LeBron James Is in His 10th NBA Final—Here's How He Performed in the Other Nine

The NBA landscape has changed significantly over the last decade, but with one constant—LeBron James almost invariably features in the NBA Finals.

The title series against the Miami Heat that begins on Wednesday night will be James' first in the prestigious Los Angeles Lakers uniform but his 10th NBA Finals appearance over the last 11 years.

That is an incredible record considering this is James' 17th season in the league and one that speaks volumes for his remarkable consistency. It is telling that the solitary exception to such an amazing run happened last season, when a groin injury limited him to a career-low 55 regular season and ensured his first year in Los Angeles ended with a whimper.

Back to full fitness and supported by another All-Star calibre player in Anthony Davis, James has embarked on what he described as a "revenge season" and two months short of his 36th birthday will again compete for the NBA title, looking to add a fourth ring to his personal collection.

"It's been like this for a very long time: If you want to win, you'll have to go through a LeBron James–led team," Heat star Jimmy Butler said on Sunday after the Miami punched its ticket to the Finals.

"You're going to get the same test over and over until you pass it. That test is LeBron James."

Ahead of his 10th NBA Finals appearance, here's a look at how LeBron has performed on basketball's biggest stage in the past.

2007—San Antonio Spurs - Cleveland Cavaliers 4-0

James' debut in the NBA Finals was one to forget as the Cavs were swept by the Spurs and he missed a potentially game-tying three-pointer in Game 3, while Cleveland relinquished a fourth quarter lead in Game 4. LeBron led the Cavs in points, assists and minutes per game, but he had 5.8 turnovers per game, the highest average of any player in the NBA Finals over the last three decades.

2011—Dallas Mavericks - Miami Heat 4-2

The Heat reached the NBA Finals in James' first season in Florida but their Big Three—James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh—fell at the last hurdle as Miami lost in six games to Dallas, despite leading twice in the series. LeBron top scored for the Heat in Game 1 but had just eight points in Game 4 and finished the series averaging 17.8 points per game, the first and only time he's scored less than 20 points per game in a playoffs series.

2012—Miami Heat - Oklahoma City Thunder 4-1

James' wait for an NBA title came to an end at the third of time asking as the Heat rebounded from the previous season's disappointment to defeat the Thunder in five games. LeBron top-scored for the Heat in all five games and finished Game 5 with 26 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds, becoming the first player since James Worthy in 1988 to have at least 25 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in a title-clinching game.

LeBron James, NBA, Miami Heat
NBA Finals MVP LeBron James of the Miami Heat holds the championship trophy after defeating the Oklahoma City Thunder 121-106 in Game 5 of the NBA Finals to win the NBA Finals 4-1 on June 21, 2012, at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. Don Emmert/AFP/Getty

2013—Miami Heat - San Antonio Spurs 4-3

James made history again in 2013, becoming the first player since Magic Johnson in 1991 to post two triple-doubles in the NBA Finals. The first came in the series opener and the second in a dramatic Game 6 when the Heat, needing a win to keep the series alive, overcame a five-point deficit with 28.2 seconds remaining to force overtime and win 103-102 to take the series to the decider. In Game 7, LeBron scored 37 points as the Heat won 95-88 to win back-to-back titles and he clinched a second consecutive MVP Finals crown.

2014—San Antonio Spurs - Miami Heat 4-1

San Antonio exacted revenge for its loss 12 months earlier as the Big Three era in Miami came to an end with a fourth consecutive trip to the Finals. LeBron led the Heat in virtually every possible statistic and finished with 35 points and 10 rebounds as Miami levelled the series in Game 2 on the road, but could not prevent the Spurs from winning the next three games.

2015—Golden State Warriors - Cleveland Cavaliers 4-2

James' second spell in Cleveland began with another trip to the Finals but a first NBA title remained elusive for the Cavs, who squandered a 2-1 lead. Despite the loss, LeBron was at his most dominant throughout the series, averaging a staggering 35.8 points, 13.3 rebounds and 8.8 assists per game and becoming the first player since Shaquille O'Neal in 2002 to average at least 35 points in a NBA Finals.

2016—Cleveland Cavaliers - Golden State Warriors 4-3

This was arguably James' piece de resistance. With the Cavs trailing 3-1 against a superior team that had blown them away in the first two games, LeBron finished with 41 points and 16 rebounds as the Cavs won in Oakland to keep the series alive in Game 5. James added another 41 in Game 6, becoming the first player since O'Neal in 2000 to score at least 40 points in back-to-back Finals game, as the Cavs forced the series to back to California.

In Game 7, with the score tied at 89 and 1:50 left in the fourth quarter, LeBron blocked Andre Igoudala's attempted layup, delivering one of the most iconic moments in NBA Finals and swinging the momentum back towards the Cavs, who became the first team in NBA history to come back from a 3-1 deficit and win the title. James finished with 29.7 points, 11.3 rebounds and 8.9 assists per game and was named NBA Finals MVP for a third time.

2017—Golden State Warriors - Cleveland Cavaliers 4-1

In the third consecutive Finals between the Cavs and the Warriors James became the only player in history since the ABA-NBA merger to average a 30-point triple-double in the series, but not even that was enough to prevent the Warriors from reclaiming their crown in five games.

2018—Golden State Warriors - Cleveland Cavaliers 4-0

James' last appearance in the NBA Finals in a Cavs uniform ended like his first, as Cleveland was swept by the Warriors in one of the most lopsided Finals in memory. The Cavs had the chance to win Game 1 on the road, but J.R. Smith's brain fade gave the Warriors a second chance and they never looked back. On a personal note, LeBron became the first player since Michael Jordan in 1993 to score 50 points in a NBA Finals game.

LeBron James, NBA, Cleveland Cavaliers
LeBron James holds the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy after the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Golden State Warriors 93-89 in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals at ORACLE Arena in Oakland, California, on June 19, 2016. Ezra Shaw/Getty

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