10 LeBron James Playoff Moments

10 LeBron James Playoff Moments

A list of James' best plays in the postseason that truly define him as 'The King'

As LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers head into the playoffs once again this year looking to repeat as NBA champions, I thought I would show 10 of James' greatest postseason moments in my opinion. Now, I didn't add any moments he had with the Miami Heat not because I despise that team and try to forget that he ever played with them at one point, but because he never really had any great "moments" in the playoffs while he played for that team down in South Beach. This is only LeBron's greatest playoff moments with the Cavs, aka my team, sorry. So without further ado, here's the list!

10. Cleveland Cavaliers 88 - Boston Celtics 77 Game 4 (Eastern Conference Semifinals) 2008 NBA Playoffs

This is a typical mid to late 2000s game where the Cavs would be in a close game situation, but James would come in the clutch with a huge play that would seal the deal for a Cleveland victory. This was by far one of the most memorable plays I can remember from James in the playoffs, even though they went on lose this series to the Boston Celtics.

9. Cleveland Cavaliers 114 - Orlando Magic 116 Game 4 (Eastern Conference Finals) 2009 NBA Playoffs

The Cavs sadly ended up losing this overtime thriller and later the entire series against the Orlando Magic in the Eastern Conference Finals. However, I decided to put this moment on the list because these were "do or die" free throws for James and the Cavaliers to force overtime in a pivotal game four. Just seeing how the ball left LeBron's hand and rolled along the front edge of the rim but lucky rolled back to go through the net on the second free throw which tied the game gives me goosebumps every time, and his reaction afterwards is priceless too. While this wasn't a huge moment for James in the playoffs, it certainly was a memorable one to me.

8. Cleveland Cavaliers 115 - Golden State Warriors 101 Game 6 (NBA Finals) 2016 NBA Playoffs

Hey, when your favorite NBA player makes another great NBA player that I hate, two-time MVP Stephen Curry, look silly on a play in the NBA Finals by blocking the living hell out of a layup he attempted and then looking back at him to give him some choice words after the play happened, that's going to be a memorable playoff moment from "The King" to me. That's why it's on my list!

7. Cleveland Cavaliers 121 - Chicago Bulls 98 Game 4 (Eastern Conference First Round) 2010 NBA Playoffs

I like to call this moment "LeBron James showboating in a blowout playoff game" where the Cavs were absolutely hammering the Chicago Bulls in this postseason contest and so to keep it from getting boring and make it a little more entertaining, James decided to show how good he is at beating the buzzer. The first one in this game, which happened in the second quarter was a nice little jumpshot that he drained nothing but net right at the horn to head into halftime, but it was actually the second buzzer beater he hit that makes this moment so memorable for me. I mean, the Cavaliers were already beating the Bulls by 20 once the last seconds of the third were coming to a close, so you would think that they would go a little easy on Chicago from then on, but not LeBron as he hit a half court shot at the buzzer to end the third quarter and basically show the whole world that "He's the s***." Two big plays made by "The King."

6. Cleveland Cavaliers 97 - Washington Wizards 96 Game 3 (Eastern Conference First Round) 2006 NBA Playoffs

This was believe it or not James' first game winning shot in not just a playoff game but an NBA game in general and while it isn't as memorable compared to his other great postseason moments, it certainly was a great play and showed how he was progressing as a player and adjusting to being the leader of the Cavaliers by showing his ability to play in the clutch.

5. Cleveland Cavaliers 86 - Chicago Bulls 84 Game 4 (Eastern Conference Semifinals) 2015 NBA Playoffs

This was basically like the buzzer beater in Orlando 2.0. Just LeBron being LeBron. Knocking down a game-winning jumper at the buzzer to keep his team alive in a playoff series, which they ended up winning in six and made a run all the way to the 2015 NBA Finals, only to lose to the "Splash Brothers" of Golden State in six games.

4. Cleveland Cavaliers 121 - Washington Wizards 120 Game 5 (Eastern Conference First Round) 2006 NBA Playoffs

While this wasn't the first game winning shot that James made in this postseason series with the Washington Wizards, as he made his first one in game three of the series which was my sixth greatest playoff moment made by him that I pointed out earlier in this list, but it was his first outstanding and memorable play that he made in his playoff career. This game winner sparked the Cavaliers and they went on to defeat the Wizards in Game six and win the series.

3. Cleveland Cavaliers 96 - Orlando Magic 95 Game 2 (Eastern Conference Finals) 2009 NBA Playoffs

I remember watching this play on TV like it was yesterday. I was standing in our family living room watching the last few seconds of this game. Once I saw that there was only one second left for the Cavs to get a shot off to either tie or win it, I began to move near the steps to go upstairs to my room and try to get over the fact of the Magic taking a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference Finals over my Cavaliers. However, my mother encouraged me to stay downstairs and at least see if anything would happen in the last second of the game, and boy I'm glad she did. This was and still is my favorite shot that LeBron has ever made in his career because it was a legit game winning buzzer beater and I remember that day being a school night and not being able to go to sleep as a result of that play. A great moment in James' career and I'm happy I was able to witness it.

