Explore the NBA Finals that LeBron James has lost throughout his career and his overall record. Join us as we dive deep into the ups and downs of one of the biggest legends of the game.
LeBron James is an absolute basketball legend. With his incredible talent on the court, he has led his teams to many NBA Finals appearances throughout his career. But not every appearance has resulted in a championship. In this post, we’ll answer the following question: Which NBA Finals did LeBron lose? We’ll take a deep dive into these losses, the player’s performance in each of them, and how they all panned out.
LeBron James’ NBA Finals Record
LeBron James has appeared in a total of 10 NBA Finals throughout his career. These appearances are as follows:
|Year||LeBron’s Team||Opponent||Result||Series Record|
|2007||Cleveland Cavaliers||San Antonio Spurs||L||0-4|
|2011||Miami Heat||Dallas Mavericks||L||2-4|
|2012||Miami Heat||Oklahoma City Thunder||W||4-1|
|2013||Miami Heat||San Antonio Spurs||W||4-3|
|2014||Miami Heat||San Antonio Spurs||L||1-4|
|2015||Cleveland Cavaliers||Golden State Warriors||L||2-4|
|2016||Cleveland Cavaliers||Golden State Warriors||W||4-3|
|2017||Cleveland Cavaliers||Golden State Warriors||L||1-4|
|2018||Cleveland Cavaliers||Golden State Warriors||L||0-4|
|2020||LA Lakers||Miami Heat||W||4-2|
As we can see, LeBron James has lost a total of six NBA Finals. Looking closer at his Finals losses, we can see that he was swept twice with the Cleveland Cavaliers. The first time was in 2007, when he was still a young player with a lot to learn. The second time was in 2018 when he was playing with a team that was widely considered to be overmatched by the Golden State Warriors.
Which NBA Finals Did LeBron Lose?
2007: Lost to the San Antonio Spurs (0-4)
LeBron James’ first appearance in the NBA Finals came in 2007. He and the Cleveland Cavaliers went to the Finals to face the San Antonio Spurs. Despite the team’s best efforts, the Cavaliers were swept in four games by the Spurs. LeBron averaged an impressive 22 points, 7 rebounds, and 6.8 assists per game during the series, but it was not enough to overcome the dominant Spurs.
2011: Lost to the Dallas Mavericks (2-4)
In 2011, LeBron James was back in the NBA Finals with the Miami Heat, a year after ‘The Decision’. He faced off against the Dallas Mavericks. The Heat were heavily favored to win the series, but James struggled throughout the series, particularly in the fourth quarter of games. The Mavericks clinched the series in six games, with LeBron averaging 17.8 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 6.8 assists per game.
2014: Lost to the San Antonio Spurs (1-4)
In 2014, LeBron and the Miami Heat faced off against the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA Finals for the second time in four years. This time, the Spurs avenged their 2013 Finals defeat, winning the series in five games. James averaged 28.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, 4.0 assists, and 2.0 steals per game during the series, but San Antonio’s play was too much for Miami to handle.
2015: Lost to the Golden State Warriors (2-4)
One year after rejoining Cleveland, James returned to the NBA Finals. This time, he faced off against the Golden State Warriors. The series was closely contested, but Golden State ultimately came out on top. The Warriors took the series in six games. James in his determination to land a first championship with the Cavaliers, put up incredible numbers. The forward averaged 35.8 points, 13.3 rebounds, and 8.8 assists per game, but it was not enough to overcome the Warriors’ balanced attack.
2017: Lost to the Golden State Warriors (1-4)
In 2017, a year after achieving a dream title with the Cavaliers, LeBron was back for another tilt. Only this time, he was back on the losing side. The forward became the first NBA player ever to average a triple-double in the Finals, with 33.6 points, 12.0 rebounds, and 10.0 assists per game, but it wasn’t enough. The Warriors avenged their 2016 loss, taking Cleveland down in five games to reclaim the championship.
2018: Lost to the Golden State Warriors (0-4)
For the fourth consecutive year, LeBron and Cleveland played Golden State in the NBA Finals and lost for a third time in 2018. The Warriors once again proved to be too much for the Cavaliers, sweeping the series in four games. James averaged an incredible 34.0 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 10.0 assists per game during the series, but it was not enough to overcome the likes of Kevin Durant and Steph Curry on the other end of the court.
How Does LeBron’s NBA Finals Record Compare To Jordan’s?
The GOAT debate looks very one-sided in this aspect. Stats from Sportingnews.com show that while both LeBron James and Michael Jordan have had great success, Jordan’s perfect 6-0 record in NBA Finals sets him apart. The Chicago Bulls icon was the Finals MVP six times and never even needed a Game 7 in his 15-year career. Meanwhile, LeBron has collected four rings and Finals MVPs, but he also has six losses in the Finals.
How Has This Impacted LeBron James’ Legacy?
The NBA Finals LeBron did lose was six. These defeats have undoubtedly had an impact on his legacy. While the forward is still widely regarded as one of the greatest basketball players of all time, his less-than-stellar record in the Finals has been a topic of conversation among fans and analysts alike. However, it is important to note that James has also won four NBA championships throughout his career. He dominated the 2010s, making eight successive Finals appearances with two different teams: Miami Heat and the Cleveland Cavaliers.