Giannis Antetokounmpo finally etched his name next to LeBron James last season after leading the Milwaukee Bucks to the 2020 championship. Just like the King, the Greek Freak now has an MVP trophy, championship trophy, and Finals MVP trophy in his awards closet.
LeBron is a four-time MVP, four-time champion, and four-time Finals MVP. He’s won two titles with the Miami Heat, one with the Cleveland Cavaliers and one with his current team, the Los Angeles Lakers. The Chosen One is the only player in NBA history to win three Finals MVPs with three different franchises.
While each of LeBron’s four championships had their own obstacles, Antetokounmpo believes LBJ’s 2016 title with the Cavaliers was the most difficult since Cleveland became the first team in NBA history to erase a 3-1 series deficit in the Finals.
Giannis Antetokounmpo: LeBron James was incredible in 2016 Finals
On an episode of Actually Me for GQ, Antetokounmpo went undercover on the Internet and responded to real comments from Twitter, Instagram, Quora, Wikipedia, Reddit, YouTube, and TikTok. One of the Reddit questions asked users to name the most bada** moment in NBA history, and the Bucks superstar talked about LeBron leading the Cavaliers to the 2016 title over the Golden State Warriors after trailing the series 3-1.
“Man, when LeBron was down 3-1, and he was able to get his team together, he was able to lock in and get the job done,” Antetokounmpo said. “It takes a lot from a leader because at that moment, you feel so much pressure. When you’re down 3-1, and most of your teammates are thinking, ‘It’s over with. I’m about to go on vacation. I’m about to spend some time with my family.’ I think he did a great job, just bring his team together, trying to keep all the emotions out of it, and just go and compete a game at a time.”
The 2015-16 Warriors won 73 games in the regular season, breaking the Chicago Bulls’ 1995-96 record of 72 wins. They were one win away from having the best season in NBA history after taking a 3-1 lead over the Cavaliers in the Finals.
However, LeBron decided to make his own history.
LeBron James led Cavaliers to historic comeback
LeBron was spectacular during the 2016 Finals. He averaged 29.7 points, 11.3 rebounds, and 8.9 assists while shooting 49.4% from the field, 37.1% from beyond the arc, and 72.1% from the free-throw line.
After the Cavaliers fell down 3-1, LeBron took his game to another level in Games 5-7. He averaged 36.3 points, 11.7 rebounds, 9.7 assists, and 3.0 blocks and shot an efficient 50.6% overall and 42.1% from 3-point land.
Game 7 between the Warriors and Cavaliers is one of the greatest games in NBA history because of the ending. Not only did LeBron record a triple-double, but he also had arguably the biggest block in NBA history.
The King’s block on Andre Iguodala was sensational
LeBron blocked Andre Iguodala on a fast break with less than two minutes to go in a tied game. It was the All-Star’s third block of the game, and it came at the perfect moment.
LeBron’s block set up Kyrie Irving‘s game-winning 3-pointer over Stephen Curry with under a minute left. King James then went 1-of-2 at the free-throw line with 11.0 seconds remaining to give the Cavaliers a 93-89 lead, and that was all she wrote.
LeBron won Finals MVP and screamed, “Cleveland, this is for you!” after the final buzzer sounded. It was a storybook moment for the Akron native, and Antetokounmpo appreciated it from afar.
Stats courtesy of Basketball Reference