LeBron James remembers the moment where he first thought he was the greatest player ever.
The 34-year-old superstar has been named the NBA MVP four times, won three championships and made 14 All-Star teams during his 16-year career. But James, who signed a four-year, $154.4 million contract with the Lakers this summer, said beating the Warriors to win a title for the Cavaliers in 2015-16 is what cemented his legacy.
“That one right there made me the greatest player of all time,” James said during an appearance on the ESPN+ series “More Than An Athlete.”
“I was super, super ecstatic to win one for Cleveland because of the 52-year drought. … The first wave of emotion was when everyone saw me crying, like, that was all for 52 years of everything in sports that’s gone on in Cleveland. And then after I stopped I was like — that one right there made you the greatest player of all time.”
The Warriors registered an NBA-record 73-9 regular-season record in 2015-16 and cruised to the Finals. But, James led Cleveland to an upset as it topped Golden State in seven games.
“Everybody was just talking — how (the Warriors) were the greatest team of all time, like it was the greatest team ever assembled,” James said. “And for us to come back, you know, the way we came back in that fashion I was like, ‘You did, you did something special.’
“That’s probably one of the only times in my career I felt like, oh s—, like you did something special. I haven’t had, really had time, to really, like, sit back and think but that…that was a moment.”
James is averaging 27.3 points, 8.3 rebounds and 7.1 assists in 34.6 minutes per game during his first season with Los Angeles. He’s shooting 51.8 percent from the field and 35.6 percent from 3-point range.
James has not played since he strained his groin in Los Angeles’ win over the Warriors last week. He is considered day-to-day.