LeBron James may be the self-proclaimed “King” but after delivering an NBA title to long-suffering Cleveland on Sunday, the best player of his generation will forever be considered royalty in his hometown.
In what may ultimately prove to be the greatest achievement of an already storied career, James led Cleveland back from the brink of defeat to the greatest comeback in NBA Finals history.
To capture the against-all-odds championship, James had to steer the Cavaliers back from a 3-1 Finals deficit.
In each of the 32 prior instances, the team facing such a deficit had lost the Finals and only two forced a Game Seven.
James said: “I don’t know why the man above gave me the hardest road, but… the man above don’t put you in situations that you can’t handle.
“Instead of saying ‘why me’, I said this is what He wants me to do. And, uh, Cleveland – this is for you!”
James was voted the unanimous winner of the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award after averaging 29.7 points per game, 11.3 rebounds and 8.9 assists in the best-of-seven championship series.
It marked his third Finals MVP award, as he also took the award in 2012 and 2013 with Miami, and put him in select company with Michael Jordan (six), Shaquille O’Neal (three), Tim Duncan (three) and Magic Johnson (three) as the only players who have won at least three Finals MVP awards.