While both fan bases have grievances over the ring counts both teams have over that period, there’s no denying that the players developed a mutual respect over the years. It may be layered under levels of frustration and hate, but it’s still there as a result of those battles.
As transcribed by Sports Illustrated’s Ben Golliver, Draymond Green opened up on HBO’s ‘The Shop’ about how LeBron james found his voice over the last four years:
Warriors' Draymond Green said Lakers' LeBron James finally 'found himself' in Michael Jordan-like fashion during his second Cleveland tenure— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) August 29, 2018
From James's new HBO Sports show 'The Shop' pic.twitter.com/M8Oq40842J
Draymond Green certainly seems to have a point, as the second chapter in Cleveland seemed to solidify his identity and legacy.
After winning a title with the Cavs, LeBron seemed to be at peace with his place of the game and wasn’t shy to let people know that it’s still his league. Of course Green and the Warriors found a way to tilt the odds in their favor, but in those Finals matchups LeBron would routinely remove any lingering doubt over whether he was the best player in the league.
Some of it might be the title, some might be the self-confidence that comes with getting older. But there’s no denying that we saw a tremendous amount of growth from LeBron during his second stint with the team.