LeBron free to bask in the glory of his greatest accomplishment


The scenes at the end spoke a thousand words.

At the buzzer at Oracle Arena, LeBron James - a once-in-a-generation athlete who has transformed the game of basketball - lay bent double in floods of tears, his biggest personal dream finally achieved.

For all James' incredible accomplishments, none will rank higher than what he achieved in Oakland on Sunday, bringing a title back to his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers.

And what makes that achievement even more impressive are the circumstances. No team had ever turned around a 3-1 deficit in the NBA Finals, and Cleveland had to do it against the greatest regular-season team ever in the Golden State Warriors, a side that had themselves erased a 3-1 deficit in the Western Conference Finals to defeat the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Even the most ardent of Cleveland fans would have been forgiven for accepting defeat following the game-four loss but fortune - in the form of a suspension to Draymond Green for striking James in the groin - favoured LeBron and the Cavs.

James and Kyrie Irving took full advantage of Green's absence in game five, combining for 82 points to send the series back to Cleveland, where the former produced a similar showing in front of a home crowd baying for blood.

The crowd was turned against him in game seven and the Warriors, for long periods of a thrilling encounter, appeared a renewed force led by the brilliant Green, whose role in a magnificent spectacle should not be undersold.

But this has been James' series, this was his stage and - having missed out twice before with the Cavaliers - he was not about to let this opportunity slip through his fingers.

James, fittingly, rattled home the final point of the contest to seal a 93-89 win following a hard foul at the rim by Green, after Kyrie Irving had hit a three over unanimous MVP Steph Curry that served as the killer blow in a bewitching finale.

Curry, who has rarely looked himself since a knee injury in the first round, could not lead the Warriors back, and for now there can be no doubt that the crown in the NBA belongs to LeBron.

"Cleveland, this is for you!" the Finals MVP exclaimed on the podium. That city can now celebrate a first major sporting championship since 1964 and LeBron can attack the final stage of his career free of the burden of having to deliver it, so expect plenty more to come from the undisputed king of the NBA.