In the third quarter, James had a chance to give the Cavaliers a 70-69 lead. He took a long outlet pass from Kevin Love in stride and veered toward the hoop. James pulled back his right arm for his signature throw down, but drilled the back of the iron, sending the ball flying straight up into the air instead of stuffing it through the nylon.
Critics on social media explained that LeBron was mortal and said that his fans would apologize for him, saying he missed the dunk on purpose.
LeBron missed a dunk. Commence social media meltdownpic.twitter.com/3lLRCbyzvO— Jason McIntyre (@jasonrmcintyre) May 24, 2017
Others said that Jordan, widely known as the greatest basketball player of all-time, would have never missed a dunk.
"His Airness" has actually had several blunders, even in the playoffs.
In the 1992 Eastern Conference semifinals against the New York Knicks, the Chicago Bulls legend had a big mishap at the rim. The Bulls led 48-39 in the first half when Jordan eyed the opposing field goal on a clear path breakaway. Jordan took a pass from Scottie Pippen, off of a jump ball, then sprinted down the court. He elevated for a thunderous one-handed slam, but the ball ricocheted off of the rim.
Jordan had 32 points and nine rebounds in the Game 3 victory. The Bulls beat the Knicks in seven games and went on to win the 1992 NBA Finals against the Portland Trail Blazers for Jordan's second title.
LeBron admitted in his postgame comments that he has missed several other dunks, but said he makes them most of the time.
"I think I missed one in Boston before," James said.
"I've missed a couple of dunks in my career. Think I've made more than I've missed, though, so the percentages are pretty good."
LeBron: 'I've missed a couple dunks in my career. I think I've made more than I've missed though.' pic.twitter.com/nJujubeXIN— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) May 24, 2017
James has an easier road to get to the finals this season than Jordan had in 1992. While Jordan battled Patrick Ewing and Charles Oakley to reach the 1992 championship, James is facing a watered-down Celtics squad minus its star Isaiah Thomas. But James' final battle will be much more difficult than Jordan's this postseason. Jordan and the Bulls went on to beat Clyde Drexler, Terry Porter and the Blazers while James will be tasked with beating a roster full of All-NBA talent in the Golden State Warriors.