Monday, June 25, 2012

Begrudging LeBron
OK, LeBron James haters, time to relax. And get over it.

You knew it was going to happen sooner or later. After all, he is the best basketball player on the planet. Time to give him his due.

There was no way the Miami Heat wasn’t going to win at least one National Basketball Association championship with LeBron & Co.

The Dallas Mavericks made you feel as though Cleveland won the title last season when they took care of the Heat the first time around. That euphoric feeling lasted almost a year.

And if the San Antonio Spurs had taken care of the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference finals, this year’s title round might have wound up differently. The Spurs matched up much better with the Heat because of their playoff experience. The Thunder’s inexperience cost them.

So relax, haters. Breathe . . . breathe . . . breathe. It’ll get better. Really, it will.

As hard as it might seem, it’s time to admit the best team won and the best player on that team finally stepped up. Took him nine seasons and a traitorous act to do it, but he did.

There are those of you who will never forgive James for what he did. Count yours truly among them. Perhaps that’s why it’s so hard to accept the fact he accomplished his initial goal.

Now whether he and his buds can sustain that goal of numerous championships is another matter. On the negative side, Dwyane Wade isn’t getting any younger and Chris Bosh is strictly a complementary player.

But the fact LeBron is just now reaching his prime – he won’t be 28 until Dec. 30 – and the NBA is seemingly getting weaker lend credence to the belief he might eventually wind up with rings for all five digits on whatever hand he chooses to place them.

Who is going to stop the Heat? The Chicago Bulls? Derrick Rose can’t stay healthy. The Boston Celtics? Not unless Medicare intervenes. The Indiana Pacers? C’mon.

Over in the West, the Thunder pose the biggest threat and we saw what happened this season. The Los Angeles Lakers? Don’t think so. The Spurs? Not unless Tim Duncan finds the Fountain of Youth.

So who poses the greatest threat to a Miami Heat dynasty? Themselves, that’s who.

The only way the Heat doesn’t absolutely dominate the NBA for the next several seasons is to fall back to the pack. Wade no longer can play 82 games. Bosh relies too much on everyone else. The bench is a non-factor.

From now on, it all depends on James, who finally stepped out of his shadow and into the gleaming spotlight this season. From now, this is his team.

We all know how well he did when the Cavaliers was his team. He couldn’t do it alone. That’s one of the reasons he landed in Miami.

And now, he’s back in that lead role. Let’s see if he can do it mostly by himself more than once. How he handles that pressure will determine whether the LeBron haters will rejoice more than suffer in the next five years.

No comments:

Post a Comment