Without the chance to gear up for what could have been his fourth NBA championship run, Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James pondered about his past accomplishments.
“Thinking about maybe sitting down and breaking down some of my most memorable games and moments in my career,” James wrote on his Twitter account. “Maybe IG Live it or just film it and hold on to it for another time.”
James ended his tweet with an emoji capturing a face in deep thought. That had us thinking, too.
After all, James has accomplished plenty en route to three NBA titles in nine Finals appearances, a third-place standing on the league’s all-time scoring list (34,087 points) and an eighth-place standing on the league’s all-time assists list (9,298).
So we boiled down all of those accomplishments and came up with the five games we want to see him break down.
2013 NBA Finals, Game 7 vs. San Antonio
Six years later, LeBron James finally avenged his 2007 Finals loss to the Spurs. This is another series in which James was down 3-2, and his teams forced a Game 7 – and won. James was masterful in this series, and in the finale, scoring 37 points (12-for-23 shooting, 5-for-10 on 3-pointers), grabbing 12 rebounds and delivering four assists in the Heat victory. Getting the best of the Spurs and Gregg Popovich is meaningful to James.
2012 Eastern Conference Finals, Game 6 vs. Boston
James had not yet won a title, and pressure had mounted. The Heat were down 3-2 in this series with Game 6 at Boston. James came out burning bright with 14 points in the first quarter, 16 in the second and 11 in the third as the Heat built a 25-point lead in the fourth quarter. He finished with 45 points (19-of-26 shooting), 15 rebounds and five assists. Some believe this was his greatest single performance. Wonder what James thinks?
2016 NBA Finals, Game 7 vs. Golden State
After falling behind 3-1 in the series, the Cavs won the next two games, setting up a monumental Game 7 in Oakland. James delivered for the Cavs, Cleveland and fans throughout northeast Ohio. James had 27 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists and one of the great blocks in Finals history that helped Cleveland win the title. It will be fun to hear James dissect this game one day.
2016 NBA Finals, Game 5 vs. Golden State
James had time after Game 4 to absorb Klay Thompson’s barb that his feelings got hurt amid his tussle with Draymond Green. The result: James cut the Warriors’ lead to 3-2 after finishing with 41 points, 16 rebounds and seven assists. Kyrie Irving (41 points) and James also became the first teammates to score at least 40 points each in an NBA Finals game.
2010 Eastern Conference finals, Game 5 vs. Boston
We need James to address one of his bad games, too. This was James’ last home game during his Cavs 1.0 run, leaving for Miami in free agency later that summer, and it was a dud. The series was tied at 2-all, and James had just 15 points on 3-for-14 shooting, missing his first seven shots. James and the Cavs were stymied and baffled by the Celtics and booed by the home fans. The Cavs lost Game 5, and though James was better in Game 6, it was not enough to stop Boston.