Jun 21, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat small forward LeBron James with the Larry O

2012 NBA Champions Miami Heat: It Starts With One, It Ends With One

Jun 21, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; The Miami Heat celebrate winning the 2012 NBA championship at the American Airlines Arena. Miami won 121-106. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-US PRESSWIRE

Miami Heat are NBA Champions. LeBron James is the well-deserved and long-awaited Finals MVP. After years of terrorizing the league, he took his game to another level by transforming his attitude to reflect leadership and flex dominance. Not only the highest touted high school player player ever, but the biggest prospect in the history of basketball has finally earned his big talk nicknames. His talent and Hall of Fame credentials speak for themselves and won’t be questioned, nor should they. It’s entirely objective to hold him accountable to his words, “Not 2, not 3, not 4, not 5, not 6…not 7!”

Jun 21, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; Pat Riley hugs Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (6) after winning the 2012 NBA championship at the American Airlines Arena. Miami won 121-106. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-US PRESSWIRE

Well, it starts with one.

Last year was the experiment, and they made it to the finals. After falling short to a destined Mavericks team, all season long we heard about the pain. A team full of veterans and a strong core have never expressed so much gratitude and appreciation.

Mike Miller was hindered by injuries throughout this storied season, he played injured and had one of his best performances. Miller stood up to adversity, winning his first title in his 12th season.

Shane Battier is known as a good guy and a leader in the locker room. He has a specialty on the court, and elevated his game on the grandest stage. He gets a ring in his season number 11.

Remember the Fab Five? Juwan Howard was a popular college basketball player at Michigan, and an all-star in the pros. He signed with Miami in hopes of winning a championship, and got some 4th quarter playing time in the process. This was his 18th year of his career.

Jun 21, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat power forward Chris Bosh (right) celebrates in the locker room after winning the 2012 NBA championship at the American Airlines Arena. Miami won 121-106. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

Chris Bosh feels blessed. First his son was born, then he injured his pectoral. He missed games in the playoffs, but returned in a big way against Boston before his high level performance to closeout OKC in the finals. The Heat were glad to have him in the lineup, and the moral of the story continues to be adversity.

Even for a player that’s been there and done that before, Dwyane Wade is seizing the moment like no other. Six years ago he won his first championship with the Miami Heat, the only team he’s played for in the NBA. Although that was with Shaq, Wade made the team go and had to adjust. Following that championship season, Miami went 15-67, and you can feel the emotion he displayed at the post-game press conference. He kept saying how tough the road was and how happy he is for his good friend and teammate, LeBron James.

“King James” was tremendous, which is why he won the Most Valuable Player award. Come playoff time, he turned his game up a notch and put his talents on display in South Beach. He took ownership of his team and the game of basketball. You probably won’t find a happier individual tonight, as he was the reason for winning it all. The Finals’ MVP did his thing in front of the entire world, living up to expectations while thrusting his name onto a platform with the greats.

Jun 21, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat president Pat Riley embraces Juwan Howard (5) after winning the NBA championship in game five of the 2012 NBA Finals at the American Airlines Arena. The Heat defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder 121-106. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

President Pat Riley believed and carried out this master plan with Wade. He stuck with head coach Erik Spoelstra, promoting him form video coordinator. Mission accomplished. Riley was consistently helping and counseling, but to Spoelstra’s credit, he is known as a workaholic that holds this star-studded team accountable.

Oklahoma City is young with a bright future. They will certainly learn from this experience and turn their attention to improving. The Thunder were classy and respectful. They are feeling the same pain Miami felt last time around, and you know that they will be back.

Miami chanted M-V-P as the team followed the lead of their MVP. James set the tone and what’s scary is how consistently great he was. If you root for the Heat or you’re close to the players and coaches, allow them to enjoy this moment of celebration. If you’re not a fan of the Heat or the big three, then it’s apparent you will cling onto their words when they were on stage partying with the fans of South Beach. But for those fans, that was a once in a lifetime experience. If that was you and your favorite team, you’re embracing the hype and enjoying the roller coaster. That was for the fans and having fun, but I understand the angst outsiders may have. Some will be waiting for multiple championships, but it starts with one and they did it.

The Miami Heat are the 2012 NBA Champions, and they have a legit opportunity to be a dynasty. Plenty of work to do and other teams will improve as well.

LeBron James got his ring playing at an extraordinarily high level, ut you get the feeling that it won’t be enough in the public eye. I say who cares, you won it all and it takes a team to do so. Not everyone can say they put their hands on the trophy, let alone be the reason for it. That includes many greats, like Dominique Wilkins, Karl Malone, Charles Barkley, Reggie Miller, Allen Iverson, and Patrick Ewing. The list goes on.

Jun 21, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (6) and shooting guard Dwyane Wade celebrate winning the 2012 NBA championship at the American Airlines Arena. Miami won 121-106. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-US PRESSWIRE

To me James is a throwback player with new-school features. He’s more in the mold of Magic Johnson than he is Michael Jordan, but he did finish 3rd in scoring right behind Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant, which he contained defensively in the Finals and at the same time produced offensively. The man used his strengths and basketball I.Q. by going to the post and hitting free throws. As great as he’s been, the talent and the statistics, the man is still growing as a player.

For others: Juwan Howard, Mike Miller, Shane Battier, and Eddy Curry, it could very well end with one. They’e all played at least a decade in this league and/or have been injured. What better note is there to go out on?

For Chris Bosh, this could launch him to the next platform in his career. This might be the coming out party for Mario Chalmers, learning from some of today’s greater players while splitting the past two finals appearances. Erik Spoelstra out-coached his counterpart under the tutelage of the great Pat Riley, whom all the players refer to as “Coach Riley” still. But Coach Spoelstra has entered the conversation of upper-tier coaches with strong work ethic, support, and winning the championship.

Dwyane Wade has cemented his legacy in Miami as one of the greats. Albeit two different roles, he helped bring two rings to the Heat. Wade and Riley recruited and are celebrating today. They’ll enjoy this one for awhile and in the big picture they could walk away today with satisfaction, but ultimately the goal is to win as long as you’re in the game.

Although winning the title is gratifying and humbling for everyone on the Miami Heat, you got to see the various reasons below the surface.

It starts with one, it ends with one.

Jun 21, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat president Pat Riley, Juwan Howard, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade celebrate after winning the NBA championship in game five of the 2012 NBA Finals at the American Airlines Arena. The Heat defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder 121-106. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

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