LeBron James admits he didn’t see Cavs reaching Finals at start of season
LeBron James was brutally honest during his post-game comments Tuesday night regarding what he envisioned as the prospects for his first season back with the Cleveland Cavaliers. To put it bluntly, he held out little hope that the team would be in the position it finds itself: Poised for an appearance in the NBA Finals.”Could I have foreseen this at the beginning of the season? I couldn’t. I couldn’t foresee us being in the finals at the beginning of the season. James said in comments shown on NBA TV, via Cleveland.com. “I just knew we had to get better and just seeing how young we were at that point in time. But I knew I had to lead these guys. And if they just followed my leadership, I knew I could get them to a place that they’ve never been before.”
He also commented on how much Cleveland’s 51-year championship drought weighed on his mind as he and the Cavaliers navigated the inevitable pitfalls of a marathon 82-game NBA season.
“I’m a guy who believes in unfinished business,” he said. “I understood what these people are going through. The people here, not only in Cleveland, but in Northeast Ohio and all over the world who love and bleed wine and gold.”
Saying there were “at least five chapters” to the season, James noted there were plenty of ups and downs, beginning with how the Cavaliers slightly stumbled out of the gate, falling well short of expectations. The team got on a red-hot roll immediately after James returned from an eight-game absence — all losses — and never looked back, prompting James to announce in February he believed the team had a championship-caliber roster. And this came after James expressed great impatience with his teammates when trying to instill a winner’s mentality. But all of it: beneficial midseason trades, in-season slumps, all of it — is now in the past, albeit temporarily. The Cavaliers may have accomplished quite a bit reaching the Finals, but James knows all-too-well that much work is left to be done. After all, King James boasts a losing record (2-3) in the Finals, something he probably will be sure to share with his teammates in the coming days.[H/T Pro Basketball Talk]