AFTER one playoff hiatus, the King is back and ready to reclaim his throne.
Lebron James and the Los Angeles Lakers ended the Denver Nuggets' magical bubble with a 117-107 romp en route to the first final appearance of the Lakers since 2010.
There will always be questions about Lebron's greatness. Incidentally and without a doubt, he is a one of a kind generational talent, much like Magic, Bird, MJ, and Kobe before him. While many were already anticipating a passing of the torch with Giannis' emergence, it is still very much King James' era. At 35 years old, Father Time may have a difficult time catching up with him. He is still as dominating as he has been. His Game five stat line is anything but great, 36 points, 16 rebounds, and 10 assists, making his 27th triple-double game in the playoffs. With this, he is second to Magic Johnson's 30 triple-double playoff games. He is also the fourth player to appear in 10 NBA Finals. He just tied Kareem and is still poised to catch up with Sam Jones (11) and Bill Russel (12).
The Lakers returning to the NBA Finals with Lebron on board was inevitable. Doing it on his second year with the team who were losing more games than winning in the last six seasons is quite scary. Many thought it would take time before he leads LA back to the finals, but here they are now, four games away from the 17th Lakers title. With Lebron and AD leading the way, it is scary where they bring the team from here on.
Standing between them and the 17th title is Jimmy Butler and the Heat. The Heat disposed of the Celtics in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals, setting the NBA Finals showdown with the Lakers.
This series is already interesting with their shared history: Pat Riley, Heat President, and former "Showtime" Lakers coach. Lebron James, winning his first title with the Heat, now gunning his fourth ring with the Lakers.
Lebron will again have the chance to back up his words of winning it all. He did it in Miami and Cleveland. This is his chance with the Lakers. If and when he is successful, he joins a pantheon of Laker greats, further cementing his greatness era. Winning titles with three different teams are no easy feat.
For everyone who grew up watching NBA greats, we are lucky to have witnessed greatness across generations, including the King.