Kevin Love believes LeBron James' block of Andre Iguodala in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors was "probably the most crucial, the most clutch and best block ... of all time."
Love made that assessment while speaking with Inside the NBA's Ernie Johnson (25:50 mark):
It's obviously debatable whether it's the greatest block of all time, though it's hard to come up with a more impactful block than that one. But it's not up for debate that it's a huge part of NBA history and one of the finest sporting moments for any Cleveland franchise.
The context of the moment is key.
The Cavaliers had trailed 3-1 in the series against a Warriors squad that won 73 games during the 2015-16 regular season. They had also never won a championship in their history, and the block was emblematic of a heroic defensive performance that saw Cleveland hold the explosive Dubs offense to just 12 points in the decisive fourth quarter.
The Warriors, improbably, did not score at all in the final 4:39 of the game. Iguodala's layup attempt on the fast break, with just 1:50 remaining in the game, was probably their best chance, and James snuffed it out.
The block wasn't the only key moment down the stretch. There was also Kyrie Irving's dagger three over Stephen Curry with 53 seconds remaining. Or Love stifling Curry on the next possession after he was switched onto him, forcing that season's MVP into a bad shot.
But James' block is the iconic moment. It was then, and it is now.
"I've been watching The Block more than anything because there's no Shot without The Block," Irving said in 2016, per Dave McMenamin of ESPN. "You see a guy chasing down a shot like that, and then I get a chance on the biggest stage, Game 7, man. I wouldn't trade it for the world. I wouldn't trade the world for it."