5 times LeBron James disappeared in the playoffs

LeBron James addressed the spray-painting of racial slurs on the front gate of his home in Los Angeles early Wednesday morning with a statement released later in the day.

Interestingly, James' team has started six of his eight Finals appearances as the underdog.

He isn't slowing down while building his case. You saw me in the fourth quarter of Game 2, I could not sit still in my chair, it was that much pain. It wouldn't have mattered if I shot lights-out if we didn't finish the job off. I wore black and red shoes with white socks. Having said that, it was his choice, I have no problem with him, but it's something from a competitive standpoint, you would think you wouldn't do.

Known in the league as "DNP-Rest", the practice of sitting healthy players to avoid injury and fatigue has grown in popularity as teams focus more on reducing the wear and tear on the stars that drive the league.

James is on a mission, and it's far from accomplished.

When you take a 73-win team and add Durant (25 points, 7.8 rebounds and 3.7 assists on 55.6 percent from the floor), it's best not to overcomplicate things. Last year Cleveland was second in the East during the regular season in points allowed, but slipped to No. 20 this season. "His domination has been about the equivalent to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's in his time", Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas said. Against the Raptors in the second round James became the first player to ever score 35 plus points in every game of a four-game sweep.

LeBron has always been compared to Michael Jordan and he chose to wear the number 23 not once but twice so he clearly embraces being compared to Jordan. Then it's just a matter of taste.

Death, Taxes and Stephen A. Smith making the wrong NBA Finals prediction. Just as important, the offense has been prolific too, and the Cavaliers enter the Finals with the highest averages in field goal percentage (50.7 percent to the Warriors' 50.2), three-pointers made per game (14.6) and three-point percentage (43.5 percent) in the postseason.

James reluctantly reflects on what he's done. At some point, the TV debating duo of Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson are bound to take sides on whether the first-year Warrior should opt out of his contract and return to Oklahoma City next season or unpack his bags and settle in. This is legacy stuff, about whose grill goes up on the symbolic Mount Rushmore and who withers into a footnote. The Lakers shut down Timofey Mozgov and Luol Deng for the final 15 games while trying to hold on to their lottery pick, and the Nets may have had the biggest head-scratcher by not playing three key players despite the importance of the game's outcome.

I mean, the Warriors are probably going to win, but I've managed to talk myself into believing that the Cavs can win. But these next two weeks could be special, because they could cement their case as the greatest National Basketball Association champion of all-time.

In an worldwide matchup at center, Cleveland's Tristan Thompson of Canada will go against Zaza Pachulia of Golden State, who could become the first player from Georgia to win an National Basketball Association crown.

After ending Cleveland's 52-year championship drought last season, James has been unburdened, free of the criticism or consequences. He averaged 26 points per game. Cleveland's reserves are veterans all the way, from Deron Williams and Iman Shumpert to Channing Frye and Richard Jefferson.

"Like the Joe DiMaggio hit streak, Wilt Chamberlain scoring 100, there are certain records that will be unbreakable", Jefferson said.

"Klay Thompson.is still guarding the other team's best perimeter guy and getting the job done on the defensive end", said former coach and player Jackson.