Lebron James makes history by making 6th NBA finals in a row
For all their accolades in NBA history and the NBA finals in particular; Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Kobe Bryant nor Magic Johnson never accomplished a feat that Lebron James has recently just accomplished. This finals vs the Golden State Warriors marks James sixth straight NBA finals. A feat that is incredible rare in sports, and yet despite this success, James success at getting his team to the finals is often disregarded when talking about his greatness.
The first of these six straight finals appearances came in his first year of the Miami Heat's big three of James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh. The Heat were the favorites to win the title that year and cruised through the later half of the season and were the odds on favorite at 10bet to win the NBA title. But in a shocking turn of events the Dirk Nowitzki lead Dallas Mavericks stunned the Heat to capture Dallas's first NBA title.
James and the big three would vindicate themselves in their second NBA finals as James would get his first NBA title when they beat the Oklahoma City Thunder in five games.
The third NBA finals would see James and the Heat win another NBA finals as they were able to comeback from a 3 games to 2 deficit and defeat the San Antonio Spurs.
The Spurs and Heat would meet again in James fourth NBA finals, only this time the Spurs would be victorious and this loss would spell the end of the Miami super-trio as in the off-season James would return to Cleveland.
Last year James, along with Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving, would take the Cavs back to prominence and lead them to the finals where they lost to the Golden State Warriors.
This brings us to this current finals, where James and the Cavs are the underdog and already down one game.
A string of six straight NBA finals has not been accomplished by any individual player since seven player from the 1960s Boston Celtics dynasties did it from 1956 until 1966. The most NBA finals appearances in a row goes to Bill Russell with 10, a mark that Lebron could reach but one that would be highly unlikely.
Only eight players, including Lebron, have ever reached six straight NBA finals and James is the only non Celtic to ever do it. In fact, he and teammate James Jones, are the only non Celtics to ever make 5 NBA finals in a row.
James is also only the third player in NBA history behind Andy Phillips and Steve Kerr to play in four straight finals between two teams. James player in 4 with Miami and now three with Cleveland. Phillips accomplished this in the 50s playing for the Pistons and Celtics and Kerr in the 90s with the Bulls and Spurs.
Despite all this success the one number that most critics will go to is the number two. That is how many times that Lebron James has lead his team to the NBA title. Two titles in seven NBA finals appearances, James also lead the Cavs in 2007, is not a great win percentage, but it is actually fairly impressive.
There are a lot of NBA legends who do not even have one NBA title let alone two. Charles Barkley, Karl Malone, Kevin Garnett, Steve Nash, Kevin Durant, Derrick Rose, and Allen Iverson are all MVP award winners who have never won an NBA title; Lebron James has two.
The loses in the NBA finals have not all been Lebron fault either. Two of those loses are to the San Antonio Spurs who have won 5 NBA titles under coach Gregg Popovich and star Tim Duncan. One is to a Dallas team who was hungry and had been a dominant team in the NBA for a decade. The other is to a Warriors team who is on the cusps of making itself an NBA dynasty. Even in the two wins, one vs San Antonio, and the other vs a very good Oklahoma City Thunder team with James Harden, Russell Westbrook, and Kevin Durant, Lebron faced off against some of the best players in the league.
If James is lucky enough to make it to a seventh straight NBA finals he will continue to add to his legacy regardless if he wins the title or not. He is accomplishing something that was thought impossible to do in the modern era.
Year|| Champion || Loser || Games|| MVP |
2007|| San Antonio || Cleveland || 4 || Tony Parker|
2011|| Dallas || Miami || 6 || Dirk Nowitzki|
2012 || Miami || Oklahoma City|| 5 || Lebron James|
2013 || Miami || San Antonio || 7 || Lebron James|
2014 || San Antonio|| Miami || 5 || Kawaii Leonard|
2015 || Golden State || Cleveland || 6 || Andre Iguodala|
2016 || Cleveland|| Golden State || 7 || Lebron James
2017 || Golden State || Cleveland || 5 || Kevin Durant|
*In the time since this article was written James has made 2 additional NBA finals, and won Cleveland their only NBA title.