As the Cavaliers prepare for Game 1 of the NBA Finals against the Warriors, the fourth consecutive meeting between the two franchises in the Finals, the journey for Cleveland was not easy. A midseason roster purge cast doubt over the Cavaliers’ ability to construct the team chemistry necessary for a deep postseason run.
“It was at points where, ‘OK, will the Cavs even make the playoffs?'” James said. “And I was like, ‘OK, I am not settling for that conversation. Now that is just ridiculous. Now I have got to get into the postseason.'”
James has been instrumental in leading the Cavaliers to this point as the team escaped tough series against the Pacers, Raptors, and Celtics to face Golden State. However, James also divulged that his doubts began forming last summer when the team decided to trade Kyrie Irving.
“Even if you start back to the summertime where I felt like it was just bad for our franchise just to be able to trade away our superstar point guard,” James said. “A guy that I had been in so many battles with over the last three years, and obviously I wasn’t a part of the communications and know exactly what went on between the two sides. But I just felt like it was bad timing for our team.”
Check out more Cavaliers notes below:
- Terry Pluto of The Plain Dealer looked back at the Kyrie Irving trade and the repercussions it had on the Cavaliers, Celtics, and even the point guard’s own career. Irving last played on March 11 before he was ruled out for the remainder of the year due to a knee injury which predates his Boston tenure.
- George Hill was traded from the Kings to the Cavaliers just before the deadline and he said he’s excited to be suiting up for the NBA Finals after playing for a losing team in Sacramento, Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee writes. “You’re competing for an NBA Finals (with Cleveland),” Hill said, “In Sac we were just playing. I feel like my teammates in Sac, I love them to death. … But it’s a whole different feeling when you’re playing for something, totally different. We’re playing for something and that’s why we’re here today.”
- Head coach Tyronn Lue temporarily left the team two months ago due to medical reasons and he revealed to ESPN’s Rachel Nichols that he’s been treated for anxiety. “I’m glad it wasn’t anything serious,” Lue said. “Just anxiety, and the medication I’m on is great. No more chest pains, so everything’s been great.”