Watch: Happy Birthday, LeBron! From That Rihanna Bikini Pic to Winning the NBA Championship, Here Are King James's Best Moments of 2016

LeBron James, Rihanna

Watch: Happy Birthday, LeBron! From That Rihanna Bikini Pic to Winning the NBA Championship, Here Are King James's Best Moments of 2016

The three-time league champ turns 32 today.

Published December 30, 2016

Happy 32nd birthday to LeBron James!

His Cleveland Cavaliers' teammates such as Kyrie Irving, J.R. Smith and Tristan Thompson each took to their Instagram accounts to wish him a happy born day today.

And as the King starts a new year — right before the New Year — we can't help but look back on what a memorable 2016 the NBA superstar had.

From leading his Cavs to an improbable league championship to taking a stance with his baller brothers at the ESPYs and even gaining the thirst of Rihanna, we all had to bow down to the King in 2016.

Here are some of his best moments of the year.

  1. Leading Cavs To Championship Win

    Down three games to one to back-to-back NBA MVP Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors, King James led his Cleveland Cavaliers on a furious rally to win the league's title.

    With the victory, the squad became the first team in NBA history to successfully rally from a 3-1 deficit to the win the Finals. More importantly, they helped end Cleveland's 52-year drought without clinching a major sports championship.

    LeBron more than fulfilled his promise to deliver gold to The Land, averaging a near triple-double of 29.7 points, 11.3 rebounds and 8.9 assists.

  2. 'The Block'

    In closing out Game 7 of the Finals and clinching the title for Cleveland, LeBron delivered one of the most legendary plays in NBA playoffs history when he chased down and blocked an Andre Iguodala layup attempt.

    The electric play will forever be known as simply, "The Block."

  3. Shutting The Land Down With A Championship Parade

    When a city has to wait 52 years for a major sports championship parade, you already know that The Land was on tilt for its celebration, shutting the city down with more than 1.3 million raucous fans flooding the streets.

  4. Thirst From Rihanna

    #StuntBackSundays #StillMood

    A photo posted by badgalriri (@badgalriri) on

    Oh, the championship thirst for LeBron was very real when Rihanna posted an Instagram shot of herself rocking his number 23 written on her stomach in just a bikini. Thirst trap from the one and only Bad Gal RiRi!

  5. Powerful Stance At The ESPYS

    About a month removed from the Cavs' title win, LeBron and his baller brothers (Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and Chris Paul) opened up the ESPYs together on stage where they called on their fellow athletes to do more to help in their communities. They also pleaded to stop the violence, while stressing Black Lives Matter. Powerful moment that transcended sports.

  6. Honored By The POTUS

    LeBron and the Cavs could have waited until President-elect Donald Trump takes office next month to be honored at the White House. But no thanks. They made sure President Obama was the one and only commander-in-chief to recognize their feats last month. And it was a more than memorable day, in which, ironically, Trump sat down with the POTUS just an over before.

  7. Mannequin Challenges And Selfies With The FLOTUS

    And when you're one of the final sports championship teams to be honored at the White House under this POTUS and your FLOTUS is Michelle Obama, you hit not one, but two #MannequinChallenges and snap plenty of selfies. So, that's exactly what the Cavs did. FLOTUS for the win!

  8. Sportsperson of the Year

    The NBA championship wasn't the only hardware that King James added to his collection this year. 

    Earlier this month, he was named both Sports Illustrated's Sportsperson of the Year and the Associated Press's Male Athlete of 2016. Prior to that, he was awarded Best Male Athlete at the ESPYs.

    We'd call that a clean sweep. Or better yet, a King's sweep.

  9. In Competition With Himself

    The Michael Jordan debates may rage on, but statistically, LeBron is in a category by himself. Just two weeks ago, King James became the only NBA player ever to have 27,000 points, 7,000 rebounds and 7,000 assists. Speaks to his unique, unselfish game, doesn't it? Not to mention, his indisputable greatness.

  10. Surprising Savannah

    For everything the NBA living legend has done on the court, we love him for everything he does off the court ... and that includes being a family man.

    Surprising his wife, Savannah, with a Ferrari Testarossa for her 30th birthday back in August was one dope moment.

  11. Baby Girl Turns Two

    And speaking of LeBron being a role model of a family man, just look how he gushed on the 'gram for his adorable baby girl, Zhuri, turning two.

  12. Evokes K. Dot In Reaction To Trump's Election

    Let's keep it 100 — most of us were searching for answers when Donald Trump became the president-elect last month.

    Well, LeBron used his platform, speaking to his 27 million-plus IG followers, and aptly evoked Kendrick Lamar's "Alright" to let us know that we will be OK. From his mouth to God's ears.

Written by BET Staff

(Photo from left: Jamie Sabau/Getty Images, Rihanna via Instagram)


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