The Cleveland Cavaliers lost Game 5 of the NBA Finals and were eliminated after what was an admirable playoff run.
However, LeBron James certainly was not to blame.
In fact, he made history in what was his fifth-career Finals series loss.
Averaging 33.6 points, 12.0 rebounds and 10.0 assists per game in the series, James became the first NBA player in history to record a triple-double in the Finals.
“I left everything on the floor every game, all five games,” James told reporters after the game. “So for me, personally, I have nothing to be — I have no reason to put my head down. I have no reason to look back at what I could have done or what I shouldn’t have done or what I could have done better for the team.”
“I left everything I had out on the floor every single game for five games in this Finals, and you come up short,” he explained.
James shot 56.4 percent from the field and 38.7 percent from three-point range in the series as well and didn’t score less than 28 points in a single game.
Teammate Kyrie Irving echoed that sentiment.
“He left it all out there on the floor,” Irving, who dropped 26 points in the loss, said. “And to average a triple-double in the freaking Finals, man, add that to the LeBron long list that everyone keeps forgetting.”
It’s obvious that Irving has an immense amount of respect for James. Take a look at his post-game comments:
LeBron also moved up the all-time list for most postseasons averaging 30-plus points, now with five.
He trails Jordan by seven in that regard, so it appears that MJ might hold onto that record even after LeBron eventually retires.
But, he now holds an NBA record for the most postseason games (14) with 30-plus points on 50 percent shooting, surpassing Shaquille O’Neal.
Incredibly, James led both teams in virtually every statistical category during the series. Consider the following tweet:
If that doesn’t bode well for his “greatest of all-time” argument, nothing will. Despite having limited resources around him against a far superior team, James was arguably still the best player on the court in each game of the series.
As one of the best competitors in NBA history, LeBron will now enter the 2017-2018 with a vengeance, as he will look to return to the Finals yet again. If history is an indication, it’s safe to assume that LeBron will be in a few more Finals before he eventually calls it quits.