|LeBron on elbow: ‘It limited me some’||05.14.10 at 3:16 am ET|
Following the Cavaliers’ season-ending, 94-85 loss to the Celtics, Thursday night at TD Garden, Cleveland’s LeBron James spoke about both his injured left elbow and impending free agency. James finished his team’s Game 6 loss with 27 points, 19 rebounds, and 10 assists, but also had nine turnovers.
“LIke I said, I make no excuses and I had opportunities to do things that I wanted to do, it just didn’t fall for me,” said James, who went 8-for-21 from the floor in 46 minutes. “I’m not using the elbow as an excuse. It limited me some. You hope to be 100 percent going into any series, but at this point of the season I don’t know if there is anybody on both teams that’s 100 percent.”
When told it appeared as though the elbow limited his performance, James responded, “Well, I got a lot of time to think about it now.”
Besides the elbow, the other more most talked about subject when it came to James was the fact that the loss to the Celtics could represent the guard’s last game as a member of the Cavaliers. James is eligible to become a free agent this offseason, and figures to be courted by such teams as Chicago, Miami, and New York (which was represented by nine media outlets at the TD Garden Thursday night).
“I will approach this summer with the right mindset,” James said. “Me and my team will approach it the right way but I haven’t really thought about just now. Kinda still trying to figure out what went wrong in this series or things that we did right. We’ll see what happens.”
As for what James will be prioritizing when it comes to picking a team to play for, he made it clear that joining a contender will be most important.
“First of all I want to win,” he said. “And I mean, that’s my only thing; that’s my only concern. I’ve always prided myself on becoming a better basketball [player] individually and then taking it to, onto the court. I mean, it’s all about winning for me and I think the Cavs is committed to do that, but at the same time I’ll give myself options to this point. And like I said before, me and my team, we have game plan that we’re going to execute, and we’ll see where we’ll be at.”
With the scrutiny of James figuring to only amplify after two straight subpar performances, closing out his season, a few members of the Celtics came to the star’s defense following the series’ finale.
“He’s 25 but he’s getting this kind of pressure since eighth grade,” said Celtics forward Michael Finley. “I met LeBron earlier in his high school career and when came into the gym it was the same media attention that he’s getting now. He’s used to it. It doesn’t faze him. He’s a good kid. In my opinion he has the most pressure of anyone in the NBA on his shoulders night in and night out and he handles it as a professional.”
“I thought it was madness what happened to him over the last 48 hours,” said Celtics coach Doc Rivers. “People don’t realize how good he is, and he’s human. He had a bad game. Tonight wasn’t one, I can tell you that … He’s a great kid. He’s everything you want. If someone else gets him they’ll be the luckiest team in the league.”
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