After the Cleveland Cavaliers lost to the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals on Tuesday night, speculation has turned as to what LeBron James will do next in his NBA career. Currently James has the player options for next season and is expected to decline them. According to ESPN, He is expected to re-sign with Cavaliers this summer, and it's probable it will be to another one-year contract plus a player option.
According to Joe Vardon of Northeast Ohio Media Group, King James reflected on the loss to current NBA MVP Stephen Curry and the Warriors. Despite owning two titles, the loss to Golden State on Tuesday weighed heavily on his mind.
"I always look at it, would I rather not make the playoffs or lose in The Finals? I don't know," James said. "I've missed the playoffs twice. I lost in The Finals four times. I'm almost starting to be like I'd rather not even make the playoffs than to lose in The Finals."
James added that for him, "it would hurt a lot easier if I just didn't make the playoffs and I didn't have a shot at it."
Vardon reported that James walked out of Game 6 after he shook the hand of each Golden State player on the floor. Despite pushing himself to the limits and dealing with a team short-staffed with sports injuries, all of his best efforts failed to produce an NBA championship in Cleveland.
"James scored 32 points, tied a playoff career-high with 18 rebounds, and contributed nine assists in 47 minutes," Vardon wrote. "For the series, he averaged 35.8 points, 13.3 rebounds, and 8.8 assists - the highest collective averages in those three major statistical categories of anyone in Finals history."
According to Vardon, the Cavaliers' strategy in the NBA Finals was affected by the loss of Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving to season-ending sports injuries. Even though Matthew Dellavedova did his best to help out both the Cavaliers and James, Curry and the Warriors managed to shut down that strategy too.
"A folk hero in Cleveland for some earlier playoff successes that crept into the early part of the Finals, Dellavedova was eviscerated by Curry in games 5 and 6," Vardon wrote. "Curry outscored him 62-6."
James indicated that his team "ran out of talent" later on in the series.
"Whatever it takes throughout the competition, I'm fine with," James said. "I don't enjoy being as non-efficient as I was. I don't enjoy that. I don't enjoy dribbling the ball for countless seconds on the shot clock and the team looking at me to make a play."
James added that he "did not enjoy that," noting that it didn't look like "winning basketball."
According to Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today, James indicated that there were three qualities that made for a title run: health, great basketball and luck.
"You lose in the Finals, they're all disappointing. Doesn't matter if I'm playing in Miami or playing in Cleveland or playing on Mars," James said in a subdued tone. "You lose the Finals, it's disappointing."
James added that he has not "thought about next season at all." Cavs coach David Blatt seemed to reflect that sentiment as he reflected on the end of this season.
"This is a process," Blatt said. "You don't wake up one morning and fall out of bed and expect to win the NBA Championship. You hope that you can, but it doesn't always work that way, and our guys did more than anyone could expect to put themselves and put our organization in this situation."
James acknowledged that although he "didn't win a championship" for Cleveland, he hoped that he would be able to try once again for an NBA championship.
"If I'm lucky enough to get here again, it will be fun to do it," James said. "But (I) put my body through a lot, you know, but it's the price for your body feeling this way for winning."