Entering the 2019-20 season, debate raged over who held the mantle as the NBA's best player.
With Kawhi Leonard fresh off a Finals MVP performance in the Toronto Raptors' title run and Giannis Antetokounmpo setting up back-to-back MVP seasons, LeBron James' reign at the top of the NBA appeared to have several contenders coming for the crown, especially following the Lakers' absence from the playoffs in 2018-19.
However, just as in years past, LeBron rose to the occasion, re-modelling his game to become the best point guard in the league as he seized control of the Lakers offence. He went on to lead the league in assists and lead the Los Angeles Lakers to the top of the Western Conference, creating a championship combination with big man Anthony Davis.
MORE: After delivering LA a title, LeBron has cemented himself as a member of Lakers family
With his fourth championship win under his belt, we take a look back at some of his most memorable moments of the season, where LeBron reminded everyone that he is still the centre of the NBA universe until proven otherwise.
You could probably pick 50 moments from this season, but we're rolling with five that stood out:
Post-up powerhouse vs. New Orleans Pelicans
In what was dubbed as the present meets the future in the first meeting between LeBron James and No.1 pick Zion Williamson, the King turned in a monster performance, just to remind everyone that his time is still right now.
LeBron exploded for a regular season-high 40 points on 63% shooting, eight rebounds, and six assists, bullying the Pelicans' smaller defenders in the post, no matter who they threw on him.
In the process, James became the first player to score 40 points in his 17th season or later since Kobe Bryant in 2013, bringing up his 65th career 40-point game in the 119-108 win.
As mentioned earlier, Giannis Antetokounmpo had one hand on the MVP trophy midway through the season, but as LeBron continued to make his case for the award, he very nearly flipped the script on the narrative with two blockbuster performances in the space of three days against his closest rivals - Kawhi's Clippers and Giannis' Bucks.
First up, he dismantled the Bucks in a 113-103 win, going off for 37 points (25 in the second half), eight assists, and eight rebounds while putting the clamps on Antetokounmpo defensively in the second half.
He then followed that up a couple days later, giving the Clippers a similar treatment in a 112-103 win, finishing with 28 points, nine assists and eight rebounds.
"He was unbelievable," Lakers Coach Frank Vogel said. "In my mind, this season, this was his best two-game stretch. Really just dominated - dominated - both games."
Leading his team to victory against two teams favoured to win the title, featuring the reigning Finals MVP and reigning regular-season MVP, LeBron's dominant weekend was a reminder to not only his rivals, but to everyone, that he is far from finished.
Career-high 19 assists vs. Orlando Magic
"Adaptability is being able to adjust to any situation at any given time." John Wooden.
That's exactly what LeBron did this season.
LeBron's 2019-20 campaign saw him take on the role as the Lakers' defacto point guard, running in tandem with big man Anthony Davis and his willingness to modify his game and lean into perhaps his greatest strength, his passing, only further illustrated his quest for greatness in Year 17.
In a loss against the Orlando Magic, with Anthony Davis on the sidelines, LeBron dished out a career-high 19 assists, matching a mark he previously set in Cleveland in 2018.
Struggling with his shot on the night, going 7-of-19 from the field and 2-of-9 from the 3-point line, LeBron knew he had to get his teammates going as they erased an 87-66 deficit early in the fourth quarter.
They're comeback eventually fell short as LeBron missed a potential game-tying 3-pointer with three seconds left, but in a season where he led the league in dimes (10.2), this game stands out as his single-best playmaking performance of the season.
Re-writing the record books is nothing new for LeBron James, and the 2019-20 season was no different.
In his 17th season, LeBron claimed the record for most All-NBA selections, with his 16th. He was named to the All-NBA First Team for the 13th time in his career, passing NBA legends Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Tim Duncan, and Kobe Bryant for the most All-NBA selections in a career.
17 seasons.- NBA TV (@NBATV) September 16, 2020
16 All-NBA selections.
Another milestone for @KingJames 👏 pic.twitter.com/kHZjWZqzS1
Only 18 players in NBA history have earned more than 10 All-NBA selections with LeBron the only active player on the list.
Closeout Game 5 vs. Denver Nuggets
LeBron is no stranger to dominating closeout games in the post-season, but his Game 5 performance against the Nuggets proved he still had several gears remaining in the quest for a championship as he single-handedly tore them apart.
He scored 38 points, 16 rebounds, and 10 assists to seal his passage to a 10th Finals appearance and ninth in the last 10 years.
LeBron took over the game with a two minute stretch in the fourth quarter, where he scored nine points on four straight field goals to push the lead from nine to 12 points, with his final shot a dagger from the 3-point line to send the Nuggets home.
BRON. CLOSER. 👑 pic.twitter.com/bxlaTeSVsP- NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) September 27, 2020
The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA or its clubs.