A Long Time Coming

It seems like decades have gone by since LeBron James was a high school junior who was predicted to be the greatest basketball player ever. After graduating high school LeBron was expected to enter the league and carry the Cleveland Cavaliers to multiple titles. Well, 9 years have gone by and LeBron James has finally won his first NBA championship but it is not with the Cleveland Cavaliers, but with the Miami Heat. As great as LeBron James is he could not carry the mediocre supporting cast he had on Cavaliers to a championship victory. The supporting cast he has in Miami now is not much better, outside of Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, but Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh are what LeBron has been missing his entire career. Wade and Bosh are able to carry the team when LeBron is having an off night. No champion has ever won by himself. Despite what many basketball fans believe, basketball is a team sport.

The performance the Heat’s role player gave in the NBA Finals will not be consistent throughout an entire regular season but that is what role players are for. Mike Miller, who everyone thought was too beat to even be in the game, had a career night in the championship clincher. Mike Miller knocked down 7 3-pointers in game 5, Shane Battier had 17 points in games 1 and 2, Mario Chalmers had 25 points in game 4, all of that support along with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh playing like stars are the perfect formula for a championship team.

LeBron James has improved vastly since being in Miami but most of his improvement happened this year. Last year I believe  he was still in a transition period and it reflected in his game. What I think changed things for LeBron this year and gave him unbelievable confidence was what Dwyane Wade did, Wade gave LeBron the leadership role. When Dwyane Wade told the public that the Miami Heat is LeBron’s team it reminded me of how Kareem Abdul-Jabbar made Magic Johnson the leader of the “showtime” Los Angeles Lakers. When Kareem gave Magic the team the Lakers went on the win 5 championships and Magic went on to win 3 NBA MVP awards. If those two situations mirror each other then I believe the Miami Heat can be a dynasty.

LeBron James is easily the most polarizing athlete in the history of sports, no sport figure has felt the pressure LeBron has felt. From being in high school and having his games on national TV, voiced by Bill Walton and Dick Vitale to being drafted to his hometown’s professional team to being called “The Chosen One” to wearing the number 23 like Michael Jordan for the majority of his career, no one has felt that pressure. He is 27 years old and has actually been ridiculed for just receiving his first championship. The greatest player of all-time, Michael Jordan, was 28 years old when he won his first championship, so why do we expect better from LeBron James?

The fact that LeBron James just won his first championship is great but what really silences his critics was that he won the Finals MVP. LeBron James went through these 2011-2012 playoffs averaging 30 point, 9 rebounds, and 5 assists.

Although I have defended LeBron James and his greatness, I do not care if he wins 7 championships, he may surpass Kobe Bryant but he, or anyone else, will ever be better than Michael Jeffrey Jordan!


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