Jerry West defends LeBron, calls critics 'ridiculous'

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) Hall of Famer Jerry West has mounted an impassioned defense of LeBron James, saying those who criticize the Cleveland Cavaliers star's 2-4 NBA Finals record are ''ridiculous.''

West spoke Saturday, one day before his Golden State Warriors try to take a 2-0 lead on James's Cavaliers in Game 2 of the finals rematch.

West is an executive board member for the Warriors who has spoken to James in the past about playoff failure. West was 1-8 in the finals in his career with the Los Angeles Lakers.

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He told a media contingent that if he were James, ''Frankly, I'd probably want to strangle you guys.''

West says he has long admired James as a player and competitor.

Game 2 is Sunday in Oakland.