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5 Rival Teams That Have Helped Define LeBron James’ Career

Gregory Shamus | Getty Images

LeBron James’ career isn’t short on major setbacks. As did other all-time greats, these failures only pushed The King to the next level. We identified five teams who played the role of royal spoilers whom The King owes some sort of gratitude. Come to think of it, the lessons which James took from all these defeats have accumulated into a wealth of knowledge that he has shared with this year’s Cavalier team who is poised to go deep in the playoffs and, hopefully, a June victor.

5 – Orlando Magic

In the 2008-2009 season, the Cleveland Cavaliers won a franchise record 66 games and they appeared to be headed for a collision course with the 65-win Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals. They swept the first two rounds of the playoffs but when they faced the Magic in the East Finals, the tables were turned as the Cavs did not have an answer to Dwight Howard and Orlando’s wing players who were in the zone for the whole series. The Cavs lost in 6 games with LeBron James carrying the team on his back as he averaged 38.5 points, 8.3 rebounds, 8 assists, 1.2 steals, and 1.2 blocks per game.

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