Jun 20, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat small forward LeBron James addresses the media after defeating the San Antonio Spurs in game seven in the 2013 NBA Finals at American Airlines Arena. Miami Heat won 95-88 to win the NBA Championship. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Miami Heat Top 20: LeBron James

Jun 24, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (6) talks as confetti is blown behind him during the 2013 NBA championship rally at the American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Before July 8, 2010, the Miami Heat had been a proud franchise who has seen the ups (14 playoff appearances in 25 seasons, 3 Eastern Conference Finals trips, and NBA Championship in 2006) and the bad (5 seasons of less than 30 wins). Historically great players such as Alonzo Mourning, Tim Hardaway. and Shaquille O’Neal had all migrated to Miami, and bought success with them.

 

But none of them compared to the star quality of LeBron James. When LeBron got on TV and said he was taking his talents to South Beach, he instantly became the biggest name in Miami Heat history. He turned the Heat into the most hated and most watched team in the NBA. In the 3 seasons since his arrival, he has guided the Heat to their best stretch in franchise history, which includes 3 Eastern Conference Finals, 3 NBA Finals appearances, and 2 NBA titles.

Is it a coincidence that the franchise is enjoying its most successful stretch now that the best player on the planet is in the fold? I think not.

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