Winning a championship is the ultimate dream of any NBA player but fans have made that goal a make-or-break case for LeBron James. Anything short of a championship ends against James and comments that are full of hatred and mockery overwhelm social media.

With the Cleveland Cavaliers being two All-Stars short, LeBron James took it upon himself to carry the entire weight of the team on his back. In effect, James made everyone witnesses to the best individual series performance in finals history. However, he fell two games short of the championship.

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The burden and pressure that’s been placed on James to win is immense. He has now lost twice in the finals as a Cavalier; back in 2007, against the Spurs, and now to the Warriors. The pain and disappointment of losing that many times can make you lose hope as we can tell from what the Cavalier forward said:

“I always look at it, would I rather not make the playoffs or lose in the finals? I don’t know. I’ve missed the playoffs twice. I’ve lost in the finals four times. I’m almost starting to be like I’d rather not even make the playoffs than to lose in the finals. It would hurt a lot easier if I just didn’t make the playoffs and I didn’t have a shot at it.”

While the Cavaliers lost, there are still a lot of positive takeaways from 2014-2015 season and LeBron James is well aware of these:

“Did I win? I didn’t win a championship, but I’ve done a lot of good things in this first year back, and hopefully I can continue it.”

When you have the four-time MVP on your team, you automatically draw a lot of pressure. LeBron James is so great of a player that the media attention is immediately diverted to him and his team, anywhere he goes. But this pressure is something not to hide from, it is one to use as a driving force. We have seen how James was able to use all the hate and criticisms in his favor back when he was in Miami. He lost to the Dallas Mavericks in his first season as a Heat but bounced back the following year to convincingly beat the extremely talented Oklahoma City Thunder.

A similar approach is what James is gearing towards and he acknowledges that but there is a price for everything.

“If I’m lucky enough to get here again, it will be fun to do it. But I put my body through a lot, you know, but it’s the price for your body feeling this way for winning.”

The Cavaliers should definitely look to build on what they did last season. Obviously, the chemistry will improve and this will help a lot. But there are things, such as injuries, that need to be avoided and the body needs to be taken care of. The 30-year old superstar needs to take good care of his body, especially with his history of back spasms.

Steven Senne l Associated Press

Steven Senne l Associated Press

Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love also share histories with injuries but next season could be different. We saw how the Golden State Warriors trounced on the competition last season as they managed to stay healthy all-year long. One thing’s clear though, if the Cavaliers’ championship drought has to end, they need to be fully armed in the playoffs especially against deep and veteran teams such as the Warriors, Spurs, Rockets, and Clippers.

Cleveland has already bolstered their championship caliber roster when they signed Mo Williams and Richard Jefferson a few weeks ago and if rumors of Jamal Crawford joining the Cavs are true, then the Cavs would instantly create some major separation from other contenders. These additions are good forward steps and barring any injuries, the Cavaliers have no reason at all to not win.

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It will be extra tough for the Cavs, especially with all the pressure, but these are the times when real champions are molded and next year, LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love, and the rest of the Cleveland Cavaliers will once again go against every opposition to bring that trophy to Northeast Ohio.