James feels no ill will for team Warriors built
CLEVELAND — LeBron James knew what might happen when Kevin Durant joined the Warriors.
James understood the potential of this Golden State goliath with more talent than perhaps any team the NBA has seen before, and isn’t envious of the Warriors for building a superpower in sneakers.
He’d do it, too.
One day after the Cleveland Cavaliers plunged into a 3-0 hole in the NBA Finals with a 118-113 loss, James said he didn’t have a problem with Durant tilting the balance of power by joining forces with a star-studded team that already had Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green and was coming off a league-record 73 wins in the regular season.
“It’s part of the rules,” James said Thursday. “Is it fair? I don’t care. It’s great for our league. Right now, look at our TV ratings, look at the money our league is pouring in. I mean, who am I to say if it’s fair or not?”
James paved the way for Durant by leaving Cleveland as a free agent in 2010 to join the Miami Heat and play with All-Stars Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade. The trio made four consecutive trips to the Finals, winning twice.
“I’m not one to judge and say if it’s fair or not if guys are adding players to their team,” he said. “It happens. It’s sports. You have an opportunity to sign one of the best players, and you can do it, go ahead and do it.
“Why not? If I become an owner, I’m going to try to sign everybody.”
Golden State can close out a perfect 16-0 record in this year’s postseason and win its second title in three years today.
James has been to the Finals for seven straight years, and eight times altogether. His first appearance was 10 years ago, and also ended in a sweep by a team in the midst of an impressive run — the San Antonio Spurs captured their third Larry O’Brien Trophy in a five-year span.
“I think it’s just part of my calling to just go against teams in the midst of a dynasty,” James said. “This has been the best team in our league the last three years. They won a championship, and last year it was the greatest regular-season team we had played, probably one of the best postseason teams that everybody’s ever seen as well, but we were just able to overcome that.
“And they’re playing like one of the best teams once again, and obviously this team is built to be able to do that with the talent that they have. Obviously you never know what’s going to happen, but as it stands right now, they look pretty good, as far as the future.”
As for his own future, James, who is averaging 32 points, 12.3 rebounds and 10.3 assists in the Finals, said he hasn’t decided how much longer he’ll play.
“I definitely want to compete,” he said. “I want to compete for championships every year, and so we’ll see what happens.”