The Golden State Warriors may be going home with the Larry O’Brien Trophy but the Cleveland Cavaliers have no reason to feel defeated.
“It’s no such thing as a failed season when you put in as much work as we have done individually and as a ball club since September. Since late September,” LeBron James said.
After meeting in the NBA Finals for the third time in three years, the Cavs lost, in Game 5, Monday night at Oracle Arena by a score of 129-120.
“They beat us fair and square. And you got to give credit when credit is due. No malice, emotions from our end, just obviously we’re disappointed, it was a long year,” said Kyrie Irving.
Many people, including James, believes it was the Warriors’ acquisition of Kevin Durant that helped make Monday night a success, for them.
“They assembled a great team. We were able to get them last year, and they went out and got one of the best players that this league has ever seen,
so they did a good job of — a great job, their front office and their players, by doing that recruiting, the things that they did in the summertime, and obviously it paid dividends,” James said.
James had 41 points, 13 rebounds and 8 assists. Irving added another 26 points and 6 assists.
“For me personally, I left everything on the floor every game, all five games. So for me personally I have nothing to be — I have no reason to put my head down. I have no reason to look back at what I could have done or what I shouldn’t have done or what I could have done better for the team. I left everything I had out on the floor every single game for five games in this Finals, and you come up short,” said James.
The Cavs were plagued with injuries throughout the entire season yet still beat the Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals and made it to the NBA Finals with no regrets.
“I’ll talk to all my teammates, look them in the eye and tell them that I’m proud of them because it was an unbelievable season,” Irving said.
“It would have been great to see us at a full unit throughout the whole season so we can continue to build and build the camaraderie and build the chemistry out on the floor so you don’t have to wait until April to see what you’re capable of doing. And, yes, we were able to hit the switch, but those games in January, those games in November, games that people think that’s not important, they’re important to me, and they would have been important to our ball club,” James said.
At 32-years-old and 14 years in the league James said basketball has become a lifestyle for him.
“Probably watch some WNBA games. Can’t get away from it. I’ll probably watch — my son’s tournament is this summer, so I’ll be a part of the game. But as far as me actually playing, I won’t,” said James.
LeBron said he will take some time off from the court, to rest his feet and joints but he’ll be back in the gym in the next couple of days. He also said he knows the Cavs organization won’t stop working, during the off-season, to help build a better team.
“I’m not in the front office, but I know our front office is going to continue to try to put our ball club, put our franchise in a position where we can compete for a championship year in and year out,” James added.
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