CLEVELAND -- Following the Cleveland Cavaliers' season-ending loss to the Golden State Warriors in Game 4 of the NBA Finals, LeBron James discussed his impending free agency. And while James said he's still unsure what he will do when he can opt out his contract and hit the free agent market this summer, the 4-time MVP provided his most thorough insight to date regarding his upcoming decision.
Here's what James had to say:
On if he feels like he's played his final game with the Cavs:
"I mean, I have no idea at this point. The one thing that I've always done is considered, obviously, my family. Understanding 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've got a teenage boy, a pre-teen and a little girl that wasn't around as well. So sitting down and considering everything, my family is a huge part of whatever I'll decide to do in my career, and it will continue to be that. So I don't have an answer for you right now as far as that."
On if this will be his toughest free agency decision to date:
"No, I feel like '10 was the toughest."
On what it's meant to wear Cleveland across his chest since 2014:
"Well, I mean, at the end of the day, I came back because I felt like I had some unfinished business. To be able to be a part of a championship team two years ago with the team that we had and in the fashion that we had is something I will always remember. Honestly, I think we'll all remember that. It ended a drought for Cleveland of 50-plus years, so I think we'll all remember that in sports history.
"When you have a goal, I think any individual, anybody, male, female, whatever the case may be, when you have a goal and you seek that goal out and you dream about that dream, and you put everything, and you care to -- you guys like this brace, huh (laughing)? You guys like this cast, huh? You want me to sit it right here for you (laughing)?
"I don't even know where I was. I'm sorry. Next question. I'm sorry."
On what he's learned from being on teams that started from scratch in 2010, 2014 and this season:
"Well, it's definitely not the most comfortable thing 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, when you're starting fresh, it's too hard.
"I think with this season, 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, UD (Udonis Haslem), Mike Miller had a few injuries, but (Mario) 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 direct, and then we hit the postseason. Kev had a separated shoulder, and then Kyrie goes down in the first, second possession of overtime of Game 1 in The Finals.
"So, I mean, that's just huge. So being a part of the start-fresh mode is something that you definitely don't want to be a part of. It has its pros and it definitely has its cons."
On whether or not winning one championship in Cleveland qualifies as completing "unfinished business":
"For me, I still have so much to give to the game. Like I said, when you have a goal and you're able to accomplish that goal, it actually -- for me personally, it made me even more hungry to continue to try to win championships, and I still want to be in championship mode. I think I've shown this year why I will still continue to be in championship mode."
On the process of his free agency decisions:
"Well, I mean, I'm not going to take you throughout the whole process. That's not fun. But at the end of the day, like I said, when I decide what I'm going to do with my future, my family and the folks that have been with me for the last, you know, 20 years, pretty much, will have a say-so. Then it ultimately will come down to me, and so we'll see what happens."
On if this free agency decision will be different from his previous ones:
"No, I don't think so. I made the move in 2010 to be able to play with talented players, cerebral players that you could see things that happen before they happened on the floor, and your teammate can do the same throughout the course of a season, throughout the course of a game, throughout the course of a playoffs, throughout the course of a Finals.
"So 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 and other great ballplayers, in my instance, and other great just, I think, studies of the game itself.
"That's never changed. Even when I came here in '14, I wanted 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."
On if he has any desire to own the Cavs down the road:
"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 (Mayweather) was 1 at like 252. Obviously, I don't have a boxing hand. So boxing won't be the sport I'll be going to. I don't know.
"At the end of the day, 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 later stage of my career, advising people in the NBA or whatever the case may be. I've got two boys that play the game as well. So I don't know. 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. 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."