A seven game series is one of the surest ways to prove who is truly the better team in a matchup. You can’t fluke your way to four wins. That’s why LeBron James is irked by the notion that the Spurs gave away last year’s championship.
“I can’t sit here and lie to you,” he said. “We feel slighted in the fact that … [the series] went seven [games]. It wasn’t like it was 3-0 [Spurs] and they had us in Game 4 and we took it and won four straight. … We did our part, they did their part. Both teams put themselves in a position to win an NBA championship, and we just happened to make one or two more plays to win it.”
Being the student of the game that he is, James was quick to point out how unbelievably even last year’s Finals were from a statistical standpoint.
“If you look at the numbers, the lead changes, the ties, and the points in that series, it’s almost even,” James said. “The numbers are very, very, very close. … But that’s last year. … This trophy belongs to nobody. It’s up for grabs.”
Just how close was last year’s series? As Sports Illustrated notes, the cumulative score from all seven games was 684-679, with San Antonio holding the five point edge. That’s ridiculous.
Trying to predict a winner between teams this evenly matched is a pretty big waste of time -- even if it's fun. But regardless of what transpires over the next four-plus games, LeBron says he has no time for people who say his legacy hinges on the outcome of this series.
“My legacy will speak for itself after I’m done playing,” James said. “To be in this position to win a third straight [title], it’s a blessing. I couldn’t ask for more. This is an opportunity for me to do what I always wanted to do and that’s to continue to win championships. That’s what I’m here for.”