LeBron James left the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2010 in an ugly and brash way, but when he returned in 2014, the hard feelings Cavs fans had for him dissipated.
Immediately, the expectation was that he would lead the team to its first NBA championship. Although it reached the NBA Finals in 2015, James’ first season back, it lost to the Golden State Warriors, as Kyrie Irving missed most of the series with a knee injury.
After overcoming some internal issues during the 2015-16 campaign, Cleveland made it back to the championship series, but it fell behind 3-1 to the same Warriors team.
Just when it seemed the Cavs were about to go extinct again, James got them to believe they could fight back, and fight back they did.
With James and Irving putting forth monster performances, Cleveland won the next two contests to force a Game 7 in Northern California.
It had been decades since a road team had won Game 7 of the Finals, but this Cavs team was one for the ages.
The contest featured several momentum swings, but with 1:50 left in the fourth quarter and the score tied, James had one of the most iconic plays of his career, as he rejected Andre Iguodala from behind as he attempted to score a layup on a fast break.
Then, moments later, with the score still tied, Irving hit the biggest 3-pointer of his life to put the Cavs up for good.
Their 93-89 victory brought the city of Cleveland its first world championship in any sport in over 50 years.
James shot just 9-of-24, but he came through down the stretch and finished with 24 points, 11 rebounds, 11 assists, two steals and three blocked shots.
By taking the Cavs to the promised land, the Akron, Ohio native had finally fulfilled his destiny.