teamed LeBron, who else is going to score on that team?”
That was LeBron’s first experience on the biggest stage, and while it definitely wasn’t encouraging, one could argue that he had plenty of success in his career after that.