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The King Delivers As Promised
LeBron James was just like any other kid in Akron, Ohio, growing up playing basketball, dreaming of playing for their hometown and bringing a title home. Everybody knew that LeBron was going to be a star coming out of St. Vincent-St. Mary High School but only he knew how dominant he can be and now he has become arguably the greatest of our generation and making his own case as the greatest of all time.
After being taken first overall in the 2003 NBA draft, LeBron started dominating the game and quickly turned into the face of the franchise, also turning into the face of Nike and other endorsement companies, and started to turn the Cleveland Cavaliers into a competitive team. In 2007, LeBron was able to take Cleveland all the way to the finals but were swept by the San Antonio Spurs. LeBron at the time was just 22 years old and in his fourth season in the league so that is a huge load to carry for any player in the league let alone a 22 year old.
LeBron continued to dominate the league and most people if not the whole world would not expect to see LeBron ever leave home but that all changed in 2010 when he made "The Decision" on ESPN and announced he was heading to south beach to join the Miami Heat and form a big 3 alongside Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh. A move such as this changed the landscape of the NBA as well as the fan base as many Cavalier fans cried, threw away their jersey of James, and some even set their jersey on fire. LeBron became the villain in the league but that wouldn't change the way he played the game. If anything, he became even greater.
LeBron seemed to be taking his game to the next level and many can say that the hatred people had towards him helped motivate him. The Heat made it to the finals but lost to the Dallas Mavericksin 2011 in six games and everybody immediately thought that he can't win it all, even switching teams to form a powerhouse. LeBron didn't perform well in that finals appearance so you can imagine if he did play well that the Heat could have been celebrating a title in their first year of the big 3. He redeemed himself by winning the title the next two seasons defeating the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2012 in five games and the San Antonio Spurs in 2013 in seven games. In 2014 however, the Spurs would get their revenge on the Miami Heat winning in five games. Then came another decision that LeBron made that changed the NBA once again.
LeBron decided to go back home and return to the Cleveland Cavaliers. LeBron immediately took the Cavaliers to the finals but lost to the Golden State Warriors in six games. LeBron did not have Kevin Love or Kyrie Irving by his side due to injuries which allowed him to perform at a level that nobody has ever seen before. LeBron did what he can single handily and had, what many would call, the best finals performance by any player in history of the NBA or perhaps even all sports. In the end it was not enough to overpower the Warriors who have players such as Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and more all playing at a high level. The lost had people wondering if it was ever a good idea for him to return home but all of that would change the season after.
LeBron returned to the finals for the sixth time in a row and in a rematch with the Golden State Warriors only this time, LeBron has reinforcements with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love on his side. The Cavaliers started off slow and were obliterated in the first two games at Oracle Arena. Many believed it was over at that point and that the Cavaliers could not have returned back to form but LeBron thought otherwise. The Cavaliers took care of business at home in game three blowing out the Warriors and were back in the series. Then in game four, the Cavaliers lost a close game and at that point it was all but over, at least that is what history tells us. Watching LeBron from game five and on you can see the look of determination on his face as he was locked in from that point on and never let up. Dominating the game from both ends of the floor, LeBron did what he promised to the city of Cleveland, he brought home to the title. To see the look of determination turn into the tears of joy can only show so much of how badly LeBron wanted and needed this. Having this victory under his belt probably sealed his legacy but only LeBron can tell you that for himself. This is probably just the start of more to come for LeBron and the city of Cleveland.
LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers have done the impossible. No team in NBA history has come back in the Finals when trailing in the series 3 games to 1 and only 2 teams have ever forced a game 7 but have not prevailed. Cleveland overcame all the odds stacked against them.
What makes this series win more impressive is that the Cavs were able to defeat the team with the best regular season record in the history of the NBA at 73-9. To top that, Cleveland were able to go into Oracle Arena down 3 games to 1 and win game 5 and 7 in an arena where many have come and many have fallen.
With that victory and title in hand, James won his 3rd Finals MVP award which puts him in a tie for second all time along side with Magic Johnson, Tim Duncan, and Shaquille O'Neal. He now trials only Michael Jordan who's record seems safe with 6 Finals MVP awards. LeBron has also played in two NBA Finals game 7's in which he has won both. If that is not defined as "clutch" then what is? Warriors coach did mention two years ago that if he were to choose one player to lead the way on the road in a game 7, it would be LeBron James.
LeBron led both Finals teams in points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks. He is also just the second player in history to win Finals MVP's with multiple teams joining Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. There is a reason why he is considered the best player in world and putting on a performance day in and day out the way he does, it is truly remarkable.
- 3x NBA Champion ('12,'13,'16)
- 3x NBA Finals MVP ('12,'13,'16)
- 4x MVP ('09,'10,'12,'13)
- NBA Rookie of the Year ('04)
- 12x All-Star
- 12x All-NBA
- 6x All Defensive
- All-Rookie First Team
- 3x Olympic Medalist (2 Gold, 1 Bronze)
This is only a short list of achievements that LeBron James has accomplished in his luxurious career and that list is certainly only going to grow with LeBron still playing in his prime and staying healthy.
It is without a doubt that LeBron James is more than deserving of this title. He gave everything he had to help force a game 7 and win the title on the road. Actions speak louder than words which was the case when LeBron broke down in tears after the buzzer in game 7 showing his emotions as he brings home the title that whole world has been waiting on. LeBron is still in his prime so much more is expected to come, possibly another title for "The King". When it it's all said and one, when LeBron tells the world the day he retires what he biggest accomplishment was, you can expect him to to say, "To bring that title back home to the land."