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LeBron James reveals how losing 2007 NBA Finals to Spurs affected him

LeBron James, Lakers

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James reflected on the valuable lessons he learned during his first NBA Finals in 2007.

James and the Cleveland Cavaliers were swept by the San Antonio Spurs in that series, and LeBron said he appreciated how San Antonio paid attention to the details and played as if they had something to lose:

“Well I mean, obviously they were the better team. Dealing with Timmy and Manu and Tony and Pop, Hall-of-Famers,” James said. “I knew it’d be challenging not only for myself, but for our franchise. I saw the way they approached every game, how they approached every possession. They didn’t make mistakes. They weren’t just happy with being there. They wanted to be great as a unit and as individuals as well and I sensed that as a 22 year old. That helped shape me year after year after year after year. Just holding onto that feeling of not being able to reach the ultimate goal and at the same time, having that adversity and having those moments that’s put me in positions where I’ve been throughout my career.”

It would seem those lessons have paid dividends later in LeBron James’ career.

James would endure more heartbreak in the 2011 NBA Finals, when he and the Miami Heat were defeated by the Dallas Mavericks. But LeBron would go on to win back-to-back titles–as well as another championship in 2016–as part of a run when he reached the Finals in eight consecutive years.

Now, with his fourth NBA title within reach, James is still dogged in his pursuit of excellence.

LeBron and the Lakers dominated Game 1 against the Miami Heat on Wednesday, but James still spent the night studying film.

The roles have since been reversed, with James the wily veteran leading the Lakers against an upstart Heat team. He seems determined to carry past lessons forward as L.A. hopes to capture its first title since 2010.