Cavs star LeBron James finds himself in a unique situation, as he is preparing to play in a Game 7 of a first-round playoff series for the first time in his career.
James saw his team get destroyed by the Pacers in Friday night’s game, 121-87, and the Cavs are in jeopardy of missing the NBA Finals, something that is new for them. They’ve made the Finals in each of the past three seasons, but a winner-take-all game and a potential showdown with a rested Raptors team — before even potentially qualifying for the Eastern Conference Finals, no less — won’t make things easy on them.
In the past, James has played alongside a star — Dwyane Wade and Kyrie Irving in recent years — who can help take the pressure off him. He doesn’t have that this season, and it’s negatively impacted the team. The Cavs have looked mediocre this year, and it’s caused many to speculate about James potentially leaving the team to pursue free agency over the summer. He has the option to opt out of the final year of his contract if he chooses, and it wouldn’t be a shock if he elects to do that.
James was asked about the possibility of leaving the Cavs after Friday’s loss, and he didn’t rule it out.
“The thought that if we don’t play well that it will be my last game of the year will probably hit my mind,” James said. “But I haven’t thought about that.”
It’s hard to believe that James hasn’t thought about what he plans to do in the future, at least on some level. Sure, right now his main focus is on beating the Pacers, but it’s possible that he’s been watching the rest of the teams in the postseason a bit more closely than in years past.