It may be the fourth straight season in which the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors have met in the NBA Finals, but it will be an astonishing eighth appearance in succession for LeBron James.
Say what you will about James in the scope of all-time greats, but it is hard to deny him as the face of the Finals for an entire generation of basketball fans.
The 33-year-old has enjoyed a monstrous 15th year in the NBA and will be hoping to add a fourth championship ring to his collection.
Opta dug into the record books to give us a look into just how synonymous James has become with the Finals.
.@KingJames – who needs just one more 30-point game to tie Michael Jordan with the most in league history (109) – will become just the 6th player (& first non-Bill-Russell-era-Celtic) to reach 8 consecutive #NBAFinals.— Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) May 31, 2018
5 Keys to #CavsWarriors, Part IV → https://t.co/k49pN14eTA pic.twitter.com/lguJjOpGnw
6 - James is just the sixth player in NBA history to reach eight consecutive Finals and the first to do so since a quintet of Boston Celtics stars from the 1950s and '60s.
10 - Bill Russell appeared in the showpiece in 10 successive years, once more than Sam Jones and Tom Heinsohn. Frank Ramsey and K.C. Jones featured in eight straight.
2010 - The last time James was not in the NBA Finals was in 2010, when Kobe Bryant led the Los Angeles Lakers to their 16th title in a seven-game series victory over the Celtics.
3 - James has had three head coaches in his eight Finals appearances – Erik Spoelstra (four), Tyronn Lue (three) and David Blatt (one).
4 - Only four franchises have made the Finals more than eight times. Additionally, only six players have appeared in over eight – Russell (12), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (10), Magic Johnson (nine) and Jerry West (nine).
8 - Notable players with fewer than eight Finals appearances in their careers: Kobe Bryant (seven), Bob Cousy (seven), Michael Jordan (six), Shaquille O'Neal (six), Wilt Chamberlain (six) and Larry Bird (five)
1 - Before the start of this streak, the Cavaliers had been to one Finals (with James in 2007) and the Heat had also only been to one (2006).