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June 16, 2015

LeBron James


Golden State – 105
Cavaliers – 97

Q.  LeBron, how would you characterize this season overall for the whole organization?
LEBRON JAMES:  Well, I mean, we had many chapters.  We had many chapters in the season.  I don't know.  I mean, for me, it's never a success if you go out losing.  But I think we put ourselves back where this franchise needs to be, being a contender.  But we've still got a lot of work to do.

Q.  LeBron, you guys stated throughout these playoffs next man up, no excuses.  But now that it's over, how devastating of a blow was it to lose Kevin early in the playoffs, and then Kyrie in these Finals?
LEBRON JAMES:  Well, I think you even go before that, losing Andy, one of our heartbeats of our team, another playmaker for our team.  Then you lose Kev, an All‑Star, and then you lose Kyrie, another All‑Star.
Tried as much as we could to try to make up for those guys, but it's a lot of talent sitting in suits.  I've had a lot of playoff runs, been on both ends, and I know one thing that you've got to have during the playoff run, you've got to be healthy.  You've got to be healthy.  You've got to be playing great at the right time.  You've got to have a little luck.  And we were playing great, but we had no luck and we weren't healthy.

Q.  There's all kinds of basketball stuff we could discuss.  But this marks the end of year one in your return to Cleveland.  Off the court, coming back home to friends, fans, family, has it been everything that you thought it would be when you made the decision to return?
LEBRON JAMES:  My family is happy.  That makes my job a lot easier.  For the fans, I go out and try to just leave it all on the floor and hope it's enough.

Q.  LeBron, I know, obviously, you have reason to be frustrated.  Sitting at the locker like you were just really dejected.  Can you talk about how this feeling feels compared to other times where you probably might have been bounced off the playoffs and just your emotion and dealing with that?
LEBRON JAMES:  There's not much you can say really.  I mean, you get to this point, and I've been on the short end of this four times, and I've been able to win it twice.  It's really no great feeling when you lose.
Only thing you can do is just try to pick yourself back up whenever that time may be and then just go at it again.  I'm a guy who is just trying to be successful in whatever I do, and I give everything to my teammates, give everything to the coaching staff.
When you fall short, it hurts and it eats at you, and it hurts me to know that I wish I could have done better and done more and just put a little bit more effort or whatever the case may be to help us get over the hump.  But it just wasn't our time.

Q.  When you lose on a stage like this, how fast do you begin thinking about next season?
LEBRON JAMES:  I haven't thought about next season at all.

Q.  LeBron, with all the things you're talking about, Kyrie, Kevin, that you were dealing with, was there ever a point in this Finals that you doubted whether you'd be able to pull this off?
LEBRON JAMES:  Yeah, when the numbers went to zero and we lost tonight.  That's when I doubted.  That's when it was over.  I mean, obviously, I knew it was going to be a tough task, and I continued to tell you guys we were undermanned.  I don't know any other team‑‑ I've been watching basketball for a long time.  I'm an historian of the game.  I don't know any other team that's gotten to The Finals without two All‑Stars.  I cannot remember thinking of it.  I can't remember in the back‑‑ I don't even know if it's ever happened, for a team to lose two All‑Stars and still be able to make it to The Finals.
Even what Andy brings to our team as well, that's another double‑double guy.  We had three playmakers in suits this round and even throughout the playoffs.  You've got to have all the playmakers.  You've got to be healthy.  You've got to be at full strength to win it.  We weren't.  We just wasn't.

Q.  The way you had to play in this series was so out of character for you in terms of how you like to play.  Did any part of you enjoy doing that, enjoy being able to do that?  Or do you prefer what's more comfortable to you?
LEBRON JAMES:  Well, I mean, I enjoy the competition.  And whatever it takes throughout the competition I'm fine with.  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.  We had 14 assists tonight.  I had nine of them.  I did not enjoy that.  That's not winning basketball.
Like I said, we had two big‑time playmakers on the sideline.  We've got another one that's been out since early in the season.  And it was what I had to do.  It was what was needed.  If I could have gave more, I would have done it, but I gave everything I had.

Q.  Did you at any point feel the series shift?  And if you felt that shift, were you concerned at the time that there wouldn't be an adjustment that the Cavs can make?
LEBRON JAMES:  I felt‑‑ I mean, it was a great series up until‑‑ they blew the game open in the fourth in Game 5, but we had a chance there.  Tonight we had our chances, but, you know, we ran out of talent.  We ran out of talent tonight.  We gave everything we had.  The guys played as hard as they could as long as we could.
But that team across the way, you tip your hats to them.  I cannot remember a team like them being healthy all year for the most part.  All the guys, I mean, they did a great job.  Guys being healthy, guys playing their system, and it showed in these Finals.

Q.  LeBron, we learned a little bit more about your, I guess, training regimen throughout the course of these playoffs.  Basically it's a two‑month process you go through with mental and physical preparation.  When you don't get the championship, is there any sense of‑‑ do you question whether it's all worth it?  Or can you just have satisfaction in the process?
LEBRON JAMES:  Well, of course you question it, especially when you get to this point.  I always look at it would I rather not make the playoffs or lose in The Finals?  I don't know.  I don't know.  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.  It would hurt a lot easier if I just didn't make the playoffs and I didn't have a shot at it.
But then I lock back in and I start thinking about how fun it is to compete during the playoffs and the first round, the second round, and Eastern Conference Finals.  If I'm lucky enough to get here again, it will be fun to do it.
But put my body through a lot, you know, but it's the price for your body feeling this way for winning.  Did I win?  I didn't win a championship, but I've done a lot of good things in this first year back, and hopefully I can continue it.

Q.  First of all, congrats on the season.  Secondly, would you say that this is the most disappointing of the four losses in The Finals?
LEBRON JAMES:  All four of them are disappointing.  It's not one that's higher or lower or in the middle.  You don't win, it's disappointing.  It's not just one is bigger than the other.

Q.  I meant because of the comeback, the fact that you came back here and decided to make it your home again?
LEBRON JAMES:  No, 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.  You lose The Finals, it's disappointing.

Q.  LeBron, everybody on the Warriors agreed that defending you was the toughest job in basketball.  What was your impression of what kind of job Andre Iguodala did, and what was his effect on the series?
LEBRON JAMES:  Well, I think the last couple games he played well.  He played great, especially offensively.  He made us defend him.  He knocked down open shots.  Defensively, it's never a one‑on‑one battle.  Guys get caught up in this whole one‑on‑one thing, and it's never a one‑on‑one battle.  Every time I'd get past him, another guy would step up, Draymond Green or whatever the case may be.
It's never one‑on‑one.  It's not‑‑ this isn't Bird versus Magic or that old video game, Jordan versus Bird, or whatever the case may be.  There's no one‑on‑one.  But I think his ability to play multiple positions for their team along with some of those other guys allowed their team to be so dynamic.
He made us pay.  He made us pay tonight with big shots, timely shots, getting out on the break, getting rebounds, getting assists.  He was pretty good for their team.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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