In June 2015, in front of millions of basketball fans, the Golden State Warriors dispatched the Cleveland Cavaliers in six games. It’s not that the Cavaliers didn’t have a prayer at the beginning of the series. However, with Kevin Love sidelined and Kyrie Irving going down at the end of Game 1 with what was eventually diagnosed as a fractured kneecap, Cleveland never really stood a chance.
One year later, facing what could only be classified as insurmountable odds, the Cleveland Cavaliers rose from the ashes — i.e., a 3-1 deficit to a 73-win Warriors squad — and pulled off one of the greatest comebacks in sports history. The main reason the Cavs were able to scrape and claw their way back to the top of the basketball mountain is simple: LeBron James.
The best player on the planet — who was playing in his sixth consecutive Finals at the time — took the series by storm. The rest of the Cavs followed James’ lead and the defending champion Warriors were defeated in seven games. Now, to the surprise of no one, the King and the Cavs are at it again.
In 2016–17, for the third straight season, the Cavs and Warriors duked out in the NBA Finals. This time, however, James and company were unable to overcome the Western Conference champs. Behind sensational performances from Kevin Durant — who took home Finals MVP honors — and Stephen Curry, Golden State took home the title in five games. Still, it’s hard to argue with LeBron’s overall greatness, as the King was making his seventh consecutive trip to the Finals and the eighth of his illustrious career.
While this latest loss brings James’ overall Finals record to 3-5, his legacy as one of the game’s all-time greats is firmly cemented. See for yourself, as we rank all the King’s NBA Finals performances to date.