LeBron James reveals he sustained ‘self-inflicted’ hand injury after Game 1

Video Details

LeBron addresses the media after the Cavs' Finals run ends.

JOE VARDON: Your hand injury, and we can obviously see the brace. Can you take us through what happened and if it caused you any problems over the final three games?

- What happened, self-inflicted. Post-game after Game 1, very emotional for a lot of different reasons. Understanding how important a Game 1 is on the road for our ball club, what would that have done for us. You know, the way we played, the calls that was made throughout the course of that game. I had emotions on, you know, the game was taken away from us. I had emotions of you just don't get an opportunity like this on the road versus Golden State to be able to get a Game 1. And, you know, I let the emotions get the best of me and pretty much played the last three games with a broken hand. So that's-- that's what it is.

JOE VARDON: And then I recognize the Finals just ended, but I know you're ready for these-- these questions. Do you feel like you've played your last game for the Cavs?

- I mean, I have no idea at this point. You know, the one thing that I've always done is consider, you know, obviously my family, understanding-- you know, especially where my boys are at this point in their age. They were a lot younger the last time I made a decision like this four years ago. I got a teenage boy, a preteen, and a little girl right now that wasn't around as well. So, you know, sitting down and-- and considering everything. But, you know, my family is-- is a huge part of whatever I decide to do in my career and they will continue to be that. So I don't have an answer for you right now as far as that.

ANNOUNCER: Tim, all the way in the back.

TIM REYNOLDS: LeBron, two questions. One-- all the way in the back. Two questions-- one, how do you want this season to be remembered, given, you know, guys in their 15th year don't do this at all. How do you want this year to be remembered?

- For me personally?

TIM REYNOLDS: Yes.

- I have no idea. I mean, that's for you guys to kind of figure out, how you want to characterize my-- my 15th season. You know, it's definitely been a whirlwind. It's been-- it's been ups and downs. It's been good, it's been bad. You know, for me, I just try to pay-- be consistent throughout the course of the season, be the leader I know I can be for this ball club, for this franchise, every night, no matter what was going on from the outside or the in-- or the inside, and, you know, be reliable every single day. Showing up to work every single day, putting in the work, and, you know, grinding every single day.

So, you know, I don't-- I have no idea how this story will be talked about in my season, but that's not-- I know I punched the clock in every single day, and that's for me to understand that and I'm OK with that.

TIM: And to kind of follow up on one of Joe's questions, you've gone through this dance that's coming this summer. You've gone through this a few times. Do you anticipate this just because of, like you said the family, and your kids going into high school and your age and all those things-- do you anticipate this summer being the toughest as far as deciding what the right path for you is?

- No, I feel like 10 was the toughest.

ANNOUNCER: Rachel up front.

RACHEL NICHOLS: Rachel Nichols, ESPN. How would you characterize these playoffs for you?

- For me personally?

RACHEL NICHOLS: And the team.

- And the team? You know, I wondered if we could-- could hit a switch some way, somehow. Because of the course of the regular season, it was just like-- I don't know. You guys asked me a lot. Our beat riders, you know, kind of asked us throughout the whole season, and then we made the trades. And right before the playoffs, a couple weeks before the playoffs-- do you feel like your team is ready for the postseason? I didn't know.

You know, it was just the unknown. I mean, our season was kind of the unknown and, you know, I wondered if we could hit a switch in the postseason. I figured if I stayed laser sharp, if I came in with the right mentality, if I came in with the right mindset, that I could-- you know, could help fast-track this throughout a lot of the games in the postseason because of my experience and because some of the other guys that experienced a lot of games. And I was able to do that, we was able to do that, and-- I mean, it's-- I mean, I don't know.

I mean, I think that's never a success. You know, it's never a success in the postseason when you lose. Not-- not for me. I have no idea. But for me personally, you know, like I said-- being reliable to my teammates, being able to play the game at a high level with as many games and as many miles that I have on my body and, you know, put together a run like I had in the postseason, is something that I can kind of remember. You know, the ending is obviously still fresh and still new, and you never wanted to lose, especially in this fashion, being a competitor. But it is what it is and, you know, like I said, I punched my clock every day.

RACHEL NICHOLS: I know you have no way to know yet whether your time here is over or not, but I'm wondering what playing with the word "Cleveland" across your chest has meant to you for this second run.

- Well, I mean, at the end of the day, you know, I came back because I felt like I had some unfinished business. And, you know, to be able to be a part of the championship team two years ago with the team that we had and in the fashion that we had is something I will always remember. Obviously, I think we all remember that. I mean it ended the drought for Cleveland-- it was 50-plus years. I think we will all remember that in sports history. So you know, when you have a goal, I think any individual, anybody, male, female, whoever the case may be-- when you have a goal and you, you know, you, like, seek that goal line and you dream about that dream and you put everything in you can to-- guys like this brace, huh?

