It seems like Lebron James’ legacy is re-written with each passing season.
During his first few years in Cleveland, Lebron was known as an extremely gifted player who was one of the top players in the league who wasn’t a “clutch” player. He was moreso known as a guy that would rather pass to Donyell Marshall for three pointers at the end of a tight game, rather than take the game-winning shot himself.
Then Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals vs. the Detroit Pistons happened. In a tightly contested series that saw the Pistons win each of the first two games 79-76, before the Cavs would go on to win the next two, Lebron led the Cavaliers to a double-overtime victory in Detroit that saw ‘The King’ score 48 points, including the Cavaliers final 25 points of the game.
The Cavaliers would go on to win the series in six games, before the NBA Finals vs. the San Antonio Spurs happened.
Does this sound awfully familiar?
The Cavaliers would get swept 4-0 by the Spurs in the NBA Finals en route to one of Lebron’s most miserable playoff series of his career.
Lebron shot an excruciatingly bad 35.5% from the field, 20% from the three-point line and 69% from the free thrown line while committing nearly six turnovers per game.
And so the question of “Can Lebron win the Big One?” continued for the following five years until he finally came out on top as a member of the Miami Heat in the 2012 NBA Finals.
That fact is not lost on Lebron. He recently reminisced about that 2007 NBA Finals that saw the Spurs reveal many weaknesses in the then 22-year-old’s game.
“It’s been a while since I’ve seen the series,” James said on Wednesday. “It was tough. We ran against a team that was more superior, more experienced, more better — that’s not even a word — better than we were at the time.
“I have something in me that they took in ’07; beat us on our home floor, celebrated on our home floor. I won’t forget that.”
And so we fast forward to the 2013 NBA Finals, where Lebron has gotten “the monkey off of his back”, having won the long-alluded championship and Finals MVP in 2012. He once again meets the team that made his first NBA Finals appearance a living hell.
And the storyline remains the same.
Just like it is every year. Just like it is every playoff series. Lebron’s legacy is on the line again.
It’s unfair for many reasons. The most glaring reason being, that Lebron’s supporting cast is not as it’s hyped to be. Dwyane Wade is having the worst postseason of his career, averaging just a little over 14 points per game. Chris Bosh has fallen in love with a 3-point jump shot that never seems to go in, and has consistently been outrebounded all throughout the playoffs.
If the Heat lose this series, Lebron would be the furthest reason for why it were to happen.
But this is the life of an athlete. This is the measuring stick for an NBA player threatening to become the “Greatest of All Time”.
As unfair as it may be, Lebron’s legacy is at stake yet again.
And what better way to put it on the line against the same team that only added fuel to the question of, “Can Lebron win the Big One”?
‘The King’ gets another chance to answer that question.