LeBron James may have submitted a 2015 NBA Finals for the ages this past June, but the Cleveland Cavaliers star revealed that he still has “nightmares” about Cleveland’s Finals defeat to the Golden State Warriors.
LeBron met with Howard Beck and Ethan Skolnick with Bleacher Report Radio on Sunday. When LeBron was asked how he had managed to get over losing at the 2015 NBA Finals, he responded by saying that “you can never get out of it.”
“I don’t feel like you ever move on from losing in the Finals,” LeBron observed. “You feel like you’re right there. You have a great opportunity to do something special.”
Despite the defeat, no one blames LeBron for losing to the Golden State Warriors in the 2015 NBA Finals. The Warriors won 67 games in the regular season and lost only three games on their path to the NBA Finals. Cleveland’s two other stars, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving, were injured in the first round of the playoffs and Game 1 of the Finals respectively.
But despite the total lack of offensive help, LeBron averaged an incredible 35.8 points, 13.3 rebounds, and 8.8 assists against the Warriors. He became the first NBA player to lead both teams in points, assists, and rebounds over the entire 2015 series.
Thanks to his incredible play, LeBron and the Cavaliers did manage to take a 2-1 lead over Golden State before losing three straight games. But while the Golden State Warriors hoisted the trophy, LeBron earned four out of the 11 votes for the 2015 Finals MVP. He could have become the first player on the losing team to earn a Finals MVP since Jerry West in 1969.
While LeBron did tell Beck and Skolnick that he could not remember a team in NBA history that was able to get so far missing two All-Stars, that does not prevent him from thinking about how he could improve.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have spent a great deal over this summer to rebound from last year’s defeat and field a winning team. The Cavaliers’ roster salaries total over $100 million in addition to $75 million in luxury tax payments. Cleveland is on the short list of title contenders for next season NBA Finals, alongside the defending champion Warriors, as well as the Oklahoma City Thunder and retooled San Antonio Spurs.
This summer, LeBron signed a two-year $47 million contract with Cleveland and will likely commit to a longer contract with the Cavaliers during next year’s offseason.
[Photo By: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images Sport]