LeBron James told reporters Sunday that he doesn't dwell on past losses—namely the Cleveland Cavaliers' Game 3 collapse in the 2017 NBA Finals to the Golden State Warriors, when the Cavs blew a six-point lead in the final three minutes—but rather his family remains his focus, per Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com:
"What's going to stick with me is seeing my daughter smile, seeing my kids graduate high school, college. Hopefully my daughter will go off and meet the man of her dreams. That's what's going to stick with me. I keep telling you all, these games and wins and losses, yeah, I love it, but it's not the be-all and end-all for me. So, I've had so many moments in this game that I'm going to cherish. But Game 3 here in the Finals or a game there, I'm good. I don't lose sleep anymore."
James did acknowledge that Monday's Christmas Day meeting against the Warriors would mean something to him and the Cavaliers, though he stopped short of declaring it any more important than another regular-season game.
"Absolutely. You would be unhuman if it didn't [matter]. But obviously, this is a new format, this is a new team for us. We're still trying to continue to put things together and put pieces together. But yeah, you would be unhuman if you played three straight Finals versus a team and you felt nothing when you went out on the floor against them. So, absolutely."
The Cavaliers will be facing the Warriors for the first time since losing to them in five games during last year's NBA Finals. The Warriors have won two of the three titles the teams have contested in the past three years.
James also reminisced about some of the memorable games he played on Christmas, pointing out one city in particular:
"I've had a lot of games that kind of stood out. I mean, playing in the Staples Center is always a treat. I've never had an opportunity to play in the Garden, but playing in the Staples Center, I've been there quite a few times. So, it's kind of always fun to be in L.A. and play in front of that crowd and have that atmosphere. So, I've only had probably four games at home out of the 12, but being in the Staples Center has always been pretty good."
It's hard not to draw conclusions from that comment, as free-agency rumors surrounding the 2018 offseason continue to link James to the Los Angeles Lakers. On the other hand, the entire NBA stops when James becomes a free agent, so the 2017-18 season was always going to include plenty of speculation and analysis every time James mentioned the Lakers or pulled one of their players aside for postgame chat.
So much of James' future may yet depend on the present, namely whether James can coexist with Isaiah Thomas when the talented guard returns from injury and the Cavs can win their second title in four years. If all goes according to plan, James may feel little desire to leave.
Fail to win a title for the third time in four years, however, and things will become much more interesting. No matter where he plays next season, however, James made it clear Sunday that he'll expend more mental energy concentrating on his family than on his past disappointments on the court.