We’ve already discussed LeBron James’ historic chase-down block on Andre Iguodala inside the final minute of Game 7 during the 2016 NBA Finals. It’s a moment that will be replayed again and again in any significant Finals montage ever put together from this moment forward, joining Ray Allen’s near corner three-pointer in Game 6 of the 2013 Finals, Michael Jordan’s shrug in Game 1 of the 1992 Finals and mid-air hand switch in the ’91 Finals against the Lakers.
Because oral histories are all the rage these days, ESPN did one of their own a week after said chase-down block. At first we were going to skip it, but then we wanted to hear what LeBron thought, and more importantly, what Iggy’s reaction was to his go-ahead layup getting snuffed at the board at such a critical juncture in the game.
Here’s Iggy, per ESPN:
“He’s been doing that all series. He’s made some great plays for their team. What he’s done for them and tried to help build there finally came to fruition. They won a championship, and give those guys a lot of credit.”
Steph Curry, who dished the ball to Iggy for the layup, had a response, too:
“I didn’t see him until the end. I was focused on trying to get the ball to [Iguodala] at the right time, and he’s very crafty around the rim. LeBron made a great play on the ball, chase-down block. He just made a great play. That’s pretty much all you can say.”
James’ own answer about the specific block showcases just how supernatural the effort was because even he couldn’t really believe it:
“I went up with both hands in case he went with the reverse or the same-side layup. I don’t know man, I don’t know how I got there, but I’m grateful that I did.”
But that wasn’t James’ best report about the historic block. Many have forgotten after Cleveland’s star was so amazing in the seven-game epic, leading both teams in points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks for the first time in Finals history, but Warriors sixth man, Andre Iguodala, usually plays LeBron really well. The Warriors do-everything forward was the main reason the Warriors won the Finals in 2015, capturing Finals MVP in large part because of his lockdown d on the greatest player in the world.
But, in the end, James’ real reason for sprinting back to waylay the Warriors on what should have been an easy layup actually stemmed from Iggy’s own toughness.
“Iguodala is a bad m—–f—– I had to go chase it down,” James told ESPN.
We really can’t think of a more apt rationale for the play than that simple quip from LeBron.