Death. Taxes. LeBron James in the NBA Finals.
With the Los Angeles Lakers defeating the Denver Nuggets in five games during the Western Conference Finals on Saturday, James will be in the Finals for the 10th time in his career, with nine of those trips coming in the past 10 seasons alone.
While only two players in NBA history have been to more Finals (Bill Russell, Sam Jones), James' record in the championship has long been a black eye on his GOAT resume.
A 3-6 record in the Finals is something James' haters love to point to, of course ignoring just how difficult it is to even win three playoff rounds in the first place.
While this kind of record shaming should usually be ignored, this year is different.
For the first time since 2013, James has found himself in an unusual position: the favorite.
While James has widely been considered the best player in the NBA for the past decade-plus, his teams haven't always lived up to his standards.
In his first nine trips to the Finals before this year, a team led by James was the favorite just twice (2011 vs. the Dallas Mavericks, 2013 vs. the San Antonio Spurs). James' teams haven't been favored in his last five trips—not since he was a member of the Miami Heat back in the 2012-13 season.