For the past six seasons, we have seen LeBron James teams in the NBA finals. Nowadays, it seems like the finals wouldn’t be right without seeing the number 23 take to the floor and leave it all out there. LeBron James has dominated the eastern conference to an extent that if you are lucky enough to be his teammate, you are almost guaranteed a ticket to the NBA big dance. Despite us expecting this from LeBron, it is by no means a given every season. Unimaginable hard work, dedication and sacrifice goes into each individual season in the hopes of getting to the promise land yet again. As well as battling an aging body and deep playoff runs every year, it’s no secret James has to also overcome franchises and teams that are specially constructed to beat him.

With six straight eastern conference championships to his name, there is an obvious and evident task of trying to dethrone the king. It has now got to the point where franchises are literally putting together teams to counter Cleveland’s. This hasn’t gone unnoticed to the Akron native who is well aware that teams are getting together to take him down.

“I know teams switch and pick up new coaches or new players, and their whole goal is kind of they want to beat me,” James told Joe Vardon of, in a candid discussion about the upcoming year and his place in the sport at age 31, in this his 14th season. “It’s never just about me, but I always hear them saying, ‘We gotta beat LeBron.’ It’s not just me on the court, but I understand that teams get together in this conference and across the league to try to beat me.”

It’s no secret, and longtime rival and new Knicks recruit Joakim Noah confirmed these feelings.

“It’s definitely not an easy task but that’s gotta be the mindset. We all know what it is and right now it all goes through (James), it goes through that guy. And for us to get to where we want to get to, we gotta beat that guy.”

This trend is set to continue, as LeBron and co have recently dismantled the greatest regular season team in NBA history to earn the status of NBA’s top dog. After winning a mind blowing 73 games, the Warriors are so desperate to beat LeBron they’ve added former MVP and offensive juggernaut Kevin Durant to join them. Even Durant himself has a losing of 4-17 against James.

As well as Golden State, the New York Knicks have tried to manufacturer a team in the East to take down LeBron and company. They’ve done this with the additions of Derrick Rose, Courtney Lee and Joakim Noah to join Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis. It’s likely it won’t be enough, and despite the majority of eastern conference teams getting significantly better, it still won’t likely be enough to handle James and the reigning champs.

LeBron is definitely on top of the mountain. If you’re in the eastern conference you’re definitely going to need to go through him to make the finals. Many have come, and all have failed for the past six years. The trend looks set to continue. LeBron looks as good as ever, and doesn’t look like giving up that crown any time soon.

Good luck, you’ll need it.