INDEPENDENCE, Ohio — LeBron James finally talked about not making the NBA finals, and insists Cleveland’s loss to Orlando will not impact his future with the Cavaliers.
James stormed out of Amway Arena without speaking to the media Saturday night after the Cavs were eliminated with a 103-90 loss to the Magic in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals. The league MVP, who also did not shake hands with Olympic teammate Dwight Howard or congratulate any Orlando players as he left the floor, said Sunday that he’s happy in Cleveland and feels the Cavs made major progress this season.
“I’m great. I feel great about this situation that’s going on,” James said. “You want to continue to get better, that’s all you can ask. We got better and I feel this team will be better next season. You don’t want to take a step backward. I think we went forward from the Boston series (a Game 7 loss in the semis) last year.
“Hopefully we can go forward next year.”
The Cavaliers won 66 regular-season games and their second Central Division title this season.
James, who averaged 38.5 points, 8.3 rebounds and 8.0 assists against Orlando, said he hasn’t given any thought to signing a contract extension with the Cavs this summer.
Cleveland can offer the extension on July 18 — the three-year anniversary of him signing his previous deal.
“I don’t know,” James said when asked if he’ll sign. “I haven’t thought about it just yet. I’m just going to take time off from basketball and not think about contracts or the game period. I’ll relax with my family we’ll figure out once it comes from them.”
James said he sent an email to Howard following Saturday’s game.
“It’s hard for me to congratulate somebody after you just lose to them,” he said. “I’m a winner. It’s not being a poor sport or anything like that. If somebody beats you up, you’re not going to congratulate them. That doesn’t make sense to me. I’m a competitor. That’s what I do. It doesn’t make sense for me to go over and shake somebody’s hand.”