Richard Jefferson: LeBron James' 2016 Finals Performance Is Greatest I've Seen

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJanuary 4, 2019

Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James (23) and teammate Richard Jefferson react during a basketball game against the New York Knicks in Cleveland, Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2016. (AP Photo/Phil Long)
Phil Long/Associated Press

There's been a lot of debate, once again, about whether LeBron James or Michael Jordan is the greatest NBA player of all time after James self-proclaimed himself the GOAT this week on More Than An Athlete

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What @kingjames considers being the GOAT 🐐 ⁣ ⁣ New episode of More Than An Athlete out on @espn+. https://t.co/7XSQ2GpOVo

James cited the fact that he led the Cleveland Cavaliers back from a 3-1 deficit against the 73-win Golden State Warriors in the 2016 NBA Finals as evidence, and his former teammate on that team, Richard Jefferson, said James gave a GOAT performance in that series.

"It was the greatest performance I ever saw," he said, per TMZ Sports.

James was excellent in that series, averaging 29.7 points, 11.3 rebounds, 8.9 assists, 2.6 steals and 2.3 blocks per game in 42.0 minutes per contest. But he came up particularly huge in Cleveland's three straight wins to clinch its first title in the organization's history:

  • Game 5: 41 points, 16 rebounds, seven assists, three blocks, three steals in 43 minutes
  • Game 6: 41 points, 11 assists, eight rebounds, four steals, three blocks in 43 minutes
  • Game 7: 27 points, 11 rebounds, 11 assists, three blocks, two steals in 47 minutes 

It was a performance worthy of recognition, no doubt. But whether James is the definitive GOAT in NBA history remains up for debate.


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