In helping Cleveland end its 52-year championship drought, NBA Finals MVP LeBron James referenced his religious beliefs in the Cavaliers’ postgame celebration.
“I don’t know why the Man above gives me the hardest road,” he said, “but … the Man above don’t put you in situations that you can’t handle.”
James led the Cavaliers as they came back from a 3-1 deficit to defeat the defending champion Golden State Warriors in Oakland, Calif., Sunday night with a 93-89 victory in Game 7.
Following his team’s dramatic win, James collapsed on the floor in tears. He shared his thoughts with ABC’s Doris Burke.
“I gave everything that I had," James said. "I put my heart and my blood and my sweat and my tears to this game. Against all odds. I don’t know why we want to take the hardest road. I don’t know why the Man above gives me the hardest road, but … the Man above don’t put you in situations that you can’t handle. And I just kept that same positive attitude, like, instead of saying, ‘Why me?,’ just saying, ‘This is what He wants me to do.' Cleveland, this is for you.”
A native of Akron, Ohio, James entered the NBA directly from high school and was the number one overall pick in the 2003 draft by Cleveland. Despite becoming a dominant player, he was unable to bring a championship to Cleveland in his first seven seasons. He left for the Miami Heat in free agency in 2010, won back-to-back championships there and was viewed by many in Cleveland as a traitor. In 2014 he opted out of his Miami contract and returned to Cleveland with the stated mission to bring a championship to the title-starved city.