The Miami Heat just won their second NBA championship in six years, beating the Oklahoma City Thunder 121-106 in game five to take the series, thus giving the infamous Lebron James his first ring at the age of 27.
Lebron’s third trip to the NBA Finals was a charm, and you can be sure he’s feeling nothing but relief after finally shutting up critics who have wrongfully been comparing him to NBA great Michael Jordan since Lebron entered the NBA as the number one pick in the 2003 NBA Draft
Last year’s Heat season was seen as total failure. After Lebron’s televised “Decision” initiated a move to the Miami Heat, joining fellow draft-mate Dwayne Wade and newly acquired Chris Bosh, the Heat lost to the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA Finals.
Both Lebron and Bosh signed staggering six year, $110M contracts. Along with Wade’s six year $108M contract, that’s an average of around $20M a year for the next five seasons, a great short-term investment, but if the league introduces a new “hard” salary cap, Miami will be in a terrible situation.
Just one year later, the Heat did what they were expected to do, win a championship, and people aren’t entirely impressed.
As sports fans in America, we are lovers of the underdog; always have been and always will be. As soon as Lebron decided to give up on his Cleveland Cavaliers and move to South Beach, there was no questioning that the Miami Heat would dominate the league.
But it isn’t just the team people hate; it’s also the face of the team. Just like Cowboys haters couldn’t stand Michael Irvin for his attitude on and off the field and Yankees haters still can’t take Derek Jeter for his lady-killing looks and his “fake humility,” newly coined HATE (Heat are the Enemy) members can’t stand Lebron’s occasional egotistical manner, and they altogether blame Lebron’s selfishness for leaving Cleveland
As a member of the Cavaliers, Lebron was the star of a lackluster team, but the city enveloped his spirit and work ethic. “King James” became the team’s all-time leading scorer during his seven-year tenure with the Cavs, leading the team to the Eastern Conference semi-finals four times, and even to the NBA Finals, a place Cavs fans never would have dreamed of without James.
Last night’s championship may seem real to Miami fans, but to the rest of us, it seems artificial. Lebron left the Cavs; and rightfully so. He was doing the best he could to win a championship in Cleveland.
The glorified transition to a superstar-studded team was his mistake.
Not only did “The Decision” and “The Arrival,” make Lebron look a little selfish, it depreciated his greatness. Of course an athlete of his caliber should be able to win a championship given the talent he had surrounded himself with.
There’s no denying Lebron was feeling a lot of pressure from those who expected him to be greatest of all time. Sadly, he picked the easy road to greatness, and that will forever follow him for the rest of his career.