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June 12, 2017

LeBron James

Oakland, California: Postgame

Warriors - 129, Cavaliers - 120

Q. I know every season's different, every series is different, but two years ago you sat at your locker for 45 minutes with a towel over your head after the game ended. Tonight you're in here already. Can you go through your emotions in the moment and how -- it sounds silly, how this feels.
LEBRON JAMES: Well, for me personally, I left everything on the floor every game, all five games. So for me personally I have nothing to be -- I have no reason to put my head down. I have no reason to look back at what I could have done or what I shouldn't have done or what I could have done better for the team. I left everything I had out on the floor every single game for five games in this Finals, and you come up short.

So it would be the same if you feel like you wrote the best column of you your life and somebody picked another one over you. That's -- how would you feel? You know, so you wouldn't hold your head down, but you would be like, okay, it's just not my time.

So Golden State is a worthy opponent, obviously been the best team in our league for the last three years, the best team this year, and they showcased that throughout the post-season, and we were another opponent in their way.

It's just unfortunate for some of the guys on our team that's never been able to get this far and not be able to hold the trophy up. And those are things that kind of bother me more than anything. Guys like Kyle and Derrick and Deron and Kay and Edy. So, emotions are all over the place right now.

Q. You guys are obviously competitors, you think you can overcome everything. Was there ever a point in this series where you felt overmatched, like you weren't going to be able to do this?
LEBRON JAMES: No, I don't think I've ever -- not one time did I feel like we were overmatched until probably like I looked up, there was like a minute 20, and we were down 13, I believe, or something at that point. And I was like, okay, we left everything on the floor, and it still wasn't enough.

So that's -- they assembled a great team. We were able to get them last year, and they went out and got one of the best players that this league has ever seen, so they did a good job of -- a great job, their front office and their players, by doing that recruiting, the things that they did in the summertime, and obviously it paid dividends.

Q. 32 years old, 14 years in the league, and now there's this team out West that has won two championships the last three years. How do you view them when you look at what's your future in the league?
LEBRON JAMES: Well, it's a two-sided question because for me personally -- I don't know. I need to sit down and figure this thing out. And so I don't know as far as me personally right now.

But as far as that team, they're going to be here for a while. They're going to be around for a while. Pretty much all their guys are in their 20s. Pretty much all their big-name guys are in their 20s, and they don't show any signs of slowing down.

So there's going to be a lot of teams that's trying to figure out ways to put personnel together to try and match that if they're able to actually face them in the Playoff series, both Eastern Conference and Western Conference. Because they're built for -- from my eyes, they're built to last a few years. So we'll see.

Q. You said you have a sense of history about this. You averaged a triple-double in The Finals, never been done before. You referenced maybe the best. Was this your best series you've ever played?
LEBRON JAMES: I don't know. This is my 8th trip to the Finals, and I've had some pretty good ones in my day. And like I said, I just try to do everything to just try to help this team win and more. For me to go out there and for the guys that allowed me to be the leader that I am and allow me and trust me that I'm going to make the right plays and I'm going to do the right things and have the right intention, that's a compliment to a my guys, it's a compliment to the 14 guys that allow me to do at that and the coaching staff.

And I just try to put in the work. I put in the work individually, in the film room, in my mind, my body every single day to prepare myself for whatever obstacle that this ball club entails. Does it always result in us winning? No. This is my third year here, and we haven't won every game. We haven't won every Finals, obviously. We lost two of them.

So but like I've always told myself, if you feel like you put in the work and you leave it out on the floor, then you can always push forward and not look backwards.

Q. You mentioned all the energy you exert, and obviously you worked so hard. What do you plan on doing to get away from the game for a little while, and how long before you recharge your batteries and get back at it?
LEBRON JAMES: I don't know. I probably won't stop working out. I think it's just a lifestyle for me. So I probably will be back in my gym in the next couple days just because it's just who I am.

As far as being back on the basketball court, I'm going to take a while. I don't need to be back on the basketball court right now. I need to get off of my feet and let my joints and let my body kind of recover from being out on the floor for 14 straight years.

So but I'll train. I'll train all summer. It's just a part of who I am now, just a part of my lifestyle.

