LOS ANGELES: LeBron James is aiming to emulate the fearless approach of his idol Michael Jordan as he prepares for another tilt at glory with the Cleveland Cavaliers following last season’s heartbreak.
The world’s best basketball player is girding himself for the new season after suffering yet another disappointment in the NBA Finals, when the Cavs lost out to the Golden State Warriors.
James produced a remarkable individual contribution to the Cavaliers’ unsuccessful challenge, becoming the first player in history to lead both teams in points, assists and rebounds for the entire series.
Yet the statistics — which included an eye-popping average of 35.8 points across six games — could not mask the bitter sting of disappointment felt by the 30-year-old forward, who has now finished on the losing side four times in six visits to the NBA Finals.
James admitted recently that the latest defeat was even harder to stomach, joking he had almost got to the point where he’d prefer not to reach the postseason rather than fall at the final hurdle.
“Every year you lose in the Finals, it gets worse and worse to get over,” James said following another summer of discontent.
“Last year during the post-season (I asked) would I rather not even make the playoffs than lose in the Finals?
“It’s a very valid question to myself. You get all the way there and you lose, it’s like, ‘I could have those two months back, be laying out, helping my body get better.”