From capturing his first championship to then defending the ring one year later to going on a prolific 27-game winning streak to being named back-to-back MVP, the 6-foot-8 forward has accomplished and experienced a handful.
Yet, the world’s best basketball player exclaimed on his HBO show, “The Shop,” that his greatest career achievement came when he overcame his lousy 2011 NBA Finals loss:
Lakers' LeBron James reflects on 2011, on HBO's 'The Shop'… "I thought it would be easy. … I left that Finals like, 'Yo Bron, what the f— was you on, man. you were overthinking everything, you didn't show up.' … That was my greatest achievement: to overcome that." pic.twitter.com/Mq3H0Ckrmg
— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) October 13, 2018
The 33-year-old was referring to his first postseason with Heat. After enduring a year of hate, scrutiny and disrespect from naysayers, the powerhouse found himself in the 2011 NBA Finals with a chance to silence everyone and prove his departure from Cleveland was worth it. Instead, the forward would falter against the Dallas Mavericks and lose in the NBA Finals for the second time in his career.
Despite having home-court advantage, the Heat lost to the Mavericks in six games. James put up 17.8 points and 4.0 turnovers in 43.7 minutes a game in the final round, one of the worst playoff series of his storied career. After the meltdown, James hid from the world as restless nights and regret would creep in.
However, the hard worker eventually got back into the gym and reignited the Heat the following season. The Heat would go on to defeat the Oklahoma City Thunder in the 2012 NBA Finals and then took down the proven San Antonio Spurs in the 2013 NBA Finals to claim their second consecutive championship.
While it doesn’t have a trophy or ring attached to it, James’ ability to overcome one of the darkest points of his life and win at the highest level multiple times certainly is a major accomplishment. The four-time MVP has matured mightily since then, enhancing his leadership skills and showing composure at the most stressful times. James has become an icon around the world with stellar play, generous off-court contributions and admirable community leadership.
The 16-year veteran has career averages of 27.2 points, 7.4 rebounds, 7.2 assist and 1.6 steals per game on 50 percent shooting from the field.