<
>

Without championship, Richard Jefferson says Cavaliers' season will be unsuccessful

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio -- The defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers are on the verge of possibly being swept by the Golden State Warriors, who hold a 3-0 series lead entering Friday's Game 4 of the NBA Finals.

Regardless of Friday's outcome, Cavaliers forward Richard Jefferson said the team's goal entering the season was to win another championship, and falling short in any form equates to an unsuccessful year.

"I still do not feel like we've reached our potential," Jefferson said Friday, after the team's shootaround at their practice facility. "We've said it all along -- it doesn't matter if we lose in Game 7, what happens with tonight: If we don't win a championship, then the season was unsuccessful. That's it. It's the same for them.

"It's probably the same for three teams in this league every single year. And it's true. If we don't win a championship, it's unsuccessful. Nobody would be surprised at the end of the day if before this series you said the Cavs won. No one would be surprised if someone said San Antonio won a championship at the beginning of the season. No one would be, like, mind blown.

"So for the three, four teams that are in that position, regardless of how it ends or whatever, if you don't raise that banner the next year, then it was unsuccessful."

Jefferson was asked if the Cavaliers are motivated to avoid being swept so that they can stop the Warriors from posting a perfect 16-0 postseason mark.

"No, our goal is not to try and stop the team that broke Michael Jordan's regular-season record [last season]," he said. "We're not trying to stop a team from going undefeated in [the playoffs]. None of those things matter. None of those things matter.

"Our only goal is -- it's about us and it's about trying to be in the best form that we can be and trying to win a championship for ourselves. If your motivation is other people, then you're probably doing this for the wrong reasons."

ESPN's Dave McMenamin contributed to this report.