Afterwards, LBJ revealed some of the ugly things that were said to him after he bolted from Miami.
— The Undefeated (@TheUndefeated) June 20, 2016
LeBron: "All the emotions came out at the end of the game. People still counting me out after 13 years." pic.twitter.com/LTw0jQWJkK
— SLAM Magazine (@SLAMonline) June 20, 2016
His stint in Miami made him a two-time champion, but it also made him feel unappreciated on his way out the door. Ever since James left the Heat, the way his exit was received there nagged at him.
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 said 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.”