Sources told ESPN that the injury was the result of James’ punching a blackboard in the locker room after that game.
“I let the emotions get the best of me and pretty much played the last three games with a broken hand,” James said following Friday’s Game 4 loss to the Golden State Warriors.
James had two MRIs during the series and wore a soft cast when he wasn’t practicing, playing or in view of the media, sources said, so as not to give the Warriors a competitive advantage.
He appeared with the cast during his news conference after Friday’s game.
Brian Windhorst explains that LeBron James fought through a right hand injury in the NBA Finals after punching a blackboard after Game 1.
James scored 51 points in the game, going 7-of-16 from the field on shots from 10 feet and out in Game 1. He struggled shooting from such distances in the remaining three games, going a collective 5-of-19. His average shot distance, meanwhile, went from 12.6 feet in Game 1 to 10 feet in Game 2, 9 feet in Game 3 and 4.7 feet in Game 4, per ESPN Stats & Information.
James described that Game 1 loss as “very emotional” for him.
“For a lot of different reasons,” he said. “Understanding how important a game is on the road for our ball club, what [winning it] would have done for us. The way we played, the calls that were made throughout the course of that game, and I had emotions that the game was taken away from us. I had emotions that you just don’t get an opportunity like this on the road against Golden State to be able to get a Game 1.”