LeBron James returned to the Cleveland Cavaliers organization two seasons ago for one thing and one thing only: “To Bring One Home for The Land.”
James delivered on his promise by becoming the third player in NBA history to have a triple-double in Game 7 of the NBA Finals, joining Jerry West in 1969 and James Worthy in 1988. His historic performance consisted of him scoring 27 points, grabbing 11 rebounds, and dishing out 11 assists en route to helping the Cavs become the first team to overcome a 3-1 deficit in the NBA Finals. The title is not only the first in franchise history but James and company also ended the 52-year championship drought for the city of Cleveland.
“I’m home; this is what I came back for,” James said. “I’m at a loss for words. This is unbelievable. It doesn’t feel real right now.”
Unlike after winning titles in 2012 and 2013 while a member of the Miami Heat, James was overcome with emotion after the final buzzer went off to make his promise a reality.
“I don’t know why the man above give me the hardest road, but … the man above don’t put you in situations that you can’t handle,” James said after the final buzzer on Sunday. “I just kept that same positive attitude. Instead of saying, ‘Why me?’ I said, ‘This is what He wants me to do.’ And Cleveland, this is for you.”
James’ third Finals MVP run is one for the record books, as he became the first player in NBA history to have the most total points, assists, rebounds, steals, and blocks in a series. When the dust settled, “King James” averaged 29.7 points, 11.3 rebounds, 8.9 assists, 2.6 steals, 2.3 blocks per game while shooting 49.4 percent from the field to make his third NBA title one of the most memorable wins in recent history.
”You see his basketball talent, the way he can control a game,” Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue said. ”But the reason why he deserves this is because he has a great heart … and great things happen to great people.”
James joins Michael Jordan, Bill Russell, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the fourth player in NBA history to have three titles and four regular-season MVP awards.
By permanently taking the Golden State Warriors out of the conversation for the best team in NBA history, James simultaneously threw his name in the conversation of greatest player of all-time. No matter where you rank him, one thing is for certain: We just witnessed an all-time great pull off the greatest accomplishment of his Hall of Fame career, and we should cherish it.