Honesty is a rare approach when it comes to NBA press conferences—see: Steve Kerr's white lie before Game 4—but LeBron James dished out a heaping dose after the Cavaliers' loss to the Warriors in Game 5 of the NBA Finals on Sunday.
James finished the game with 40 points (15-of-34 shooting), 14 rebounds and 11 assists in 45 minutes, but Cleveland and its star ran out of gas in the fourth quarter and fell 104–91 to Golden State. The Cavaliers now trail the Warriors 3-2 in the Finals, but James's belief hasn't wavered in his team's ability to overcome the deficit.
In Game 5's postgame press conference, James was asked if he felt less pressure due to his team being "undermanned" in the NBA Finals. LeBron shot the reporter down.
"I feel confident because I'm the best player in the world. It's that simple," he said.
James has good reason to believe in himself. He's scored at least 40 points in three of five Finals games so far and has helped the Cavaliers hold their own against the favored Warriors despite the absences of Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving. In addition, James was a member of the last NBA team to overcome a 3-2 deficit in the Finals: the 2012-13 Heat.
We'll see if the "best player in the world" can keep his team alive in Game 6 of the NBA Finals on Tuesday.
- Matt Dollinger