LeBron James, the newest addition to the Los Angeles Lakers, has already crafted a Hall of Fame career. Anything that he accomplishes while donning the purple and gold will merely enhance his legacy–although hoisting a championship trophy in LA will certainly add to his storybook journey.
As LeBron gets set to embark on a wild ride in Los Angeles, we take a look back at the 7 greatest moments of his career to date.
7. First day on the job
In LeBron James’ debut–straight out of high school–he posted 25 points, nine assists, and six rebounds. This came with the expectations that he would become the next “great one.” His high school games were regularly televised on ESPN, making his much-ballyhooed debut that much more impressive. The pressure did not faze him.
6. Game 1 of the 2018 NBA Finals
Yes, the Cavaliers got swept–but James’ playoff performance, culminating in an epic Game 1 display–all at the age of 33–were somewhat mind-boggling. James carried a virtual lottery team to the NBA Finals, and he posted 51 points, eight rebounds, and eight assists in an eventual Game 1 overtime loss.
5. “I’m coming home”
With LeBron, talent is also accompanied by drama. Those theatrics will serve him well in Los Angeles. For Cleveland, he wanted to bring the city a championship–a feat that had deprived his home team for some 52 years. He delivered on that promise.
4. Dominating the Pistons
On May 31, 2007, LeBron scored 25 straight points against one of the best teams in the early 2000’s. Alongside the Lakers and San Antonio Spurs, the Detroit Pistons represented the cream of the crop. The Cavaliers escaped with an unlikely double-overtime win in Detroit.
3. Wins his first title
LeBron had been plagued about his inability to win a championship, and looking back on his first NBA title in 2012, it’s all the more impressive. LeBron led the Miami Heat past the Oklahoma City Thunder, with a roster that boasted Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden. LeBron notched the elusive first title, establishing his legacy.
2. “The block”
With the decisive Game 7 in the balance during the 2016 NBA Finals, LeBron James erased an Andre Iguodala layup attempt that would have given the Golden State Warriors a 2-point edge over the Cavaliers. Instead, LeBron came away with the block–setting the stage for Kyrie Irving’s heroics.
1. Game 7 in Oakland
Yes, the Miami Heat titles were impressive, but the Cleveland championship meant more. He asked for a tougher assignment by going back home–with the pressure to win a title–and he managed to do so by helping Cleveland overcome a 3-1 series deficit to the 73-9 Golden State Warriors. That comeback marked the biggest in NBA history and the best moment of his career.
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