Golden State Warriors could make history

Brian Windhorst picks the two biggest factors in LeBron's free agency decision

No team in National Basketball Association playoff history has won a series from a 3-0 deficit, but no National Basketball Association team had rallied from 3-1 in the finals until Cleveland shocked Golden State in the 2016 finals.

But there was no sign James was considering retirement after Friday's game four loss. There will be no parade for him this year, no ring, no banner ceremony. He scored 23 points in what turned out to be the last game of the finals last night.

This ending - a loss - was inevitable: For as good as James was this season, his Cavaliers were not good enough. The Warriors are much better.

For his overall playoff performance, Durant was named the MVP of the NBA Finals for a second straight season.

Durant scored 20 points while registering a triple-double in the series clincher but his efforts will be remembered mostly for the playoff career-high 43 points he scored in a pivotal Game Three that all but sealed the title.

The Warriors are smarter. The Cavs led briefly in the first half, but it was over shortly after halftime.

When James left Game 4 for the last time he bumped fists with some Warriors players, but avoided using his right hand.

Nor after everything James said in his unforgettable "I'm Coming Home" essay he co-wrote with Lee Jenkins for Sports Illustrated in July 2014.

"It's an unbelievable feeling to come here with a mission and get the job done", Curry said. "I'm happy I'm a part of this group".

Virtually every word James has uttered over the past week would lead one to believe that he is prepared to leave the Cavaliers.

It was the team's majority team owner Joe Lacob himself who confirmed this report, and he even went on to guarantee that a deal would be put in place sooner rather than later. No one. Not everything is scandal.

James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh worked out that they would play together in Miami in 2010.

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Thing is, there's no obvious choice.

'The only thing is with my kids getting older, that's the only thing that kind of stops me from going as long as I'd like to, ' he said. A James-Paul-James Harden trio in Houston might knock off the Warriors. If they get that win tonight, it'll be an emphatic end to a lopsided series against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The teams James has been linked to most often if he leaves the Cavaliers are the Lakers, Rockets, 76ers and Spurs. That's why he spends well over $1 million a year to tweak and hone his body.

At some point, Curry will deserve the acknowledgement that befits his status as one of the NBA's best players ever. They're that close, and James can be persuasive.

"To win in a sweep, it feels pretty good", Durant said. "From five years ago until now, it seems like he's 10 times better, because he's added so much skill to his game".

None of this could be taken any other way than as bright flashing lights signaling that these were the final days of James' second stint in Northeast Ohio. He has given the city so much.

James left Cleveland in 2010 in a televised process called "The Decision".

Another "Summer of LeBron" could start as early as Friday night.

Now James, a free agent, has a hard off-season decision.

Staying in the east would also be of benefit to James. His decision, whatever it is, will dictate if Cleveland is a contender next season or a tanker. "The way he can score the ball in so many different ways".

What makes the Warriors-Cavs rivalry special isn't merely the exceptional talent we've seen on the court, battling for the ultimate prize, over the last four years - it's been that the teams have traversed 49-week journeys every year to meet for three weeks in June.

With that, he was gone. This is a bittersweet sort for Cleveland-to come so far in these playoffs and yet to know, as the world did, that the trophy was never at all in its reach.

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