LeBron James has been to the NBA Finals 10 times. At least twice, he’s ‘carried’ teammates who were nowhere in contention without him.
James made it to the Finals for the first time in 2007. After a hiatus of 3 years, LeBron went back to that stage with a vengeance every year for 8 straight seasons.
When James re-signed with the Cavs in 2014, many expected the team to struggle for a bit before returning to that stage. James’s presence ensured that they did so in his very first year back.
With mostly no Kyrie Irving, no Kevin Love and a depleted roster, James led the Cavs to a sweep over the 60-win Hawks. The team came up against the Warriors in the Finals, but lost Kyrie at the end of Game 1.
This injury list virtually consigned them to defeat. James fought valiantly to grab 2 games in that series with Dellavedova and Varejao propping his offense up. But there was a time that he may have performed an even bigger carry job.
LeBron James led Daniel Gibson and Scot Pollard to the Finals. They’re reality TV stars too.
‘Boobie’ – as Daniel Gibson was fondly called by Cavs fans, was in his rookie year back in 2006-07. He exploded for 31 points in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals that year, sealing their maiden entry to the Finals.
Gibson wasn’t half as effective in the Finals as he was prior to that stage. In 7 seasons with the Cavs, Gibson promised a ton as a shooter, but that potential never materialized. He appeared in Keyshia & Daniel: Family First with his now ex-wife, singer Keyshia Cole.
Scot Pollard, meanwhile, was a typical NBA journeyman by that point. In his 10th season at that point, Pollard knew that his career was all but done. He would retire after the 2007-08 season, averaging single digits and making sporadic appearances in blowout wins.
After his basketball career, Pollard then appeared on the long-running show, Survivor. Pollard ultimately finished eighth out of 18 contestants.