LeBron James is used to delivering historic performances on The Finals stage. What he did in Game 6 of the 2020 Finals, though, puts him in a category all by himself.
James was named Finals MVP after the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Miami Heat with a 106-93 win in Game 6. In doing so, James became the first player in NBA history to be named Finals MVP with three different franchises. He was at his best in the Game 6 clincher, finishing with 28 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists and won the Finals MVP by a unanimous 11-0 vote.
— NBA (@NBA) October 12, 2020
It’s odd not being @ #NBAFinals but @MiamiHEAT put up a good fight Strange times in the @NBA Bubble. I may not be there but I want to say Congratulations to @KingJames for winning the #BillRussellFinalsMVPaward & Congratulations to the @lakers #ForKobeAndGigi #MambaOut @NBAonABC pic.twitter.com/p91H7Td3t0
— TheBillRussell (@RealBillRussell) October 12, 2020
His first Finals MVP came as a member of the Miami Heat in the 2012 Finals. He followed that up with another in 2013 and won his third Finals MVP in 2016 as the Cleveland Cavaliers rallied from a 3-1 Finals deficit to win the title.
Heading into these Finals, James was tied with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Milwaukee Bucks, Lakers) and Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio Spurs, Toronto Raptors) as the only players in NBA history to win Finals MVPs with more than one team.
In the 2020 Finals, James averaged 29.8 points, 11.8 rebounds and 8.5 assists per game. The Lakers’ title was their first since 2010, when franchise icon Kobe Bryant collected Finals MVP honors en route to L.A. defeating the rival Boston Celtics in Game 7. Overall, this is the 17th championship in Lakers history, tying them with the Celtics for most in NBA history.
Here’s a look each of the players who won MVPs with multiple NBA franchises:
|Player||Team||Finals Series Stats||MVP|
|LeBron James||Lakers||29.8 ppg | 11.8 rpg | 8.5 apg | 1.2 spg | 0.5 bpg||2020 (Lakers defeat Heat, 4-2)|
|LeBron James||Cavs||29.7 ppg | 11.3 rpg | 8.9 apg | 2.6 spg | 2.3 bpg||2016 (Cavs defeat Warriors, 4-3)|
|LeBron James||Heat||25.3 ppg | 10.9 rpg | 7.0 apg | 2.3 spg | 0.9 bpg||2013 (Heat defeat Spurs, 4-3)|
|LeBron James||Heat||28.6 ppg | 10.2 rpg | 7.4 apg | 1.6 spg | 0.4 bpg||2012 (Heat defeat Thunder, 4-1)|
|Kawhi Leonard||Raptors||28.5 ppg | 9.8 rpg | 4.2 apg | 2.0 spg | 1.2 bpg||2019 (Raptors defeat Warriors, 4-2)|
|Kawhi Leonard||Spurs||17.8 ppg | 6.4 rpg | 2.0 apg | 1.6 spg | 1.2 bpg||2014 (Spurs defeat Heat, 4-1)|
|Kareem Abdul-Jabbar||Bucks||27 ppg | 18.5 rpg | 2.8 apg||1971 (Bucks defeat Bullets, 4-0)|
|Kareem Abdul-Jabbar||Lakers||25.7 ppg | 9.0 rpg | 5.2 apg | 1.0 spg | 1.5 bpg||1985 (Lakers defeat Celtics, 4-2)|
(Note: Blocks per game not an official NBA stat until 1973-74 season.)
In NBA history, 12 players have won two or more Finals MVPs in their career, nine of whom have been elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.