LeBron James said leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to their maiden NBA championship in 2015-16 made him the “greatest player of all time”.
James has been named the NBA MVP four times, won three championships and made 14 All-Star teams during his illustrious 16-year career in the league.
But James – who signed a four-year, $154.4million contract with the Los Angeles Lakers in the off-season – said guiding the Cavaliers past the Golden State Warriors in 2016 is what cemented his legacy.
The Warriors registered an NBA-record 73-9 regular-season record that season and cruised to the Finals. However, the James-inspired Cavaliers upstaged Golden State in seven games.
What @kingjames considers being the GOAT
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“That one right there made me the greatest player of all time,” James said during an appearance on the ESPN+ series ‘More Than An Athlete’.
“I was super, super ecstatic to win one for Cleveland because of the 52-year drought. … The first wave of emotion was when everyone saw me crying, like, that was all for 52 years of everything in sports that’s gone on in Cleveland. And then after I stopped I was like — that one right there made you the greatest player of all time.”
The 34-year-old James added: “Everybody was just talking — how [the Warriors] were the greatest team of all time, like it was the greatest team ever assembled.
“And for us to come back, you know, the way we came back in that fashion I was like, ‘You did, you did something special.”
“That’s probably one of the only times in my career I felt like, oh s***, like you did something special,” James continued. “I haven’t had, really had time, to really, like, sit back and think but that…that was a moment.”
James is averaging 27.3 points, 8.3 rebounds and 7.1 assists in 34.6 minutes per game during his first season with Los Angeles.
He is shooting 51.8 per cent from the field and 35.6 percent from three-point range.
James has not played since he strained his groin in the Lakers’ win over the Warriors last week. He is considered day-to-day.