Remember when the San Antonio Spurs faced off against LeBron James in the NBA Finals back in 2007? And in 2013? And again a year later in 2014?
Seeing LeBron James back in the NBA Finals helps regain some sense of normalcy with the San Antonio Spurs out of the playoff picture for the first time in my lifetime. It takes me back to the good old days when LeBron and the San Antonio Spurs faced off on the greatest stage, meeting each other with a delicate balance of respect and competitive fire. The two parties never underestimated each other and did everything in their power to dominate the other.
Back in 2007, the San Antonio Spurs gave a ripe, young LeBron James a dose of reality. Just a few years and three failed attempts at redemption later, LeBron realized what he had to do to fulfill his basketball destiny: Leave Cleveland. All the while, the San Antonio Spurs struggled to overcome the influx of talent flooding the Western Conference led by three consecutive Finals appearances by the Los Angeles Lakers.
The 2013 NBA Finals was home to one of the most memorable back-and-forth battles the basketball world has ever seen on that level. A year later, the two teams met once more with a completely transformed narrative. The pressure to overcome San Antonio may have been higher than it was in the previous year for one of the greatest basketball talents in history.
Now, LeBron finds himself back in the NBA Finals — This time as a representative of the Western Conference. A truly transcendent player, LeBron was profusely intertwined with the legacy of the San Antonio Spurs. Let’s take a look back at their three NBA Finals battles.