There aren’t many compelling arguments for excluding LeBron James from the list of the greatest players to ever play the game of basketball. His incredible displays on the court happen so frequently, that we have become accustomed to witnessing greatness. Whatever your beliefs may be, you cannot deny the profound impact that LeBron has had on the game of basketball.
We are talking about a guy that came into the NBA straight out of high-school and has performed at a world-class level since his very first game. His list of incredible basketball moments is long, as he continues to provide fans with superhero level highlights on a near nightly basis. We have been very fortunate for the opportunity to witness one of the greatestathletes of all time playing in his prime. It doesn’t matter what your favorite team is, if you are a fan of basketball and of sports in general, you have to show LeBron James respect and appreciation.
That’s why I’ve prepared the following list of the Top 5 LeBron James basketball moments. The world needs to understand how lucky they are to have witnessed someone dominate a sport the way that LeBron James has since he started his career.
5.) LeBron’s First Game
Oct. 29, 2003 is the day that will forever be remembered as the day LeBron began his legacy. At a mere 18 years of age, LeBron took to the NBA court for his first time. He was drafted number one overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers right out of high school, and it’s safe to saythat the expectations for him were high.
LeBron not only lived up to those lofty expectations, he surpassed them. In a dramatic globally televised performance, he dropped twenty-five points, nine assists, six rebounds, and four steals against the Sacramento Kings and announced his arrival to the NBA world in a big way. He dominated right from his first game onwards and hasn’t looked back ever since.
4.) 25 Straight Points in 2007 Eastern Conference Finals
By the year 2007, LeBron had become a true force to be reckoned with. His talent was undisputed, but he had yet to find the playoff success his game truly deserved. Then, on one night in 2007 against a formidable Detroit Pistons team, LeBron took things to another level.
This game was pivotal for the Cleveland Cavaliers and LeBron James, as the series was tied 2-2. To this day, it is one of the most incredible individual sporting displays I have ever witnessed.
LeBron dominated for pretty much the entire game, throwing down some vicious dunks and creating plays out of seemingly thin air. Then, the fourth quarter began, and LeBron took things to an even higher gear. He scored 25 straight points towards the end of the game, including a game clinching layup in double overtime, which ultimately led to a win for his Cleveland Cavaliers. His 48 total points on that night were at the time a career playoff best, and he pretty much single handedly brought the Cleveland Cavaliers within one win of their first NBA finals.
3. ) Winning His First NBA Championship
LeBron was under a lot of media scrutiny after he decided to take his talents to South Beach and leave his hometown team, the Cleveland Cavaliers. Whatever your opinion is on how he handled his move to the Miami Heat, you cannot deny that the change of scenery offered LeBron a better opportunity to become an NBA champion.
By joining up with fellow superstars Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh, LeBron had formed a big 3 that was undeniably world class. LeBron finally became a champion in 2012 after besting the Oklahoma City Thunder in five games, and was named NBA Finals MVP for his epic performances.
2. ) Winning Back to Back Titles
After LeBron won his first NBA title, he joined an elite club of the best NBA players of all time. His statistics and performances before he won a championship were certainly impressive, but after he got his first ring, things changed forever.
Instead of playing a complacent championship hangover season following the win over Oklahoma City, LeBron came back with a vengeance and led his Miami Heat team to yet another title the very next year against an all-time great San Antonio Spurs team coached by basketball maestro, Greg Popovich. It’s incredibly difficult to reach the precipice of an NBA title, and for LeBron to do it in back to back years is truly an amazing feat.
1. ) Bringing a Championship to Cleveland
52 years. That’s how long the city of Cleveland had to wait for a championship trophy. After a successful stint in Miami, LeBron decided to return home and cement his legacy as a Cleveland legend. Bringing a championship title to his hometown of Cleveland was something that LeBron had dreamt about for his entire career. In order to do it, he had to defeat perhaps the greatest team of all time in the Golden State Warriors.
The Warriors had just completed the best regular season that the NBA had ever seen. They were up three games to one against LeBron’s Cavaliers in the 2016 NBA Finals. In the history of basketball, no team had ever come back from a 3-1 deficit to win the championship.
Sometimes, the greatest champions have to make things hard on themselves to bring out their greatness. LeBron and his fellow Cavaliers fought back with heroic performances to become the first team ever to win and overcome a 3-1 deficit and ended the 52 year championship drought for the city of Cleveland. It’s a heartwarming moment in sporting history that simply has to be the top basketball moment for a player that has defied all expectations.
What do you think is in store for the future for LeBron James?