2. Cleveland Cavaliers 93 - Golden State Warriors 89 Game 7 (NBA Finals) 2016 NBA Playoffs

Now, obviously one of the greatest and most underrated strengths of LeBron James' game is his ability to block shots, particularly on fast breaks. While he has a lot of amazing rundown blocks to his name, this is by far the best and most important one of James' career. I say that because if Andre Iguodala scores on this fastbreak layup, the Warriors would have the advantage with a two point lead and the Cavs might not even would have had a shot at winning this pivotal game seven to give them the title. People say that Kyrie Irving's three pointer was the play that won the Cavs the championship, but I disagree. This was definitely the play that won the NBA title for Cleveland because without this huge and historic block by James, Irving's game winning three point shot would have never happened and who knows if the Cavs would be hoisting the Larry O' Brien trophy at the end of the game.

1. Cleveland Cavaliers 109 - Detroit Pistons 107 (2OT) Game 5 (Eastern Conference Finals) 2007 NBA Playoffs

If you were to ask me what game to me defines LeBron James, no doubt it is this one. Scored 29 of the Cavs last 30 points in this postseason contest to lead them to a thrilling double overtime win over the powerhouse Detroit Pistons. This game in particular really gave Cleveland the confidence to win the rest of the series, which they did in six games. As a result, with the leadership of James, the Cavaliers ended up booking a trip to their first NBA Finals appearance in franchise history from winning this highly competitive Eastern Conference Final series against their Central Division rivals. I believe that this is the game that made LeBron "The King" and had people calling him the greatest basketball player on the planet.

Cover Image Credit: reddit

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The Coach That Killed My Passion

An open letter to the coach that made me hate a sport I once loved.

I fell in love with the game in second grade. I lived for every practice and every game. I lived for the countless hours in the gym or my driveway perfecting every shot, every pass and every move I could think of. Every night after dinner, I would go shoot and would not allow myself to go inside until I hit a hundred shots. I had a desire to play, to get better and to be the best basketball player I could possibly be.

I had many coaches between church leagues, rec leagues, personal coaches, basketball camps, middle school and high school. Most of the coaches I had the opportunity to play for had a passion for the game like I did. They inspired me to never stop working. They would tell me I had a natural ability. I took pride in knowing that I worked hard and I took pride in the compliments that I got from my coaches and other parents. I always looked forward to the drills and, believe it or not, I even looked forward to the running. These coaches had a desire to teach, and I had a desire to learn through every good and bad thing that happened during many seasons. Thank you to the coaches that coached and supported me through the years.

SEE ALSO: My Regrets From My Time As A College Softball Player

Along with the good coaches, are a few bad coaches. These are the coaches that focused on favorites instead of the good of the entire team. I had coaches that no matter how hard I worked, it would never be good enough for them. I had coaches that would take insults too far on the court and in the classroom.

I had coaches that killed my passion and love for the game of basketball.

When a passion dies, it is quite possibly the most heartbreaking thing ever. A desire you once had to play every second of the day is gone; it turns into dreading every practice and game. It turns into leaving every game with earphones in so other parents don't talk to you about it. It meant dreading school the next day due to everyone talking about the previous game. My passion was destroyed when a coach looked at me in the eyes and said, "You could go to any other school and start varsity, but you just can't play for me."

SEE ALSO: Should College Athletes Be Limited To One Sport?

Looking back now at the amount of tears shed after practices and games, I just want to say to this coach: Making me feel bad about myself doesn't make me want to play and work hard for you, whether in the classroom or on the court. Telling me that, "Hard work always pays off" and not keeping that word doesn't make me want to work hard either. I spent every minute of the day focusing on making sure you didn't see the pain that I felt, and all of my energy was put towards that fake smile when I said I was OK with how you treated me. There are not words for the feeling I got when parents of teammates asked why I didn't play more or why I got pulled after one mistake; I simply didn't have an answer. The way you made me feel about myself and my ability to play ball made me hate myself; not only did you make me doubt my ability to play, you turned my teammates against me to where they didn't trust my abilities. I would not wish the pain you caused me on my greatest enemy. I pray that one day, eventually, when all of your players quit coming back that you realize that it isn't all about winning records. It’s about the players. You can have winning records without a good coach if you have a good team, but you won’t have a team if you can't treat players with the respect they deserve.

SEE ALSO: To The Little Girl Picking Up A Basketball For The First Time

Cover Image Credit: Equality Charter School

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