LeBron James is 36 points away from breaking the NBA’s all-time scoring record, a record that will further cement his place in the league’s history.
The Lakers forward has made plenty of big shots in his career en route to four NBA championships. He’s hit playoff buzzer-beaters and multiple huge shots in the NBA Finals. However, when asked to name the biggest shot of his career, James said it was a jump shot in Game 7 of the 2013 NBA Finals vs. the Spurs, giving the Heat a 92–88 lead with just 27 seconds left in the series.
“Right at the right elbow,” James told ESPN’s Zach Lowe. “That’s the biggest shot of my career because they forced me to take jumpers that entire series. And throughout that series, I kinda got discouraged about my jump shot. To be able to knock that shot down—it was huge. Huge.”
That shot ultimately clinched James’s second straight title with Miami. However, even though that may not have been the most important championship in James’s career, it did open a door for the next phase of his career.
“Early in his career, that was the shot that was given to him,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “And ultimately, it was the shot he had to conquer to win titles.”
For most of his career, James would have to deal with defenses daring him to settle for jump shots, so this shot seemed to give him confidence in his jump shot moving forward.
James would go on to win two more NBA titles with two different teams after clinching that series for the Heat, including a historic championship with the Cavaliers in 2016.