Cleveland, are you happy now?
You piled up and burned his jersey when he left for Miami. Following his emotional return, your faith flailed again following a 2015 NBA Finals loss to Golden State. And just days ago, let’s be honest, you were skeptical yet again when he led your team into a 1-3 hole in another Finals re-match.
But after Sunday night LeBron James hasn’t only proven he’s still ‘The King,’ he’s pulled off one of the most remarkable feats in NBA history.
Years from now, our children, and our children’s children, will look at the record books and they’ll see that in 2016 the Cleveland Cavaliers won their first ever NBA title. They defeated the Golden State Warriors 93-89 in an epic Game 7 re-match, sure. But if they dig a little deeper, they’ll see numbers the basketball universe will be talking about for decades.
Years since Cleveland’s last championship. In any sport. 1964, folks.
Years since a player made it to six consecutive NBA Finals: Bill Russell, now LeBron.
Number of players who have had a triple-double in an NBA Finals Game 7. LeBron’s line Sunday night: 27 points, 11 assists, 11 rebounds
Number of times a team has come back in the NBA Finals after being down 1-3. Your 2016 Cleveland Cavaliers.
Of course, those numbers are impressive. But in order to back-up the ‘greatest feat of all-time’ claim, you also need to understand the team the Cavs beat.
Just a brief break-down of the 2016 Golden State Warriors:
All-time record for most wins in one season (73).
All-time record for most wins in one season, including post-season (89).
All-time best record over two seasons.
All-time record for most three-pointers in one season (1,077 — averaging an NBA record 13.1 per game while shooting .416)
Most three-pointers made in a postseason: 262 (surpassing their own playoff record of 240 from their 2015 Championship run)
Their 24-0 and record to start the 2015-16 was the best start to a season in professional sports history.
Back-to-back losses in regular-season: 0 (only team in NBA history to go the whole regular-season without consecutive losses).
Multiple losses to same opponent in regular-season: 0 (only team in NBA history to go the whole regular-season without losing to the same opponent twice).
Steph Curry won his second MVP but was the first MVP to win the award unanimously when votes came in this year. Remember? Over LeBron … Unanimous …
Curry broke his own NBA record for made three-pointers in a season of 286, finishing with 402.
Curry won the scoring title, averaging 30.1 points per game and led the league in steals and had the best free throw percentage. He became the seventh player to enter the 50–40–90 club (he shot 50% for field goals, 45% for three-pointers and 91% for free throws during the entire regular-season.)
Insane, right? I mean, minds were blown all across the country. Just ask this guy:
And until Game 7’s result, the Warriors hadn’t lost three games in a row all season.
An unbelievable series of events led to the culmination of what will go down as one of the best NBA Finals games of all-time. LeBron himself calling the accomplishment, “against all odds.”
“Everybody counted us out and that’s when we strived the most … I’m home this is what I came back for,” he said following the win.
Sunday night’s NBA championship was unforgettable. Not just for you, Cleveland, but for everyone. Enjoy it. Don’t take LeBron for granted. You know as well as anyone, it may be another 52 years.