LeBron James is one of the league’s best and well-known players of today. He’s a unique talent that’s turned his special abilities into a 19-year career. And he doesn’t look like he’s stopping just yet.
James turns 37 today, and throughout his career, he’s done great things. While there are too many to name, there are a few that stick and make his career one of the most successful NBA careers of all time.
Let’s look at James’s career and recognize some of his best moments.
1.) James and the Cavs Win the 2016 NBA Championship
The “Cleveland Sports Curse” was once a very real thing. Year and year, Cleveland sports teams faced some kind of setback that prevented them from accomplishing something great.
Whether it was the infamous shot by Michael Jordan or the Cleveland Indians’ (now Guardians) loss in the 1997 World Series, the city of Cleveland had some much heartbreak. Then, things changed.
At the start of the 2014-15 season, the Cleveland Cavaliers re-signed James, and he started his second stint with the Cavaliers.
James helped the Cavs reach the NBA Finals in 2015, but they lost to the Warriors. However, the Cavs bounced back, and in 2016, they overcame a 3-1 deficit to win the title. It was Cleveland’s first championship in over 50 years.
This was a special moment as the “curse” was broken, and as James won the championship, he shouted out a memorable phrase.
“Cleveland! This is for you!”
2.) James and the Miami Heat Win Their First Championship
When the Miami Heat came together in 2010, they became the favorites to win a championship. They also became the most hated team in the league.
James and the Heat made it to the Finals in their first season, but they lost to the Dallas Mavericks in six games.
This was disappointing, and many wondered if the Heat actually had what it took to win a championship. Then, they proved critics wrong.
Miami won the championship after beating a young Oklahoma City Thunder team 4-1 to win the championship.
After years of disappointment, James finally became a champion. And like his win with the Cavaliers, James had something to say.
“It’s about damn time!”
3.) James Takes on the Boston Celtics in the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals
While pursuing their 2012 champion, the Miami Heat had an obstacle to get through. They had another “Big 3” to deal with as they took on Ray Allen, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett of the Celtics.
The Celtics were down two games in this series but came back to take a 3-2 lead. It looked like the Heat were finished, and like their first season, they failed to win a championship. Then, James took over.
In Game 6 of this series, James led the Heat with 45 points, 15 rebounds and five assists. He shot well in this game and made 19 of his 26 shots.
4.) The Decision
The Decision is one of the most memorable (and controversial) moments in NBA history. So, it is hard to exclude it from this list.
Fresh off of his loss against the Boston Celtics, James was set to become a free agent.
Many wondered where he would go, and teams like the New York Knicks and the Chicago Bulls were in consideration. But in the end, James went elsewhere.
James decided to make his announcement on live television. The world waited as he made his decision, and once he made his decision, the NBA changed forever.
James decided to go to the Miami Heat, where he formed a “Big 3” with draftmates Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
This decision made James and the Heat the villains of the NBA (to some), and people wanted them to lose. And they did in their first season. But as time went on, the Heat reached greatness and won multiple championships. So, in the end, it worked out.
James has done so much in his career. He’s won multiple championships and is on the verge of becoming the all-time scoring leader. He changed the game, and regardless of how you feel about him, he goes down in history. Happy Birthday King James.