‘Greatest and Most Clutch’ – Cavaliers’ Kevin Love Looks Back at LeBron James And His Iconic Game 7 Block in 2016

Published 04/21/2021, 6:30 PM EDT
Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James (23) participates during a practice session before Game 3 of the NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio, on Tuesday, June 7, 2016. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group) (Photo by MediaNews Group/Bay Area News via Getty Images)


The Cleveland Cavaliers took on the Golden State Warriors in the 2016 NBA Finals. It was a repeat of the previous year’s finals, when the Warriors defeated LeBron James and the Cavs, who were missing Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love. However, this Warriors team was a juggernaut, having the best regular season in NBA history. They went 3-1 up on the Cavs until James and the team turned it around to win the series in seven games.

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Kevin Love on LeBron James blocking the shot

Former NBA champion and Cleveland Cavaliers star Kevin Love spoke about Game Seven of the NBA Finals. More specifically, he spoke about LeBron James and his iconic block in the dying stages of the game. He noted that both he and JR Smith were running back on defense to try to stop Iguodala. That allowed James the space he needed to come in and tap the ball on the backboard to block it.

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Cleveland Cavaliers’ Kyrie Irving (2) and Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James (23) return to the locker room after defeating the Golden State Warriors in Game 5 of the NBA Finals at Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif., on Monday, June 13, 2016. Cleveland defeated Golden State 112-97. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group) (Photo by MediaNews Group/Bay Area News via Getty Images)

“When you run it back because I was running back on defense, JR Smith was ahead of me. And then Iguodala had the ball, and I just remembered that split second when JR, he went over the top just to create that little bit of space and little bit of time to then allow Bron to take off and pin that ball on the glass. That’s what I remember, I had maybe a better shot and glance and angle at it than anybody else.”

The Block heard around the world

Love added that he considers that block to be the greatest defensive play in NBA history. There were several great defensive stops during that game, but perhaps the outcome of the Finals would have been very different had it not been for James’ block. He called a truly special play from a man who could be the greatest player of all time when all is said and done.

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“I’ve said it before, I think (it’s) the greatest and most clutch block, maybe defensive play of all time. I know we had several plays in that game that were incredibly meaningful. But for that, there’s no telling how the game would have ended up if you didn’t have that miraculous play in a game seven on the road like that. It was just a truly special play from a guy that’s going to go down in the history books as maybe the greatest player of all time.”

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Is LeBron James’ block on Andre Iguodala the greatest defensive play of all time? James’ run and block rank up there among the greatest NBA Finals moments. And it is one of the most clutch moments of James’ career. Despite James being an amazing offensive player, his greatest play is a defensive moment. It truly shows the versatility of LeBron James, and how good he is on both ends.

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Aaditya Krishnamurthy

1201 articles

Aaditya Krishnamurthy is an NBA & NFL journalist for EssentiallySports, before which he worked at BusinessWorld magazine. He has been a fan of Basketball for over 10 years now, since Shaquille O’Neal was a Phoenix Suns player. During his time at Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts, he started a sports magazine for the college called the Overtime Tribune and hosted the Overtime Tribune Podcast until he graduated.

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