Bill Russell, K.C. Jones, Bob Cousy, Tommy Heinsohn, and a host of other 1960s Celtics went to six straight NBA Finals during that team’s unprecedented run of titles.
LeBron James has done the same thing.
LeBron did it across two different teams — Miami and Cleveland — and if you ask Warriors’ coach Steve Kerr that’s an amazing accomplishment. Remember Kerr has five NBA rings and three-peated with the Bulls, and he says the third year was the hardest, six is insane. Via J.A. Adande of ESPN (and Northwestern):
“The toll was more emotional than anything,” Kerr said Friday, ahead of the Warriors’ preseason game against the Denver Nuggets. “Over time, that stuff adds up. That’s why LeBron [James] going to the Finals six straight years is, to me, one of the great accomplishments of all time. Like, how many guys have done that? Maybe Bill Russell was the last guy. I know Michael didn’t do it because he took a couple of years off. Larry Bird, Magic [Johnson] never did it. … Six is incredible.”
LeBron’s six-straight Finals is a vastly underrated achievement — in part because he was the unquestioned leader of all six teams. Only Bill Russell could also make this claim. But just the fact he stayed healthy enough to do this is impressive, especially considering the load he carried for his teams. When someday we talk about LeBron’s legacy, this six (and counting) is going to be part of it.
(And spare me the “LeBron only one three of those” B.S. — you are selling short the accomplishment. Besides, LeBron’s team was only the favorite in two of the of his final trips. If you’re going to bring up Jordan, be sure to mention how he went to the playoffs 13 times and only reached the Finals six times, and how the Pistons drilled him for years — MJ is unquestionably one of the games greatest ever, but the man did not walk on water. Why people need to tear down LeBron to build up Jordan is beyond me.)