Since the dawn of his rookie season in 2003, LeBron Raymone James has been chasing greatness.
He was the one who chose to wear "23" with the Cavaliers and the one who crowned himself "King James" before even coming out of High School. Nobody knew back then how capable he was of living up to the hype, but it didn't take too long to find out.
Now, 16 years later, Bron is neck-and-neck with Jordan in the G.O.A.T. conversation and it's fair to say the outcome of this series could make or break his case.
So, on the cusp of Game 1, with the throne in sight, James knows what these next few weeks mean for his legacy and, as one person who is close with Bron told The Athletic's Joe Vardon, it could be the most important moment of his entire career.
"These Finals aren’t about LeBron versus the Heat," said one person who’s known LeBron personally for years. "These Finals are about his legacy. If he wins, it cements him as the G.O.A.T."
Winning his fourth title on his third team would be an amazing feat, especially considering all the unique challenges that faced the players throughout the season. With another title under his belt, at 35-years-old, it would undoubtedly validate his claim as the Greatest of All-Time.
Of course, if he loses, it'd be an enormous stain on his resume. On First Take, Stephen A. Smith alluded to that point to Kendrick Perkins and Max Kellerman.
Win or lose, LeBron's legacy is on the line and this could be his last chance to end things on his terms.
At 35-years-old, nearing the end of his 17th season, Father Time is certainly not on 23's side. He has got to get it done, here and now.