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During last years NBA Finals, LeBron James told the world that he had some hidden motivation for winning the NBA Championship for Cleveland that he couldn’t talk about till he actually won the title. Following the Cavs historic win over the Warriors in the 2016 NBA Finals last night, James told ESPN exactly what the motivation was.
It turns out that when the 3-time Finals MVP left Miami back in 2014, members of the Miami Heat organization said some hurtful things to James and made him even more hungry for his third title. Though he didn’t reveal any names, LeBron hinted that it was people he had grew close with.
During last year’s Finals, after tying up the series at 1 with an undermanned Cavs team, James hinted at it, saying, “I have some other motivation that I won’t talk about right now. … I hope we win so I can tell y’all.”
They didn’t win, and the Warriors took Games 4 through 6 and celebrated on the Cavs’ floor. James didn’t tell.
He held on to the secret motivation for 12 more months, declining to elaborate even when asked privately, allowing the intrigue to grow. Sunday, finally, it was time to tell the whole story.
“When I decided to leave Miami — I’m not going to name any names, I can’t do that — but there were some people that I trusted and built relationships with in those four years [who] told me I was making the biggest mistake of my career,” James told ESPN.com just outside the Raiders’ locker room.
“And that s— hurt me. And I know it was an emotional time that they told me that because I was leaving. They just told me it was the biggest mistake I was making in my career. And that right there was my motivation.”