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LeBron downplays failure in Finals

MIAMI -- LeBron James understands that people hated "The Decision," mocked his welcoming party, delighted in his Finals failure.

He said he doesn't care. Those aren't the people the King aims to please.

"Absolutely not, because at the end of the day, all the people that were rooting on me to fail, at the end of the day, they have to wake up tomorrow and have the same life that they had before they woke up today," James said. "They have the same personal problems they had today.''

James, 25, left Cleveland for Miami to win titles, so he'd have All-Star help and wouldn't have to carry the team. Problem was, the Heat couldn't carry LeBron.

His disappointing first Finals with the Heat ended Sunday night with the Mavericks' 105-95 victory in Game 6. James started strong and faltered at the finish, just as the Heat did in this series.

James agreed the loss felt like a "personal failure. It hurts, of course, but I'm not going to hang my head low."

He averaged only 17.8 points, with few coming in the clutch situations that define the great players. He tried to console himself by noting he won two more games than he did in his first Finals, when his Cavaliers were swept by San Antonio in 2007, and that maybe he could win two more next time.

He'll need to. Because until then, the accusations of quitting against Boston in last year's playoffs, of shrinking under the pressure this time, will grow louder.

James had only 11 points in the final quarters of the first five games, a major reason Dallas kept finding ways to rally late. He had seven points in the final quarter of this one to finish with 21, but he had gone too long without impacting the game.

"Sometimes you got it, sometimes you don't, and that was the case in this series," James said.

"Any time you feel like you get to the top of the mountain and you fall off, there's definitely a personal failure."

New York Sports