LeBron James: ‘Foolish’ to entertain thought of Finals rematch with Warriors
A majority of pundits, experts and the like have placed the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors on a collision course for a third consecutive showdown in the NBA Finals. But that doesn’t mean LeBron James has to follow suit.
James, who on Thursday was named Sports Illustrated’s 2016 Sportsperson of the Year, bristled at the notion of entertaining any potential eventuality concerning what lies ahead during the 2016-17 NBA season, specifically as it relates to another possible rematch with the Warriors.
“It would be selfish of me and foolish of me to think about playing the Warriors in another Finals,” James said after Cavs shootaround Thursday before a showdown with the L.A. Clippers, via ESPN. “It would be disrespectful to my teammates, disrespectful to the rest of the league and disrespectful to the Warriors to even [entertain the thought].”
The impetus for reporters to ask James about a potential rematch was perhaps due in part to teammate Iman Shumpert’s recent strong words for the Warriors, during which he said the Cavaliers were going to “bust they a**” in an NBA Finals rematch.
James throughout his career has been more cautious when discussing opponents or rival players and the like. Instead, James made sure to praise the Warriors, head coach Steve Kerr and the formidable lineup the organization has assembled, specifically with the addition of Kevin Durant.
The Cavaliers superstar then closed by removing any doubt he’s spending any time contemplating any rematch.
“It’s too much work to be done for me to put myself in that mind frame,” he said. “But they’re a great team. We’re a team that wants to get better every day and become a great team as well.”
James is right, but he shouldn’t sell his own team short. The Cavaliers currently sit atop the Eastern Conference with a 13-3 record. Meanwhile, the Warriors boast a 16-2 record, tops in the Western Conference.
With all that in mind, even if James doesn’t want to think about another showdown with the Warriors in the Finals, that doesn’t mean it’s not going to happen.