The time has finally come. The basketball gods have finally aligned the stars. The freight train which seemed to hit every road block, got through.
In other words, after nine NBA seasons LeBron James has finally won an NBA Championship.
James has been the face of the league since he was the first pick of the 2003 NBA Draft and has been one of the most talked about professional athletes since his arrival to the pros. Actually, he was national attention when he was in high school.
We all know the story, so I’m not going to get into all of the details readers can read on Wikipedia or skim through in a biography about “King James”. Here’s the skinny: He is a three-time regular season MVP, a top scorer, top rebounder and assist man as a small forward and had lost twice in the NBA Finals before finally winning one last night.
Then there is the “Decision” — his one hour special on ESPN two summers ago to tell the world that he “is taking his talents to South Beach”. In the eyes of many, his decision to do the show made him look selfish and demoralized the Cleveland Cavaliers as a franchise and James as a human being.
Now, we have the NBA’s media darling — or Cinderella-type figure in most cases — on top of the world. Where does the story go from here?
When he made the decision to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers and join Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami, James instantly became a villain because of the manner on how he left. No one wanted to see him be successful in Miami.
Well, with him winning the NBA Championship, does the James hate die?
Honestly, I am the kind of journalist who doesn’t care about what athletes do off the court. Call me old fashioned — I was born before reality TV — but a persons character and what they do in their personal life really doesn’t matter to me.
With that said, when I didn’t like James it wasn’t because of who he was, it was what he didn’t do on the court. He wasn’t clutch at all last year and hardly showed up in the 2011 NBA Finals. His actions made me think he couldn’t win a ring.
Obviously the 2012 NBA Finals MVP grouped himself together and put on a fantastic performance in not only the finals but the entire postseason. My beef with him is now gone and the respect I already had for him as a player is at a much higher level than before.
Unfortunately for James, not everyone sees it that way. A friend and I got into a debate on Facebook after the Game 5 victory. I asked him why people look at athletes as people instead of an athlete. What does it matter what James does off the court or if he has a selfish, me first attitude in terms of his basketball success.
There are millions of people who wanted to see him lose this finals and every other playoff game he is in simply because he used his given right to take his time to decide where he wanted to play.
I agree, the Decision was a bad public relations move. On the other hand, he knew he had a better chance of winning a title with the Heat than the Cavaliers; this isn’t brain science.
My friend then said subjectively people don’t think there is a separation between a basketball player we only see on TV for three hours in a game with media exposure and the guy at home or in his head. In my friend’s opinion, James will always be ridiculed because of how he acts instead of how he plays.
This is exactly why I think reality TV has ruined the world.
James is an unstoppable force on the court and can do whatever he wants to. He has a Magic Johnson-like game because of his size and talent but pushes it as a physical beast instead of a finesse showman like Magic.
The description alone reads greatness. This is how we should view an athlete such as James, not whether or not he made the decision you wanted him to make or if he accurately proposed it.
ESPN’s First Take’s Skip Bayless harked on James on today’s show about it’s about time he won since he has been an All-Star since before he came to the NBA and has been to the finals three times.
James’ said it himself in the post game “it’s about damn time”.
This could be a horrible sign for anyone else in the league because the initial spark has now been lit under a sleeping beast. James looked poised to take over a game if he needed to in order for his team to win.
Now that the monster is fully awake, it’s going to be awfully hard to put him back to sleep.
Tags: 2012 NBA Finals 2012 NBA Finals MVP Chris Bosh Cinderella Cleveland Cavaliers Dwyane Wade ESPN Facebook Featured First Take Lebron James LeBron James Is The 2012 NBA Finals MVP Magic Johnson Miami Heat Popular Skip Bayless South Beach