Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James has conceded that he couldn’t have foreseen before the season started that his team would have made it to the NBA Finals.
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Although many tipped James to lead his team to a championship the minute he returned to Cleveland last summer, there were undoubtedly numerous obstacles that the team as a whole had to overcome.
The likes of Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters and Kevin Love had never experienced the post-season previously, and with so many new faces and a new coach in David Blatt, it was bound to take time to gel together.
However, even in-season disruptions such as Anderson Varejao being ruled out for the season, Waiters being traded, JR Smith, Iman Shumpert and Timofey Mozgov arriving as well as Love and Irving suffering with injuries in the playoffs, the Cavs still managed to hold things together and advance to the Finals.
Blatt faced difficult questions over his future mid-way through the regular season, but the franchise battled through it and knew that success would ultimately make everything easier.
While that says a lot about James in particular given that the two-time NBA champion has almost dragged the team through the trenches to get to this point, it says a lot about the organisation as a whole too having overcome adversity and made things work.
“To be at this point tonight sitting up here talking to you guys, like I said, it’s very emotional,” James said at the postgame podium after defeating the Atlanta Hawks, Pro Basketball Talk reports.
“Could I foresee this? At the beginning of the season, I couldn’t. I couldn’t foresee us being in The Finals at the beginning of the season because I just knew that we just had to get better and I just saw how young we were and how young‑minded we were at that point in time. But I knew I had to lead these guys, and if they just followed my leadership, I knew I could get them to a place where they haven’t been before.”
It is certainly an impressive feat for the organisation, and now they await their opponents in the season finale as the Golden State Warriors look to wrap things up against the Houston Rockets as they currently lead the Western Conference Finals 3-1.