DAR Sports: The 5 Greatest LeBron James Seasons
LeBron James is one of the greatest players we've ever witnessed. While he isn't the greatest or the GOAT and that ship has sailed, the truth is, LeBron is the best player of this generation. With 8 NBA Finals appearances, 7 of which have been in succession, LeBron will finish his career as the greatest Small Forward of all time. The versatility in his game and his ability to control the pace has made him the best player in the world for the last 6 years or so. Though that time seems to be nearing the end (or has ended already depending on who you talk to), LeBron is solidified and today, we wanted to look at his top 5 seasons. This includes the regular season and playoffs, as they combine to make his entire season. One pivotal season that's missing from this list is last season, which just missed the list for a number of reasons. With that being said, which seasons are Bron's best? Let's take a look.
5. 2009-2010 Season (Cleveland Cavaliers)
-His 2nd MVP season is honestly amazing and a shock for me that he couldn't get the job done so that we got the Lakers vs Cavs Finals everyone was hoping for. Still, LeBron was magnificent this year, and if not for the 2nd round exit in the playoffs, I would have put this season a bit higher. Finishing with huge numbers of 29.7 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 8.4 APG, and 1.6 SPG on 50% FG, Bron led the Cavs to their 2nd straight 60 win season and the no. 1 seed in the East, but unfortunately they would take a loss to the Celtics in the Semifinals. Still, despite the loss and the disappointment of the 2nd round exit, Bron was great throughout those two playoff series, finishing with 29.1 PPG, 9.3 RPG, 7.6 APG, 1.7 SPG, and 1.8 RPG on 50% FG and a surprising 40% from three. When it is all said and done, we will remember this season as one of Bron's best, while being disappointed his playoff journey ended so soon.
4. 2015-2016 Season (Cleveland Cavaliers)
-It may be a bit of a stretch to put this one on the list. One could argue a more efficient season and higher scoring playoff run for this season, but it resulted in a loss despite averaging a triple double. Plus, during the regular season last season and playoffs, LeBron was lackluster on defense. This season, he showcased solid defense throughout and helped lead the Cavs back to the no. 1 seed with a 57-25 record. His regular season numbers were lower than usual for him, but anytime you can finish with 25.3 PPG, 7.4 RPG, and 6.8 APG on 52% FG, you've done something well. This was the season that LeBron played the least amount of minutes overall since returning to Cleveland and he averaged the smallest amount of minutes played per game in his career, averaging just under 36 minutes. When the playoffs started, Bron coasted once again, until the Finals. His epic Finals performance in games 5, 6, and 7 is what really gets this season on this list, because it was one of the best three game stretches in the history of the NBA Finals. His entire playoff run was solid as well, as he averaged 26.3 PPG, 9.5 RPG, 7.6 APG, and a career playoff high of 2.3 SPG on 53% FG. The ultimate 3-1 comeback capped off by his third NBA Title and his third Finals MVP is more than enough to put this season on the list. This is one of those seasons that you had to just marvel at the greatness of LeBron because he was that good.
3. 2011-2012 Season (Miami Heat)
-A shortened season is interesting. 62 games were played this year, with the Miami Heat looking pretty strong throughout. The true power in this season was that it was the best defensive showcase for LeBron in his entire career. In addition to his defensive strengths, LeBron was on a mission. After the poor showing in the Finals the year prior, LeBron wanted to come back and win MVP along with a championship and a great performance in the Finals. Finishing with a very efficient season of 27.1 PPG, 7.9 RPG, 6.2 APG, and 1.9 SPG on 53% FG, Bron was as focused as he's ever been and the result was simply what he wanted: a championship. After a classic performance against the Celtics in the Conference Finals, Bron led the Heat to a 5 game victory over the young Oklahoma City Thunder team. LeBron would win Finals MVP and put up one of his greatest playoff runs this season, finishing with 30.1 PPG, 9.7 RPG, 5.6 APG, and 1.9 SPG on 50% FG to cap off one of his most amazing showings and seasons.
2. 2008-2009 Season (Cleveland Cavaliers)
-The first MVP season is still one of his best and this came at a time when LeBron was pretty much in his young prime. He had hit that period where his defense was top notch, his numbers were top notch, and his all around play was top tier. Easily. He had finally entered his name in the discussion for the best player in the NBA, and sure enough, the talk of the NBA at that point was Kobe or LeBron. While I was still looking at Kobe as the best player in the league, LeBron was building his case by leading the Cavs to an amazing 66-16 season and the no. 1 seed in the East. The story was being built perfectly. The 66-16 Cavs vs the 65-17 Lakers. The top two MVP candidates. LeBron vs Kobe. Finishing the regular season with 28.4 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 7.2 APG, and 1.7 SPG on 49% FG, Bron was set to make a run for the Finals and his first title, but he came up short, losing in the Conference Finals to the Orlando Magic. Still, he was magnificent in the playoffs despite this, averaging a career playoff high 35.3 PPG, 9.1 RPG, 7.3 APG, and 1.6 SPG on 51% FG. Though the season ended in a way that wasn't the best for Bron, it takes nothing away from his individual performance all season long and in the playoffs, which was beyond superb.
1. 2012-2013 Season (Miami Heat)
-Was there any other choice? Really? Of course not. LeBron was at his absolute best this season. He had a very good defensive run this season, but the true power was in the dominance that the Heat had season thanks to his leadership and assistance from Wade and Bosh, and the rest of their superteam. The Heat wanted to go back to back and win their 2nd title in a row, and LeBron was focused on getting them there. Many felt that LeBron should have won unanimous MVP, and while I disagree with that (Carmelo really led the Knicks to a solid 54 win season with literally half the talent on his team than Bron, so he deserved votes), LeBron was the clear cut winner for the award. Finishing with 26.8 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 7.3 APG, and 1.7 SPG on 57% FG and 40% from three, this is the most efficient regular season overall for LeBron and he shined beyond belief all year around, including his stretch of games during the mega winning streak the Heat went on. Comparably speaking, his playoff run in 2012 was better in terms of scoring and efficiency, but Bron got the job done this year in a major way. Finishing out the 2013 playoffs with 25.9 PPG on 49% FG to go along with 8.4 RPG, 6.6 APG, and 1.8 SPG. The biggest moment of the playoffs would be his fight to bring the Heat back from what was to be a big time loss to the Spurs in the Finals and his game 7 performance to win Finals MVP. Through the years, LeBron has had virtually great seasons every year, but this season is without a doubt the best of his career. It's a magnificent display of his talent and what he does best at the highest level. The question is, will LeBron ever top it? That remains to be seen.