James to Become 1st Player Since 1966 to Play in 5 Straight NBA Finals

Bleacher Report MilestonesB/R StaffMay 27, 2015

CLEVELAND, OH - MAY 26: LeBron James #23 and Anderson Varejao #17 of the Cleveland Cavaliers react on the bench in the fourth quarter against the Atlanta Hawks during Game Four of the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2015 NBA Playoffs at Quicken Loans Arena on May 26, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Following Tuesday's 118-88 Game 4 win over the Atlanta Hawks, Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James is set to become the first player since 1966 to play in five consecutive NBA Finals, per Elias Sports Bureau (h/t NBA.com/stats).

Having previously reached the Finals with the Miami Heat in four straight seasons, James found his path to the game's biggest stage to be a surprisingly easy one in his first year back in Cleveland.

The Cavaliers swept the Boston Celtics in the first round and the Atlanta Hawks in the Eastern Conference Finals, with a six-game series against the Chicago Bulls sandwiched in between.

During the conference finals, James became the first player in NBA history to average 30 or more points, 10 or more rebounds and nine or more assists in a playoff series, finishing at 30.3 points, 11 boards and 9.3 assists over the course of the four-game sweep, per Elias Sports Bureau (via ESPN.com).

James also elevated his status on some of the all-time playoff lists during the series, notably passing Karl Malone for sixth in points and Larry Bird for seventh in steals, per ESPN's Dave McMenamin.

Of the eight other players to appear in five consecutive NBA Finals, each and every one played for the Celtics during the team's dynasty in the 1950s and/or 1960s, per ESPN Stats & Info.

Cavaliers forward James Jones has reached five consecutive Finals while playing alongside James, but Jones did not actually get into any games during the 2011 Finals against the Dallas Mavericks, per NBA.com/stats.

After averaging 20 minutes per game during the sweep of Atlanta, Jones will likely appear in a fourth consecutive Finals when the series starts next week.


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