By: Connor Lenahan
Last night the Cleveland Cavaliers finished off the Toronto Raptors, mercifully ending their series by drubbing the Canadians 113-87. This just clinched LeBron James’s sixth consecutive trip to the NBA Finals, becoming the first player to do so since the core of the Bill Russell Celtics teams 50 years ago.
Let’s take this moment to recognize that LeBron is continuing to do absurd things with his career that only serve to better establish that he is the best player of the 2000’s without question. He’s got two rings and has put up unbelievable stats in an era with better competition than ever before. Now he’s gone to six straight finals with two different teams and has had a legitmate chance of winning them all.
It actively bothers me that LeBron is held to the absurdly high standard he is. Critics will openly toss out that he has a 2-4 record in the finals, but that’s taking every bit of nuance out of the matter. A quick recap:
2007 – Swept by the Spurs because the second best player on the Cavs would have been a bench player for the Spurs (Mo Williams).
2011 – Genuinely could have won this series against the Mavericks, but it took a year to get the Heat squad ready for the ultimate test of teams. I will grant this series in any critical matter about LeBron.
2012 & 2013 – Back-To-Back titles.
2014 – Turns out it’s really hard to three-peat and the Spurs played like an absolute machine for five games, winning 3-1.
2015 – The Cavs lost to the Warriors in six games even though both Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving were out. LeBron went superhuman, even for him, and pulled two games out of thin air. With a full supporting cast he could have won last year.
And now the Cavs will get the Warriors or Thunder in a rematch of one of the previous series, although Oklahoma City played Miami. No matter what it’s going to be incredible. If he pulls this off maybe people will finally come around to appreciating one of the best players in history while we can still watch him play.