LeBron James: The 15 Best Moments During His Tenure in Cleveland
While LeBron James is the new most hated person in Cleveland and Northeast Ohio, there were still the good old days when James enticed the world with his talents and abilities.
Most Cavaliers fans are understandably bitter and trying to forget the once prominent athlete who hailed from their city. Instead of wallowing in sorrow, why not remember and cherish the moments in which LeBron brought the city of Cleveland back to stardom?
James possesses athletic prowess that has left him unmatched, yet Cavaliers fans have tarnished his name and even progressed to the point of completely rejecting him.
Let's take a stroll down memory lane and look at 15 of the best moments LeBron James had during his tenure in Cleveland.
15.) Drafted No. 1 Overall by the Cavaliers in 2003
Where better to start than where it all began?
On June 26, 2003, the Cleveland Cavaliers drafted LeBron James to join their roster, and it was on this night that his legend was born.
Who can forget James's classic all-white attire he wore to the special occasion?
On this night, an NBA star was born.
14.) His First Game
Coming into this game, LeBron James seemed to be all hype. Never had we seen him on a stage such as the NBA, especially with his decision to skip college and go straight to The League.
James proved that all the talk was for something: he had 25 points, six rebounds, nine assists, and four steals, all within his first game. The Cavaliers now knew they had something special.
13.) Career High 56 Points At Toronto
Yes, as crazy as it seems, LeBron James's career high in points is 56. Feels like he should be somewhere up there with Kobe's 81 or Wilt's 100, right?
On March 20, 2005 at Toronto, LeBron made his mark as he torched the Raptors in a variety of ways.
However, it wasn't enough as the Cavaliers went on to lose with a score of 105-98.
Here's some highlights of that game:
12.) Dunking on Duncan
You might notice that Tim Duncan is now in a lot of LeBron James posters.
We've seen this over and over again, but does it ever get old?
Of course not. Here it is again:
11.) Wins Rookie of the Year
After a great rookie season, LeBron James was rewarded for his accomplishments with the 2003-04 NBA Rookie of the Year award.
This would just be the beginning of a number of awards he would win as his career progressed.
As Rookie of the Year, he averaged 20.9 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 5.5 assists per game.
This doesn't like much, until you realize that he did this all at the tender age of 19.
10.) His First All-Star Team
In 2005, LeBron James was chosen to participate in his first NBA All-Star Game.
There's no way this would be the end of his appearances. Denver was just the start for him.
9.) Game-Winning Buzzer Beater Against Orlando
Expect the impossible.
After this shot, that's what was on everyone's mind when watching LeBron James play.
On the verge of going down two games to the Orlando Magic in the 2009 Eastern Conference Finals, LeBron nailed a fade away three from the top of the key to win the game 96-95, and more importantly, tie the series at one.
It's a difficult play to forget, but just in case, here it is again:
8.) His First Playoff Appearance
In his first career playoff game, LeBron James failed to disappoint.
He grabbed a triple-double with 32 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists as his team he went on to beat the Washington Wizards.
Many said this was one to remember, and those who said that, they are correct.
7.) 2007 Eastern Conference Finals Game 5 Against Detroit
This was a classic game for the ages on May 31, 2007.
I could end this slide just saying that LeBron James scored a playoff career-high 48 points, but that would be just cutting it short. Most know what happened this night in Auburn Hills.
At one point, LeBron scored 25 of 29 points for the Cavaliers, including 25 points straight of hs own in a double-overtime game against the Detroit Pistons.
If you don't remember this heroic act, here is some memories:
6.) First Alll-Star Game MVP
In 2006, no one expected what LeBron James did.
He brought his East team to a comeback victory, winning 122-120.
Not only that, he became the youngest player to ever win the coveted NBA All-Star Game MVP; he had 29 points, six rebounds, two assists, and two steals to easily secure the award.
5.) Wins 2007 Eastern Conference Championship
This was the scene after Game Six of the 2007 Eastern Conference Finals.
This was the first time in a while that the city of Cleveland had something to be proud of; LeBron James definitely helped bring it to them.
In this game James had 20 points and 14 rebounds, easily doing his part to ensure that the Cavaliers came out victorious.
This is the closest Cleveland has been to a championship since 1964; the city will be certain to always remember it.
The Cavaliers would go on to lose to the Spurs in the 2007 NBA Finals.
4.) Wins NBA Scoring Title in 2007-08
At the end of the 2007-08 season, two young guns, LeBron James and Kevin Durant, were shooting it out to see who would take home the season's NBA Scoring Title.
In the end, LeBron brought it home to the city of Cleveland.
While it is definitely important to us fans, LeBron claims it meant nothing to him.
Then again, he said the title was his whenever he wanted it. Either way, this is a bright spot for LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
3.) Win Gold Medal in 2008 in Beijing
Known as the "Redeem Team," Team USA defeated Spain 117-108 in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
While this was not done with the Cavaliers it still deserves a spot in these rankings, simply because it is a championship win, and for none better than his home country.
LeBron said that championship game will probably go down as one of the best ever, and I have to agree with him. It was a great game and you can't take anything away from it.
This won't be the last time we see LeBron competing for his country, as it is a given he will be back in 2012.
2.) Takes Over Cavaliers All-Time Scoring Lead
In just his fifth season, LeBron James conquered the Cavaliers all-time scoring lead once held by Brad Daugherty in 2008.
James, then 23, hit a floater from the middle of the key for his first basket. He had a powerful dunk on a fast-break basket at 7:41 of the first quarter to tie the record, then set the mark with his layup at 4:10 of the period.
Get used to it Cleveland, he will be at the top of the rankings for a good while.
1.) His First MVP
According to some, this was the best day of LeBron's life, and according to me, it remains best moment during his Cleveland stay.
LeBron received 109 votes out of a possible 121 to easily distance himself from runner-up Kobe Bryant.
LeBron averaged 28.4 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 7.2 assists in the 2008-09 season.
He would go on to win more, but this was just the beginning.
Undoubtedly, this is the best moment for LeBron James during his tenure as a Cleveland Cavalier.
More LeBron James Highlights
LeBron is a never-ending highlight reel, so here are some more displays of his talent while in the city of Cleveland.