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Kevin Durant: My Responsibility Is To Myself, Not The NBA's Competitive Balance

14 June 2018

Golden State ended Cleveland's bid Friday night with a sweep in the NBA Finals, and perhaps LeBron James' second run with the Cavaliers. The crowd rose to salute him in what may be his last game as a Cavalier.

James had suffered a hand injury after the Cavs' overtime loss in Game 1 on May 31. Having taken place on a Friday night, ratings themselves weren't necessarily going to match up with games that are played during the week or on Sundays. By the time they reached the Finals, it was clear that the Cavaliers didn't stand a chance at defeating them four times in a seven-game stretch.

There were still a few seconds left on the clock when the Golden State Warriors stormed off their bench to begin a celebration that wasn't guaranteed.

The 33-year-old father-of-three told USA Today in January his children would be the deciding factor in whether he retires, and he was feeling more pressure to be around as they grew up.

"I've got a big smile on my face right now", Curry said. Has LeBron James played his last game in a Cavs uniform? I think it's more special when you do it with people who support you and love you, care about what you do as a ball player.

"When you feel like you are really good at your craft, it's always great to be around other great minds and other great ballplayers", James said. But word of James' injury didn't originate from his camp, and it makes little sense he would be eager to reveal this lapse in judgment.

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Love, 29, averaged 17.6 points and 9.3 rebounds per game this season and boasted his best shooting season in Cleveland as he hit 45.8 percent of his attempts from the field and 41.5 percent from three-point range.

The Cleveland Cavaliers can offer LeBron James the most money in free agency, and that is their one distinct advantage. The Warriors' successful title defense marked the 13th time in National Basketball Association history a team has won at least two in a row, and they became the seventh franchise to do so, joining the Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls, Houston Rockets, Miami Heat and Detroit Pistons. "I was there in the Hamptons (at the Durant recruiting session) when we had that discussion". You don't just have to assemble a roster that can challenge Golden State, but you have to do it at close to their price. They can make plays.

Houston and the Los Angeles Lakers are oft-mentioned as possible James destinations - but since they're in the Western Conference that would mean potentially dealing with the Warriors earlier in the playoffs.

But it's hard to envision a scenario where James knows where he's going - if anywhere. "I'm going to try to hold onto it for as long as I can".

Following the team's most-recent championship - a 4-0 sweep over the Cleveland Cavaliers - the team's owner, Joe Lacob, made a major announcement about the team's future plans. "And we will get it done". "He's on the past year of a deal, so they don't want to take on money".

Kevin Durant: My Responsibility Is To Myself, Not The NBA's Competitive Balance