Q. Five years ago you broke through, got your first championship against Kevin Durant. Having those burdens and those expectations to finally achieve it, I'm wondering if you could offer your perspective what you think it must be like for him, having experienced something like that yourself?
LEBRON JAMES: It's a great feeling. When you're able to work hard, you're able to put in the work and accomplish a feat like that, it's something that we all dream about. Growing up in our inner cities, a lot of hard work and through high school, through college, if you went to college, and through the NBA, you always hope that you will be in a position to be able to not only compete for a championship but win a championship, and it's a great feeling.

Q. Obviously you can't control where free agents go and teams get stacked or whatnot. How you would you look back at this season? How can you assess this season?
LEBRON JAMES: Our team, our ball club?

Q. Yes.
LEBRON JAMES: We had some good times. We had some bad times. We had some times where -- the biggest thing of this season is we weren't able to get healthy. When we finally got healthy, the Playoffs was right around the corner. And we showed what we're capable of doing when we got a full unit. It would have been great to see us at a full unit throughout the whole season so we can continue to build and build the camaraderie and build the chemistry out on the floor so you don't have to wait until April to see what you're capable of doing.

And, yes, we were able to hit the switch, but those games in January, those games in November, games that people think that's not important, they're important to me, and they would have been important to our ball club.

But, whatever, we figured it out and got to the post-season as a two seed. We controlled home court and were able to win on the road in the Eastern Conference Finals in Boston, and we were able to punch our clock into competing for a championship. And as a ball club and as an individual, that's all you want, is an opportunity.

Now, obviously, we ran against, like I said, a worthy opponent, one of the best Playoff teams that this league has ever seen, obviously, and we weren't able to get over the hump and accomplish what we ultimately wanted to do. But it's no such thing as a failed season when you put in as much work as we have done individually and as a ball club since September. Since late September.

Q. You just said I need to take some time and sit down and figure this thing out, big picture, Warriors, all of that. Does it feel like the puzzle pieces are out there, you just can't see them yet?
LEBRON JAMES: Well, I don't know. I'm not a -- I'm not the GM of the team. I'm not in the front office, but I know our front office is going to continue to try to put our ball club, put our franchise in a position where we can compete for a championship year in and year out.

Like I said, teams and franchises are going to be trying to figure out ways that they can put personnel together, the right group of guys together to be able to hopefully compete against this team. They're assembled as good as you can assemble, and I played against some really, really good teams that was assembled perfectly, and they're right up there.

So we will see, but I will get away from the game a little bit, probably watch some WNBA games, though. Can't get away from it. I'll probably watch -- my son's tournament is this summer, so I'll be a part of the game. But as far as me actually playing, I won't. I won't be a part of the game much this summer.

Q. You've been a part of two super teams, the one you have here, the one you had in Miami, looking at what the Golden State Warriors have done, are you still a fan of the concept? Do you think it's a good thing for the NBA to build these teams how they brought in Kevin? You get what I'm asking?
LEBRON JAMES: No, not really. I don't believe I've played for a super team. I don't believe in that. I don't believe we're a super team here. So, no, I don't really, I don't -- you guys want one more question before I leave and not see you guys for a long time?

Q. It was mentioned before that Kevin Durant lost his first NBA Finals when you won your first NBA Finals. Kind of fast forwarding to right now, how is he a different player and a different person since you do know him personally, and even though you're -- obviously you're upset because you lost, how do you feel about him winning that first championship?
LEBRON JAMES: Well, I'm not happy he won his first. I'm not happy at all. But at the end of the day from when I played him in the 2012 Finals to now, like I said, experience is the best teacher in life, and he's just experiencing and experiencing and experiencing. And it also helps when you are able to experience some things with this team as well. He felt like he needed to reassemble and reassess his career and come here.

So like I said, having -- getting that first championship for me was like having my first son. It was just a proud moment, something that you never, ever forget. And at the end of the day, nobody can -- no matter what anybody says from now on in your career or whatever they say, they can never take away from you being a champion. That's something that they are always going to speak about, about you. It may be like the last thing they may say, but they are always going to have to say that you're a champion.

Like I said, when you put in the work and things pay off, then you can always be okay with whatever else that happens in your career.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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