Skip to main content

LeBron James admits 2011 Finals loss vs. Dallas Mavericks was the toughest one in his career

LeBron shared what the catastrophic 2011 Finals loss taught him, and how it impacted the way James approached his game.
Miami Heat small forward LeBron James on the floor vs. Dallas Mavericks

LeBron James

LeBron James revealed the toughest loss in his career that inspired him to get better and become the LeBron James we know today.

2011 Finals loss

They say every setback is an opportunity to get better. James considers the 2011 NBA Finals loss against the Dallas Mavericks as the toughest loss in his career. Not the sweep he endured against the San Antonio Spurs or the losses against the Golden State Warriors but the one against Dirk Nowitzki. He revealed how that moment changed everything for him in a Q & A he had on Twitter. Username @Tanner_Castora asked about The King’s toughest moment and how he got through it.

“Losing in the finals to Dallas after playing like 💩💩!! I hit the reset button, went back to the basics, worked on things in my game I needed to get better at so the defense couldn’t just sit on 1 thing. Hours & hours & hours everyday in the off season on it. Came back 🔒 in! 🤷🏾‍♂️”

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

Miami Heat met the Mavs in the 2011 Finals. Most fans and analysts expected the Heat to win that series because of their star power led by James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh, but Dirk had other things in mind. Dallas played as a unit, and other players stepped up. It was one of the Mavericks’ most memorable postseason runs because they won their first and only championship to date. That team also faced Kobe Bryant and the L.A. Lakers, and the OKC Thunder led by Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Russell Westbrook on their way to the Finals.

Without that bitter loss, James probably wouldn’t go back to the lab to work his ass off and improve. And that motivated him to conquer the odds and try to win the championship once again.

2012 LeBron James finally won

In 2012, James redeemed himself and won his first title after the Heat beat the Oklahoma City Thunder led by KD, Harden, and Brodie. If not for the spanking that LeBron received from the Mavs, it could have been a different story for Miami in 2012.

Losing is part of a player’s journey. The hardships make the championship sweeter. James’s disappointment when he lost to the underdog Dallas team switched something in him that fueled his consecutive finals appearances. That’s what young players today need to understand: each loss is a teaching moment. So it’s now up to them how to use that setback for a bigger comeback. 

Jeanie Buss admits missing Kobe Bryant: Honestly, he was the greatest Laker ever

Jeanie Buss admits missing Kobe Bryant: "Honestly, he was the greatest Laker ever"

As rumors swirl about Kevin Durant or Kyrie Irving suiting up for the L.A. Lakers, owner Jeanie Buss remembers Kobe Bryant's loyalty to the team.

Los Angeles Lakers forward Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony shares the Notorious B.I.G. rap verse that he lives by

Carmelo Anthony crawled his way out of the rough Baltimore streets. He knows that not everyone was as fortunate as him.

Kyrie Irving is to blame for the Brooklyn Nets' collapse
Play

Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant proved why they're not leaders

No matter how you feel about Durant as a person, there's one thing no one can deny, and that's his love for the game of basketball -- something Kyrie Irving was never able to match.

Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan

A business mogul breaks down Michael Jordan's earnings per shoe from Nike

5% seems measly, but once you get into the numbers, it's the secret behind the most successful shoe deal in sports history.

Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green, guard Stephen Curry and forward Kevin Durant

Reports say Warriors superstars are willing to welcome Kevin Durant back to Golden State

But Warriors management isn't willing to cross the bridge for Kevin Durant again.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver and Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter

Enes Kanter Freedom attacks NBA, Adam Silver once again — “One of the most hypocritical organization and commissioner out there”

The former Boston Celtic center thinks the NBA is not doing enough to help detained WNBA star Brittney Griner.