LeBron James led his young, inexperienced Cleveland Cavaliers team to his and the franchise’s first NBA Finals appearance exactly 10 years ago. At only 22 and in his fourth year in the league, James put on masterful performances against the Washington Wizards, New Jersey Nets, and especially against the Detroit Pistons
For almost any player, averaging 22 points, 7.0 rebounds, 6.8 assists, and one steal per game for a Finals series at 22 years of age would be tremendous, but it wasn’t enough as James shot 35.6 percent and his Cavaliers were swept by the San Antonio Spurs.
Since that time, James has matured into a superstar and the best player on the planet. He’s worked his way to seven straight NBA Finals and three NBA Championships (possibly four if the Cavs can pull off this miraculous comeback from down 3-0).
Following his Game 4 triple double, which led the Cavs to their first win of these 2017 NBA Finals, James was asked about the difference between his first NBA Finals and this current one 10 years later. His answer is perfect.
Reporter: “How did your approach to the game and your style of play evolve between the first final you played in and this one?”
James: “I stunk in the first Finals. I don’t stink anymore.”
James sure doesn’t. In his last eight NBA Finals games, he’s averaged a triple double and has even surpassed Magic Johnson for most all-time triple doubles with nine.
Rexwell Villas ·
LeBron has a triple-dbl in 3 of the last 5 Finals games.
He AVERAGES a TD in the Finals since Game 4 last yr(8g).
33pt-12reb-10ast, 52 FG% pic.twitter.com/DYFboBlj4j
— John Michael (@CavsJMike) June 11, 2017
— Def Pen Hoops (@DefPenHoops) June 10, 2017