In 2016, the Cleveland Cavaliers won the NBA Championship. In doing so, they reached LeBron James’ stated goal of winning the franchise’s first title and the first for any team in Cleveland since 1964.
A year later, the mindset has to be different, right? Being a team coming off of a championship has to be different than being one coming off of a relatively close Finals loss. But according to LeBron, things have not changed at all.
“I think it’s the same process,” James said, per James Herbert of CBS Sports. “Since we all came together and this team has been formed, we wanted to compete for a championship. And this has been no [different]. That’s just the word every day. But we want to always follow the process and understand that you can’t shortcut the process. But our ultimate goal is to compete for a championship, and we’ve been able to put ourselves in a position to do that for the three years that we’ve been together. So that’s been pretty constant.”
LeBron also bluntly declined the idea that the burden has been lessened, saying “I still can’t sleep.”
That’s the mindset that any team has to have if its thinking about winning. If the Cavaliers get complacent, the Golden State Warriors will run them over in the finals, if Cleveland even reaches that level. The same is true for Golden State if it gets complacent.
Thus far, the Cavs have looked like a focused team. They’ve started the playoffs 9-0, steamrolling most of their opponents. So, whatever LeBron is doing is obviously working.