[LAUGHTER]

Guys like this-- you like this cast, huh? You want me to sit it-- sit it right here for you?

[LAUGHTER]

I don't even know where I was, Rach. I'm sorry. Next question. I'm sorry.

RACHEL NICHOLS: It's good.

ANNOUNCER: Dave, standing on the left. Dave

DAVE MCMENAMIN: McMenamin, ESPN. LeBron, in 2010 you basically started-- or were part of a team starting from scratch. In 2014, same process, and then four months ago, and were able to get to the Finals. If you had to do that again in your career-- you know, basically start a team from scratch-- what have you learned from this year, that, you know, you're a different team in February from what you were playing with in the Finals?

- Well, it's definitely not the most comfortable thing, you know, to start a team from scratch, because the most important is health, because you need to build chemistry so fast and camaraderie so fast on the floor. And if you have multiple injuries or you have multiple bodies out, you know, when you're starting fresh, it's too hard. And I think with this season, that's-- that's what you kind of saw.

The difference between this season and the difference between my first year in Miami-- we didn't have many injuries at all. And we were definitely fresh together, but myself and D-Wade and Bosh-- you know, Udi, Mike Miller had a few injuries, but Chalmers was available, and pretty much our team. We were pretty solid as far as being injury-- not being injury-prone. Obviously my first year back here, we were headed in the right direction and then we hit the postseason and Kev has a separated shoulder with the tie-up with Olynyk, and then Kyrie, you know, goes down in like the first or second possession in overtime of Game 1 of the Finals.

So-- I mean, that's just huge. So being a part of the, you know, the start fresh mode is something that you definitely don't want to be a part of. It's-- it has its-- it has its pros and it definitely, definitely has its cons.

ANNOUNCER: Jason, up here.

JASON LLOYD: Jason Lloyd, The Athletic. When you tell Rachel you had-- you came back because you had unfinished business, does one championship finish that business?

- I mean, that's a trick question at the end of the day and I'm not falling for that.

JASON LLOYD: It's not a trick!

- Nah, yes it is. I mean, for me, I still have so much to give to the game and you know, like I said, when you have a goal and you're able to accomplish that goal, it actually for me, personally, made me even more hungry to continue to try to win championships. And I still want to be in championship mode and I think I showed this year why I will still continue to be in championship mode.

JASON LLOYD: And when you came back in '14 and we did the thing at InfoCision-- understanding that things-- things can change in four years-- but you said you don't plan on going anywhere-- you can't go through this again. What did you mean by that, and what's this process like, this free agency process of having to make a decision of where-- what-- can you just take us through, shed some light on what that process is like?

- Well, I mean, I'm not going to take you throughout-- throughout the whole process. That's not fun. But at the end of the day, like I said, you know, when I decide what I'm going to do with my future, my family and the folks who have been with me for the last 20 years, pretty much, will have a say-so, and then it ultimately will come down to me. So we'll see what happens.

ANNOUNCER: Howard, standing on the left.

HOWARD BECK: Howard Beck, Bleacher Report. LeBron, when you made the move in 2010, obviously you had certain goals and things in mind that-- that made you, pushed you toward that decision. Similar 2014. Are the decisions or the thought process priorities different at age 33, 15 years in, than they would have been at those other junctures?

- No, I don't think so. You know, to be able to-- I made the move in 2010 to be able to play with talented players, cerebral players, that you could see things that happened before they happened on the floor and your teammate can do the same-- you know, throughout the course of a season, throughout the course of a game, throughout the course of the playoffs, throughout the course of the Finals. So when you-- when you feel like you-- when you feel like you're really good at your craft, I think it's always great to be able to be around other great minds as well, you know, and other great ballplayers in my instance and other great-- you know, just, I think, studies of the game itself.

So that's never changed. Even when I came here in '14, I want to try to surround myself and surround this franchise with great minds and guys that actually think outside the box of the game and not just go out and play it.

ANNOUNCER: Marc, last one in the back left.

MARC STEIN: Marc Stein, New York Times. LeBron, whatever you decide this summer, how likely is it that down the road, you would want to actually own the Cavs and be the guy in charge here?

- Well, that top athlete money-per-year thing came out last week and I was sixth, so I'm in no way, shape, and form putting myself in a position right now to own a team. I think Floyd was 1 of like 252. So obviously, I don't have a boxing hand, so boxing won't be the sport I'll be going to. I don't know. I mean, at the end of the day, Marc, I think for me staying around the game, being around the game, will be something I'll probably do for the rest of my life, either while I'm playing for this, you know, this later stage of my career, advising people in the NBA, whatever the case may be.

But, you know, I got two boys that play the game as well, so I don't know. You know, I can't-- I can't predict the future on ownership and things of that nature, but I have a lot of knowledge of the game. I understand talent. I know talent. But I know the right questions to ask certain guys and see if they're smart enough to actually think the game as well. So we'll see what happens.