LeBron James could end up with a 2-5 Finals record if his Cleveland Cavaliers fail to overcome the Golden State Warriors juggernaut over the next few weeks.
Some of James’ biggest detractors will also argue that Ray Allen’s three-pointer in overtime starved off what could have been another finals defeat against San Antonio Spurs in 2013-14.
(Watch Above: LeBron James Finals Media Day press conference)
LeBron James not burdened by pressure…
James has a chance to right the wrongs of the past and win his third championship this month. In the process, Cleveland’s prodigal son could bring the city its first major sports championship in 52 years. But the four-time MVP isn’t willing to be burdened by the enormous expectations. For him, the game of basketball is about excelling at the craft, having fun and living with the results.
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“I don’t really get involved into the whole pressure thing,” James said on the eve of Game 1 of the NBA Finals. “I think I’ve exceeded expectations in my life as a professional. I’m a statistic that was supposed to go the other way — growing up in the inner city, having a single-parent household. It was just me and my mother. So everything I’ve done has been a success.”
James is already preparing for a possible fifth finals defeat. “So as far as the game of basketball, I just go out and play it and have fun and love it and be true to the game and to my teammates and live with the results. So I don’t – (it) doesn’t — really get to me too much.”
Ignores Stephen Curry rivalry…
When asked about a rematch with Stephen Curry, James hesitated at applying a “rival” label to the reigning two-time MVP. “You guys (the media) make rivals. I mean, I think it’s great for the sport. It’s great for all sports. I don’t think me and Steph — when you talk about rivalries, you talk about (North) Carolina-Duke, you talk about Ohio State-Michigan. It’s hard to say LeBron and Steph. (Maybe) if there’s a smaller scale or another word for a rival.
James continued: “The fact that we’re going back-to-back I think is pretty unique. It’s pretty unique to be in this position and just to have another opportunity, another opportunity for guys to write about, for us to play it, for the people to talk about it throughout the world. I’m blessed that I can be a part of (those) conversations.”
LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers were 2-1 up in the previous finals before Curry and the Warriors ran away with the series. They would need to win at least one of the first two games at the Oracle Arena to gain home court advantage. Game 1 is on Thursday.