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Lakers’ LeBron James admits 2011 NBA Finals choking ‘burns’ him to this day

LeBron James, Dirk Nowitzki, Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers just moved one step closer to winning the title after securing Game 1 of the NBA Finals against the Miami Heat on Thursday. Should they get the job done, this will be title number four for LeBron James, which in itself is an amazing feat. Nevertheless, LeBron himself admits that the disappointment of defeat at the biggest stage still haunts him to this very day.

James has been to the Finals in no less than 10 separate occasions, and he’s lost more than a few of them along the way. According to The King himself, however, none is more haunting than his loss to the Dallas Mavericks in 2011:

Then with the Miami Heat, LeBron James and company blew a huge lead in Game 2 against Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavs during the 2011 Finals. That turned out to be a series-defining victory for Dallas, as they eventually took the title in six games. Clearly, James has not forgotten.

There is no doubt that he has redeemed himself since, winning three championships after that 2011 heartbreak. Still, the fact that the hurt is still so fresh in his memory speaks volumes of LeBron’s competitive spirit.

This being the case, you can be sure that he will do everything in his power to secure title No. 4 against the Heat. James knows that the Lakers are in a prime position to win the title against an underdog Miami side, and their demolition job in Game 1 only furthers their case. Make no doubt about it, though: complacency is not in LeBron’s vocabulary.