James, 33, has endured one of the most turbulent seasons of his career, playing with an ever-changing cast of team-mates as Cavs executives continually chopped-and-changed the roster in an attempt to find Kyrie Irving’s successor.
Five-time All-Star Irving requested a trade last summer, reportedly with the intention of becoming a franchise player in his own right away from James’ imposing reputation.
The 26-year-old was sent to the Boston Celtics in exchange for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Žižić and the rights to the Brooklyn Nets’ 2018 first-round draft pick.
It was a trade welcomed by both sides at the time – but it quickly fell apart on the Cavs’ end after Thomas was revealed to be carrying a hip injury that was much more serious than first thought.
Crowder also failed to gel with the Cavs’ playing style and both men were eventually sent on their way at the trade deadline, with George Hill, Rodney Hood, Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr arriving in one of the wildest deadline days in recent years.
Speaking to ESPN’s Rachel Nichols last night, James hinted at his frustration with the chaos behind-the-scenes this season, suggesting he did not believe the Cavs would make it back to the Finals once again.
“The odds have not been with us all season. Even if you start back with us to the summertime when I felt like it was just bad for our franchise to trade away our superstar point guard,” James said.
“Obviously I wasn’t part of the communications to know exactly what went on between the two sides but I felt like it was just bad timing for our team to get rid of our point guard in Kyrie Irving so I felt like the odds were against us.
“You just had so many things going on with our team. We were shuffling different lineups, shuffling different players, we made a trade at the deadline and I can’t sit here and say that the Finals was part of my thinking. It was not.
“You saw me at one point earlier in the season, I think it was December or January, and you must have looked at me like ‘okay, I know you. Come on now, what are you doing?’
“It’s crazy because right before you saw me I had already hit that switch like ‘okay, what are we going to do with this ball club? We’re not playing good basketball’. But you can’t sell yourself short.
“But I can’t sit here and say to you ‘would we be a part of the Finals?’ I would definitely be lying to you if I said ‘yes, we would be in the Finals’ in January.”