lebron’s final press conference at the 2015 nba finals

despite one of the most impressive performances in the history of the nba finals by lebron james, the cleveland cavaliers came up short (didn’t have enough) against the champion golden state warriors.

lebron james had an amazing series in a losing effort (associated press)

a disappointed lebron met with the press after being eliminated in 6 games. here are some of the most educational moments…..

chris haynes of cleveland.com asked

could u talk about how this feeling feels compared to, u know, other times where u probably might have been bounced out of the playoffs and just your emotions in dealing with that?

bounced out of is another way to say eliminated.

a little kid picking himself up & getting ready to go at it again

lebron responded with a classic optimistic perspective

the only thing u can do is pick yourself back up whenever that time may be and then just go at it again.

and finished his answer

it hurts me to know that I wish i coulda did better,  and done more and just put a little bit more effort or whatever the case may be to help us get over the hump, but it just wasn’t our time.

pick yourself back up gives the idea of being on the ground, but not willing to stay there. go at it again means continue giving a strong effort.

it’s common to hear native speakers substitute past tense for past participles with irregular verbs as lebron did answering this question i coulda did better.

mike arace of the columbus dispatch had this question

when you lose on a stage like this, how fast do u begin thinking about next season?

and james gave this short answer

i haven’t thought about next season at all.

at all emphasizes that zero is how much lebron has thought about next season.

ethan skulnick of turner sports/bleacher report

with all the things you’re talking about; kyrie, kevin, that u were dealing with, was there ever a point in this finals that u doubted whether you’d be able to pull this off?

pull off in this context means achieve. lebron’s reply was that he never doubted until the series was actually over, and he acknowledged that his team missed their injured players:anderson vareajo, kevin love and kyrie irving

we had three playmakers in suits.  in this round and even throughout the playoffs u gotta have all the playmakers.  u gotta be healthy. u gotta be at full strenff to win it.  we weren’t.

throughout means from beginning to end.

full strength means maximum power. cleveland was not at full strength in the finals because 3 starters were injured and couldn’t play.

NBA: Cleveland Cavaliers-Media Day
the cavs were not at full strength without #0 kevin love  and #2 kyrie irving. lebron mentioned anderson varejao, another starter who was also injured but is not pictured here (ken blaze-usa today sports)

click here to listen to a dictionary pronunciation of strength.  lebron uses an alternate but common pronunciation where the th sound is replaced by an f sound.

this collaboration between the beggaz and the wu tang clan is called on the strength, and the pronunciation of the title is the same as how lebron says it in the vid.


ken berger of cbssports.com wondered

lebron, the way u had to play in this series was so out of character for u in terms of how u like to play. did any part of u enjoy doing that, enjoy being able to do that or do u prefer what’s more comfortable?

james admitted that the competition is fun, but didn’t like how the cavaliers had to play during the series

i don’t enjoy being as non-efficient as i was. i don’t enjoy that. i don’t enjoy dribbling the ball for countless seconds on the shot clock  and the team looking at me to make a play, i mean we had 14 assists tonight, i had 9 of them. i did not enjoy that. that’s not winning basketball.

non-efficient is not officially a word, but it is understood.  james’ idea is that basketball is a team sport and the cavaliers’ dependency on lebron to make plays was not efficient. inefficient is the dictionary word.

lebron looking for the assist despite tight d by shaun livingston (press democrat)

he concludes his answer with another example of past tense replacing past participle in a hypothetical situation in the past (third conditional)

if i coulda gave more i woulda done it.

espn.com‘s dave mcmenamin wanted to know if all the preparation is worth it

we learned a little bit more about your, i guess, your training regimen throughout the course of these playoffs, and it’s basically, it’s a two month process u go through both mental and physical preparation. when u don’t get the championship do u question whether it’s all worth it or can u just have satisfaction in the process?

regimen is like routine. for a little more about lebron’s regimen between games, click here.

fun esl practice :) richyrocks english on youtube

lebron’s response might have been a result of the emotion of the moment

i’m almost startin to be likei’d rather not even make the playoffs than to lose in the finals.”

would+rather+verb in simple form is used to indicate a preference.  it’s hard to believe james would really not want to make the playoffs at all. in fact he walked back (decreased the intensity of) this idea with the rest of his answer.

and espn‘s mark schwarz sought (past of seek) lebron’s opinion about mvp andre iguadola‘s performance in the finals

everybody on the warriors agreed that defending u is the toughest job in basketball. what was your impression of what kind of job andre iguodola did and what was his effect on the series?

tough in this context means difficult.

finals mvp andre iguodala guarding lebron james (ronald martinez, getty images)

james explained

it’s never a one-on-one battle.  guys get caught up in this whole one-on-one thing………..every time i would get past him, somebody else would step up………this isn’t bird vs magic or that old video game jordan vs bird……….his [iguadola’s] ability to play multiple positions for their team along with some of those other guys allowed their team to be so dynamic.

caught up in indicates intense involvement or attention, so much that other details are ignored.

this is the old video game lebron referenced featuring graphic images of nba greats michael jordan & larry bird. it provided hours and hours of gaming enjoyment for a previous generation.

this is the longest post to date on richyrocks.com, and there is still much more that could be analyzed based on these six questions for lebron james.  the spontaneity of press conferences makes them excellent listening practice. if there is something else from lebron james’ final comments about the 2015 finals that u would like to talk about, please post it under leave a reply




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