In the NBA Finals, Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James took playing hurt to a whole new level. According to ESPN, LeBron James revealed that he was playing against the Golden State Warriors with a broken hand. James’ revelation may have eased any concerns that he checked out on the Cavaliers.
Rumblings about LeBron James’ lack of aggressiveness in the NBA Finals was getting louder. Noticeable was LeBron James’ refusal to take three-point shots. At times, James would not attempt many midrange shots either. Perhaps playing with a broken hand may have been the reason for LeBron James’ uneven performance versus the Warriors.
In Game 1 against the Warriors, LeBron James led the Cavaliers with 50 points. He made three of his long-distance shots. LeBron James only made the same number of threes in the remaining three games. The Cavaliers wound up being swept by the Warriors.
Having a broken hand played a huge role in how LeBron James performed in the last three games. There is speculation that James has played his final game with the Cleveland Cavaliers. If so, his lasting impression could be as uneven as his play after Game 1.
There are only two ways to view LeBron James’ performance — he ran out of gas and was defeated, or James put up a valiant effort while dealing with a major injury. The latter will become the narrative after more details are revealed regarding LeBron James’ hand injury. What LeBron James has revealed about his hand injury is troubling thus far.
LeBron James admits to breaking his hand after Game 1 against the Golden State Warriors.
The Cleveland Cavaliers had a lead late before the Warriors took over. A blocking foul against Kevin Durant was overturned late in the fourth quarter. Instead, a charge was called on LeBron James. The Cavaliers had an opportunity to win the game in the closing seconds. However, Cavaliers guard George Hill missed a free throw.
JR Smith grabbed the rebound on the missed attempt and according to Sports Illustrated, inexplicably ran the clock out instead of taking a shot or making a pass. The Warriors eventually won by 10 points.
The defeat infuriated LeBron James. After the Cavaliers’ loss, James admitted to punching a whiteboard, likely breaking his hand in the process. James’ irrational reaction could have led to the Cavaliers’ demise.
By breaking his hand, LeBron James rendered himself somewhat ineffective. James may have also lost a few of his Cavaliers’ teammates in the process. His outburst could have been viewed as demonstrative and divisive. What was not revealed by LeBron James was whether or not he caused any more commotion in the Cavaliers’ locker room.
If some of the Cleveland Cavaliers players appeared lifeless in the last three games the reason may have also been revealed. The onus to galvanize the Cavaliers was on LeBron James. The Cavaliers’ superstar may have driven a wedge between them.
If Friday night was LeBron James’ final game with the Cleveland Cavaliers, he may be remembered for bringing a title to the team. LeBron James may also be responsible for killing his teammates’ confidence.