HE RUNS THE EAST
*Photo via USA Today
First things first, we are not talking about the NBA Finals. Face it, nobody is perfect.
But, in the Eastern Conference there is only one dominant force.
Love him or hate him, LeBron James is the King of the East.
When it comes to the playoffs, LeBron is the consistent force. The constant you can depend on to always be there in the end. What player in the last 3 or 4 decades has continuously reached the NBA Finals?
Not Magic. Not Bird. Not Wilt. Not Kareem. Not Jordan. Not Shaq. Not Kobe. Only LeBron.
As many haters and doubters of LeBron James have stated before, ‘he can’t win when it counts’ or ‘he chokes in the Finals’ or ‘he tainted his championships by forming the big 3.’Well, you have to give credit where credit is due. Outside of Bill Russell, LeBron is synonymous with the NBA Playoffs.
I’m going to be honest, it is highly possible had Shaq and Kobe stayed together, they could have arguably been two of the most dominant players in playoff history, but they didn’t. Yes, Jordan elected to play a portion of his prime with the Birmingham Barons and missed out on a chance to have a streak in the east that many will never see, but that didn’t happen, let it go.
*Photo via The Guardian
LeBron James has attained a status that the spans generations. Since 2006, he has not missed the playoffs. Whether they were the teams with the best players around him or the worst players around him, King James will always find a way to get to the postseason. He has ruled the east, the odds on favorite in many matchups in recent years. Let us look at 2016, his Cavs have swept the east up until the Eastern Conference Finals matchup against the Raptors, where they are up 3-2, the wins have been a shellacking and losses, close to the last few minutes. 2015, he carried a hobbled Cavs all the way to the NBA Finals and no team in the east even posed a threat on the way. 2014, looking to 3 peat, LeBron and the Heat had little to no competition cruising through the east. In fact, LeBron James teams have swept at least one opponent in the playoffs dating back to 2013. Four years in a row, a professional basketball team in the NBA has not been able to win one game in a best of seven series against a LeBron James team. It is safe to say, LeBron has owned and may continue to own the Eastern Conference Playoffs for the foreseeable future.
Say what you want. Love him, or hate him, and I have been on the anti-LeBron team for a long time. There is no other player that has the track record of strength and longevity in the postseason. HE RUNS THE EAST. Any player would be foolish to not link up with him if they want to see success in the postseason.