“Iguodala up for the layup… OH BLOCKED BY JAMES!” The 2016 finals gave us one of the greatest sporting moments of all-time. LeBron James stunned the entire NBA with his game seven block which ultimately gave the Cavaliers an opportunity to clinch the NBA Championship.
The history of LeBron vs Golden State Warriors
LeBron’s Cavaliers lost to Golden State in the 2015 finals 4-2 and in 2016 Golden State had stepped up another gear as they steamrolled their way through the entire NBA setting a new regular season record of 73-9.
LeBron vowed to bring a championship back to his hometown of Cleveland. With pundits beginning to put an expiry date on the King’s reign at the top of the NBA, many believed this would be one of his last chances to do so. With a supporting cast of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, the Cavs were well positioned to attempt to dethrone the Warriors.
BLOCK BY JAMES!
So far in the playoffs, it had been nip and tuck between the Warriors and the Cavs. Tied at 3-3 in the series it all came down to a deciding game seven. With the scores tied at 89-89 and two minutes left on the clock, Kyrie drove to the basket and attempted a floater which missed everything and was pulled down by Iguodala who broke out on transition with Steph Curry.
JR Smith was in a two on one scenario and forced Iggy to pass the ball to Steph before getting it back and attempting to layup. Out of nowhere came LeBron James who swatted the attempted layup against the backboard and a momentary silence spread across the Oracle as everyone absorbed what they had just witnessed.
It was one of the moments sports throws up every now and again and cements certain players as all-time greats and this was LeBron James’ moment. His never say die attitude was on full display for all to see in this game and no moment encapsulated it as well as this block.
Andre Iguodala later stated: “I give him all respect. When he blocked it, I thought somebody got shot. I laugh about it all the time. People try to joke on me. I still get mentions all day from fans always talking about the block.” Given Iggy is a fan of the block highlights how extraordinary this play was.
The importance of this play
The block certainly gave the Cavs a sense of belief that they could go on to win the game. Kyrie hit a three with 53 seconds left on the clock giving the Cavs a three-point lead.
The game was iced by LeBron who was fouled going for a dunk with 10.6 seconds left and drained one of his two free throws securing Cleveland’s first NBA title. Had LeBron not made the block and Iguodala puts Golden State up by two could the Cavs have turned it around?