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Lebron James is the latest to cover Sports Illustrated, with a story by Lee Jenkins discussing LeBron’s MJ like moment in the 2013 NBA finals with a Game 7 clinching shot and why this finals win was twice as hard. This marks LeBron’s 20th Sports Illustrated cover. Read an excerpt below.

During a rare rest in the second week of the Finals, James was lounging in his hotel room at the Westin La Cantera Hill Country Resort in San Antonio when Game 6 of the 1998 NBA Finals came on ESPN Classic. He watched until Michael Jordan held the pose on his last [jumper] in Utah.

Before Game 7, Miami assistant David Fizdale showed James cut-ups of the San Antonio defense leaving him alone near the free-throw line. Then coaches underlined his sterling percentages in that area this season. “Even the best have self-doubt at times when what they’re doing isn’t working,” James says. “You need a reminder.” He does not study hot zones, but he does watch old tapes. He found one that was taken last summer in his high-school gym, at St. Vincent-St. Mary, when he was burnishing his J. “Why would you abandon this thing that’s helped make you what you are?” James asked himself. “Stop second-guessing yourself. Go do it. Make it happen.”

James uncorked 20 shots outside the paint in Game 7, the most since he arrived in South Florida three years ago. He drained nine, including five three-pointers. But with 33 seconds left, Miami was only up by two, and James bounced the ball on the blazing Heat logo at midcourt. He was back in the ring of fire. With the floor expertly spaced by Spoelstra, guard Mario Chalmers darted up from the post to set a screen on Leonard at the left elbow, and James bounded around it. Parker switched onto him, but James planted his left shoulder into Parker’s chest, sending him stumbling backward. Leonard recovered, tossing out a hand to contest, but James did not hesitate. He pulled up from 20 feet, easy as an August afternoon at St. V, with the same result. “I know it wasn’t the magnitude of MJ hitting that shot in ’98, but I definitely thought about him,” James said. “It was an MJ moment.” He paused as a turn of phrase came to mind. “It was an LJ moment.”

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