LEBRON James admitted his emotions were in a mess but held his head high as the Cleveland Cavaliers fell short in the NBA Finals anew against the Golden State Warriors after losing in Game 5, 129-120, to hand the Warriors their second title in three years on Monday (Tuesday, Manila time).
The four-time MVP and three-time champ fell to a 3-5 record in the NBA Finals after bowing to the Warriors, 4-1, in the best-of-seven championship series despite becoming the first player in league history to average a triple double in the finals with 33.6 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists.
But James had no regrets after the loss.
“For me personally, I left everything on the floor every game, all five games. So for me personally, I have no reason to put my head down, I have no reason to look back on what I could have done or what I should have done or what I could have done better for the team,” he said. “I left everything out on the floor every single game for five games in this Finals, and you come up short.”
“You won’t hold your head down. It’s just not my time. Golden State is a worthy opponent. Obviously the best team in the league for the last three years, the best team this year. And they showcased that throughout the postseason and we were another opponent in their way,” he added.
James remained the ultimate teammate as he bared that what bothered him most with the loss is not giving his new teammates, like Kyle Korver, Deron Williams and Derrick Williams, the same championship feeling they had last season.
“It’s just unfortunate for some of the guys on our team to get this far and not be able to hold the trophy up. Those are the things that bother me more than anything,” he said. “Emotions all over the place right now.”
Up until the post-game presscon, James remained defiant that the Cavs were capable of beating the Warriors team that dominated them in four of five games. But he went on to laud the eventual champs, particularly for their offseason move in adding Finals MVP Kevin Durant.
“No, I don’t think that, not one time I felt like we were overmatched until probably like the last 1:20 and we were down 13 or something like that at that point. We left everything on the floor and it still wasn’t enough,” said James.
“They assembled a great team. We were able to get them last year, they went on and got one of the best players this league has ever seen. They did a great job in their front office and their players by doing their recruiting in the summer time. Obviously it paid dividends,” he added.