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LeBron: Disappointment is same losing in Miami, Cleveland or Mars

Ira Winderman
Contact ReporterSouth Florida Sun Sentinel
This time LeBron mentions Miami by name

This time, LeBron James actually referenced his time with the Miami Heat by mentioning "Miami." Once again, it was in a context he preferred to avoid.

Having gone out of his way previously when it came to referencing his time with the Heat, alluding instead to, "the franchise that I was with at the time," James on Tuesday night put yet another NBA Finals loss into specific perspective after his Cleveland Cavaliers fell to the Golden State Warriors 4-2 in the best-of-seven series.

The loss left James 2-4 all-time in Finals series, with those two championships coming with the Heat in 2012 and '13. His tenure with the Heat ended with last June's Finals loss to the San Antonio Spurs.

From James' postgame media session:

Q: Would you say that this is the most disappointing of the four losses in The Finals?

A: "All four of them are disappointing. It's not one that's higher or lower or in the middle.  You don't win, it's disappointing. It's not just one is bigger than the other."

Q: I meant because of the comeback, the fact that you came back here and decided to make it your home again?

A: "No, you lose in the Finals, they're all disappointing.  Doesn't matter if I'm playing in Miami or playing in Cleveland or playing on Mars.  You lose The Finals, it's disappointing."

Moments before was this exchange:

Q: LeBron, I know, obviously, you have reason to be frustrated. Sitting at the locker like you were just really dejected.  Can you talk about how this feeling feels compared to other times where you probably might have been bounced off the playoffs and just your emotion and dealing with that?

A: "There's not much you can say really.  I mean, you get to this point, and I've been on the short end of this four times, and I've been able to win it twice.  It's really no great feeling when you lose.

"Only thing you can do is just try to pick yourself back up whenever that time may be and then just go at it again.  I'm a guy who is just trying to be successful in whatever I do, and I give everything to my teammates, give everything to the coaching staff.

"When you fall short, it hurts and it eats at you, and it hurts me to know that I wish I could have done better and done more and just put a little bit more effort or whatever the case may be to help us get over the hump.  But it just wasn't our time."

James, of course, left the Heat in the offseason as a free agent. The Heat then failed to make the playoffs for the first time in seven years.

That contrast also was raised in James' postgame media session.

Q: LeBron, we learned a little bit more about your, I guess, training regimen throughout the course of these playoffs. Basically it's a two¿month process you go through with mental and physical preparation. When you don't get the championship, is there any sense of . . . do you question whether it's all worth it? Or can you just have satisfaction in the process?

A:  "Well, of course you question it, especially when you get to this point.  I always look at it would I rather not make the playoffs or lose in the Finals?  I don't know.  I don't know.  I've missed the playoffs twice.  I lost in The Finals four times.  I'm almost starting to be like I'd rather not even make the playoffs than to lose in The Finals.  It would hurt a lot easier if I just didn't make the playoffs and I didn't have a shot at it.

"But then I lock back in and I start thinking about how fun it is to compete during the playoffs and the first round, the second round, and Eastern Conference Finals.  If I'm lucky enough to get here again, it will be fun to do it.

"But put my body through a lot, you know, but it's the price for your body feeling this way for winning.  Did I win?  I didn't win a championship, but I've done a lot of good things in this first year back, and hopefully I can continue it."

Following James' interview, former Heat teammate and ABC Finals analyst Dwyane Wade said of James' performance in the series, "His greatness was on full display."

Of James' showing over the two weeks, Wade said, "How much more can you do?"

iwinderman@tribpub.com. Follow him at twitter.com/iraheatbeat or facebook.com/ira.winderman

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