LeBron James interview quotes after Finals loss
Thursday night the San Antonio Spurs, playing on the road, beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 83-82, winning Game 4 and sweeping the Cavs to win the 2006-07 NBA championship. Cavs superstar LeBron James struggled all series. Here's what he said after the Cavs were swept 4-0, eliminated from the Finals:
Q. What did you think of your performance individually in this series and what you learned from this series?
LEBRON JAMES: It definitely could have been better. It could have been better in order for us to win. You know, if I don't play well, our team is not going to have a good chance to win. You know, I've got a lot of things to work on to get better for next year.
Q. To follow up with that, I mean, what's the first thing? Prioritizing in terms of what you need to work on for next year.
LEBRON JAMES: There's no one thing that I want to focus on intensively, it's just everything. I need to definitely get better, and once I get better, our team will automatically get better, and I know that. I have to do everything that I've done well and try to improve in order for us to be a better team next year.
Q. I know you're disappointed right now, but at what point will you look back and say, hey, we did some good things and be happy with what you did here?
LEBRON JAMES: I'm not sure. You know, you're definitely disappointed. I'm not disappointed in our effort the last two games, not at all. I think we played well. We definitely just faced a better team in this series, simple as that.
Q. Can you just talk about how much you basically have carried this franchise, but you still need help; you can't do everything by yourself? What needs to be done maybe supporting cast-wise, and did you feel heavy pressure during the series?
LEBRON JAMES: I really think the team we have now is good enough to win a championship, and I really stressed that from the beginning. It just shows we went up against a better team, simple as that. We went up against a better team in this series, and everybody has to be better coming into next season. I have to be ten times better. Our team has to be ten times better. As individuals, if we all put in the work this summer and come to training camp next year, our level automatically rises.
Q. Do you think maybe in the offseason you have to be aggressive with Danny in trying to get the right guys come in?
LEBRON JAMES: I'm just excited about what happened with our team this year. You know, we gave it all. We did what we said, made it to the championship, try to win the championship. We won the Eastern Conference Championship. We wanted to win the big thing, but when we look back on it, hopefully we can be satisfied, or not satisfied, but happy with what we have done.
Q. Can you just talk about your feelings when you saw the Spurs celebrating on your court and how much of a motivation will that be to have that be your team?
LEBRON JAMES: I didn't. I didn't want to turn around at all and look at it, but I've seen other teams win the title before, me watching on TV, so I know what they were doing. But I didn't turn around and look at it (smiling). I didn't want to look at it.
Q. For you, you said you're a no-excuses team, but now that this series is over, this season is over, how much maybe was fatigue a factor for you, very uncharacteristic of you, 23 turnovers in the four games, shooting 33 percent. Now that it's over, was fatigue a factor?
LEBRON JAMES: I don't think so. I felt great throughout the whole season. Everyone at this point is -- everyone is injured at this point, everyone is a little fatigued. It's not an excuse. I definitely felt good coming into this series, and I think the defensive intensity and some of the things they did kept me off guard and kept the team off guard. The turnovers are uncharacteristic of what happened. It was a lot of unforced things, me losing the ball or me making bad passes. It's all things I can control, and I wasn't able to do that.
Q. What's the biggest thing that you'll take away from The Finals that will help you in the future?
LEBRON JAMES: We have to be better. Me, as an individual, I have to be much better on and off the court, and that will carry our team to higher levels. I think it starts with me first and then it will trickle down to everybody else.
Q. What did this team learn from this series?
LEBRON JAMES: I'm not sure. We haven't really talked about it. You know, we went up against a better team. We know the Spurs is definitely the better team in this series. They played like it. They never got rattled when we made runs. They never sped up. They played their own tempo, and they kept us off balance. I think we learned that as good as we thought we was, there was still a team out there that was better than us.
Q. I saw you entering the pressroom and exchanging some words with Tim Duncan. I was just wanting to know what you guys were talking about?
LEBRON JAMES: I was just basically congratulating him on a wonderful season, on his championship. He's definitely a great player and he has a great supporting cast around him. I think it's great. If I couldn't do it, why not Tim Duncan? He's definitely a very good player, and he definitely brings out the best in his teammates. I think I kind of want to do the same thing and try to do the same thing with my teammates, so we're kind of the same player, me in the perimeter, him in the post.