NBA Finals: LeBron James faces his basketball mortality after falling short again

We’ve seen a lot of shades of LeBron James at the NBA Finals. That’s going to happen when a man has been at a press conference for the final game of eight different Finals. We’ve seen him petulant (2011), we’ve seen him giddy (2012). We’ve seen him joyful (2016) and we’ve seen him frustrated (2015). 

In 2014, LeBron James was mostly checked out. He knew the Spurs were better, but he knew he had more greatness in him, that he had more greatness ahead of him. People in Miami would suggest that at the back of their minds, they knew even then his heart was headed back to Ohio. 

In 2017, we saw a new LeBron James at the podium after a Finals loss. After Golden State defeated Cleveland 129-120 Monday in Game 5 of the NBA Finals to win the series 4-1, James joined an elite group of players to lose five Finals, which is still never a list you want to be on. James was confident, he was, in a sense, relieved. He said that he knew he left it all on the floor, he knew that he couldn’t play better than he did in these five games. 

And he’s right.