LeBron James just became the only player to ever lead an NBA Finals series in points, rebounds and assists — but it wasn’t enough. James was physically and emotionally spent post-game as he considered all he (and his weary body) had been through. He even wondered whether missing the playoffs entirely was preferable to heartbreaking losses in the Finals — whether getting so tantalizing close to a title only to lose was worse that not making it at all.
It’s an understandable feeling. James has missed the playoffs twice in his NBA career, the same number of times he’s held the trophy aloft as NBA champion. But James has lost in the Finals now four times, two in Cleveland and two in Miami. “I didn’t win a title,” James said as the Warriors celebrated. “I’ve done a lot of good things in this first year back, and hopefully I can continue it.” You’ve got to get there to have a chance, as he very well knows.