LeBron James' conversation with Jerry West after losing first two NBA Finals

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Golden State Warriors at Cleveland Cavaliers - 6/8/18 Free NBA Finals Game 4 Pick, Odds, and Prediction

In some ways the Cavaliers never recovered after almost upsetting Golden State on the road in Game 1 of the series. The East might be a wild race, with Toronto, Philadelphia and Boston probably all likely to enter the year thinking they have NBA Finals potential - as will any team that has James on its roster next fall. We've seen dynasties come to an end that way, but the Warriors persevered, in large part due to their fearful leader.

As he often mentions, it's generally not about Xs and Os with this team. "They had an wonderful run". And Kerr's nightmarish pet peeve: Are we turning the ball over?

Now, as James said Thursday, "everyone is trying to figure out" how to assemble a team to knock off a dynasty. After all, Kerr knows.

Through the first three games of the 2018 Finals, the Wine & Gold went toe-to-toe with the reigning Champs.

The NBA might have to get used to this. He feared it would cause his Warriors to underachieve - which, for them, was anything short of another championship. "We still have to keep that enthusiasm, trust and belief that we can get this thing done".

After setting an National Basketball Association record with 73 wins during the 2015-16 season, the Warriors infamously blew a 3-1 lead to the Cleveland Cavaliers to miss out on the title.

"Our season was kind of the unknown". "It's just a testament to his character and who he is as a person and as a player".

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"I let the emotions get the best of me and pretty much played the last three games with a broken hand", James said at press conference after Friday's 108-85 loss in Cleveland, where he appeared with his right hand in a cast. Kerr sounded exhausted when explaining his actions.

But this is as far as I'll go with guarantees before the LeBron Sweepstakes officially begin: James will not feel as though he owes Cleveland anything after these last four seasons. "I'm exhausted of my voice". They went 7-10 in their final 17 games of the regular season. "But what's most important for me is bringing one trophy back to Northeast Ohio". "It's just the talent we have and the experience we've gained". Every player has to draw the line somewhere. "The one thing that I've always done is considered, obviously, my family". But from there on, Durant, Curry, Thompson, Green and the rest of this California crew showed why they're the game's gold standard. Reserves became starters, and they were forced to deal with defensive attention and pressure that they hadn't yet felt in their careers.

Defending champion Golden State can capture a 3rd title in 4 seasons, carrying a 3-0 lead over the Cavaliers into Game 4 of their record 4th consecutive best-of-seven title matchup.

However, some said the focus on James' injury was an unwelcome distraction from the achievements of the Warriors - or even a convenient excuse following a comprehensive series defeat. Bell provided great minutes as a mobile, switchable big in the final two rounds.

Joining illustrious company, Durant became just the sixth player to win back-to-back Finals MVPs.

Warriors-Cavs was something special - the teams were Northern Lights for the league, their showdowns were something to look forward to every time they happened - and while I won't miss the trips to OH, I will sure miss this rivalry when it's gone. It was down the hall covering itself in champagne while LeBron sat silently at his locker and contemplated.

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