“I am an NBA champion, and no one can ever take that away from me” – Mr. LeBron James said, making his way to the Miami Heat locker room, carrying the Larry O’Brien trophy in his right arm, and the Finals MVP trophy in his left.
All the congratulations go out to the Miami Heat, who captured the second NBA championship in franchise history. The Heat put on a display like no other, coming through adversity and overcoming obstacles as a team. While the Miami Heat grew as a team following the disappointing loss in the 2011 NBA finals, it was LeBron James who showed the most growth throughout the year.
“It’s about damn time”. That was the first thing LeBron said after winning the NBA championship, that he has been chasing for 9 long years. His talent and pure basketball skill was never in question. He was criticized for how he was acting off the court, which eventually had detrimental effect on his performances on the court.
When the Miami Heat lost in game 6, in last year’s finals, LeBron delivered another quote in the post-game conference, that he would come to regret. He directed his frustration towards all his critics, instead of using it to further fuel his ambition. This year, he admitted that he was immature a year ago. That statement alone showed just how much James had grown in one year. A year ago, he cared too much for his image, tried to prove people wrong, and got distracted from his actual goal.
It was never about his physical attributes, as he is one of the most complete basketball players to ever live on this earth. To actually be complete, he had to get over the psychological border that was in front of him, obstructing his thinking, hindering him from playing the right way.
This year we saw a different LeBron James. We saw the same LeBron James we were used to seeing in Cleveland. We saw a man who loves the game of basketball, and doesn’t care for anything else. He shut out everything that was irrelevant, and aimed his crosshairs at the NBA championship. He did everything to help himself stay the course and remain focused. The meditation, reading, or whatever else he did prior to games, showed that he was well aware of his weakness, and was determined to get it right this time around.
LeBron James recorded a historical 45-15-5 statline, in game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals, being down 2-3 to the Boston Celtics. He went on to average 30 points and 10 rebounds in this playoff run. He showed mental toughness and determination he didn’t have last year. He expected the NBA trophy to drop into his lap, and suffered a cold shower in the finals.
The 2012 Miami Heat came through, and showed how much they had grown together as a team. Everyone stepped up collectively and beat any team that stood in their way. While it was a team effort, none of this would have been possible without the guidance of LeBron James. None of this would have been possible without the individual growth of LeBron James.