LeBron James proved his value as an NBA player after he made the playoffs for the first time with the Cleveland Cavaliers. While everyone recognized his all-world talent, nobody knew at the time whether LeBron could do it in the post-season. The way LeBron proved to the world what he could do in the playoffs was brutal for his opponents, the Washington Wizards.
The Wizards were led by Gilbert Arenas, a former leading scorer in the league. The 2006 Playoffs became the grounds for an exciting first-round matchup between the Cavs and the Wizards. That is where the world got to see how LeBron plays when winning is on the line.
The Cavs won the series in 6 games and would match up with the Wizards for the next two playoffs as well. The Wizards never got past Cleveland with LeBron, and Arenas saw that transpire first-hand. Now that the guard is retired, he opened up on watching LeBron dominate the paint against the Wizards' big men.
When LeBron wanted to get to the basket and take over, he would give coach a look and that look was to take out the big-man. Once they take out Ilgauskas, we take out Brendan. Our backup big at the time was either Etan or Michael Ruffin. Well, at that point, LeBron is not 6’8” anymore like the f**king piece of sheet says.
Arenas has praised LeBron multiple times, recently calling him one of the smartest players in the game. LeBron also once intimidated Arenas into missing 2 clutch free throws, something that was one of the early displays of LeBron's killer mentality.
LeBron has far exceeded what we saw him achieve against the mid-2000s Wizards, but those matchups proved to the league that LeBron can do anything he puts his mind to.