Now that the Cleveland Cavaliers have lost back-to-back Finals games by a combined 48 points, the series, it is presumed, is already over. But the talk of its impact on LeBron James’ legacy? Well, that’s just beginning.
Indeed, many pundits from around the country have already said that losing another Finals, especially in embarrassing fashion, will significantly mar James’ legacy. Mark Price, however, doesn’t subscribe to that line of thinking.
“To me, that kind of talk is silly,” the former Cavs All-Star guard said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “A guy that’s been to the Finals seven times, even though he’s only won two of those, to be in that position year in and year out is just an incredible accomplishment. Obviously I’m a LeBron fan. I think he’s a great player. What he did, leaving Miami to come back to Cleveland to try to help them win a championship, I think, says a lot about his passion for the city of Cleveland. Only one team can win it every year, unfortunately. But to give yourself a chance and be there and put yourself in that position, to me, it’s silly to say it hurts his legacy. I think what he’s accomplished and what he continues to do, to pull his teams to Eastern Conference championships and a chance to play for a ring ever year, is incredible.”
The city of Cleveland has not won a major sports championship in more than 50 years. The Cavaliers are making their fourth Finals appearance of the last decade, but if the first two games of this series were any indication, the franchise will remain ring-less – a prospect that has to wear on already-weary fan base.
“Everybody wants to win a championship,” Price said. “The city doesn’t want to win it any more than the players want to win it. When you get that far, I think there’s pressure on everybody to perform well and try to win. The city, they’re aching for a championship. You want to win one because they support their teams and they really, really are great fans. I played there, my jersey’s hanging in the rafters and I pull for Cleveland to do well. But it’s either going to happen at some point or it’s not. I think all you can do is try to get there like they’re doing now. If the Cavs can come out and win Game 3, it’s a whole new series. I think people saying that the series is already over, I think it’s too soon for that. After Game 3 will tell a whole lot more.”
The Cavs will need all hands on deck to win Game 3 on Wednesday. Tip-off is slated for 9 p.m. ET.
“You got to where you are by playing a certain way and a certain style,” Price said. “Although there’s adjustments that are being made all the time, I think if you get too far away from who you are as a team and the way you play, then I think you’re just chasing rabbits a little bit, trying to make adjustments to every little thing Golden State does. I think Cleveland’s got to come in and play and do the things that help them be successful: play through LeBron, spread the floor, put shooters out there and let LeBron do this thing.”