With a 2-0 Lead, LeBron James Has a Chance to Do Something Michael Jordan Never Could

By Stephen Douglas
LeBron James
LeBron James / Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
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LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers beat the short-handed Miami Heat on Friday night, 12-114. The Lakers now have a 2-0 lead and are halfway to a sweep. If - and it's obviously still a big if - the Lakers can win the next two games, LeBron will do something that Michael Jordan never could - sweep an opponent in the NBA Finals.

You may have heard once or twice that Michael Jordan won six championships in six NBA Finals appearances. The 90's Chicago Bulls won five of their titles in six-game series. The only time they didn't play six was in 1991 when they beat the Lakers in five games. And that's kind of how NBA history goes.

There have been 73 NBA Finals with the most common result coming in six games. The NBA Finals have ended in six 27 times. The next most common result, a seven-game series, has occured 19 times. There have also been 18 five-game series. And the rarest outcome of all is a sweep. Just nine teams have swept their opponents in the NBA Finals.

So sweeps in the NBA Finals are rare. That is just 12 percent of the time. Since making the Finals is difficult and sweeps are rare, only two players in NBA history have been on the wrong side of a sweep multiple times. Wes Unseld was on the '70-'71 Baltimore Bullets and the '74-'75 Washington Bullets. The other player is LeBron James, who was on the Cavaliers when they were swept by the Spurs in '07 and then again when the Warriors got him in '18.

Only one player in history has ever been on two different teams that won the Finals with a sweep. Obviously, it was Robert Horry who was on the Spurs that swept LeBron in '07, as well as the '94-'95 Houston Rockets who swept the Orlando Magic. This may be Horry's best argument for GOAT status yet.

Finally, the only player to ever be on a team that swept the Finals and a team that was swept in the Finals is Anderson Varejao who was on the '07 Cavs with LeBron and the '17 Warriors, against LeBron. If James and the Lakers can pull off a sweep, he will join that club. As will Andre Iguodala who was on the '17 Warriors.

You got all that? There is still a lot of work to be done and the Heat will have something to say about the result, but unless Bam Adebayo comes back in a big way, the Lakers should finish this off in four. Then LeBron will be able to say he did something Michael Jordan never did in the Finals.

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