Photos: LeBron James and Miami Heat Clinch NBA Title
The fact that the Heat are champions isn't the impressive part, though. What's impressive is how they did it. The Heat outplayed the Thunder in every facet of the game, and they did so by following LeBron's new-found leadership.
To commemorate the Heat's 2012 NBA title, here are 15 photos of the Heat's closeout game against the Thunder, and the subsequent celebration.
The Focus of a Champion
Even before Game 5 tipped off, it was clear that the Heat, led by their big three, were focused and ready to do whatever it would take to make sure Game 5 was the last game of the 2012 NBA Finals.
LeBron James Setting the Tone Early with Lock-Down Defense
While Kevin Durant had 32 points on 54.2 percent shooting, LeBron James did a great job early on of taking Durant out of his comfort zone with his tenacious, lock-down defense.
As usual, LeBron led the Heat by setting the tone early in the game and letting the Thunder know that a Game 5 win would be anything but easy.
James Harden Displays What the Thunder Did All Game Long, Watch the Heat Win
James Harden was a shell of his former self throughout the 2012 NBA Finals, and this picture aptly displays what the Thunder did all game long.
It almost seemed like the Thunder were in awe of the way the Heat were controlling the game. Maybe next year, Thunder.
Mike Miller Shows Why the Miami Heat Signed Him Last Season
With a bad back and after going 0-of-3 from beyond the arc in the first four games of the NBA Finals, Mike Miller exploded with 23 points on a 7-of-8 three-point shooting night in just over 23 minutes of floor time.
Miller stepped up at just the right time for the Heat with one of the best three-point-shooting performances in NBA postseason history.
James Harden Got the Best of Dwyane Wade Here, but It Wouldn't Last for Long
Dwyane Wade somehow got called for a foul on this play, but it just goes to show how hard the Heat worked all night to earn the 2012 title.
The Heat out-hustled, outworked and downright outplayed the Thunder in every facet of the game—including hustling for every loose ball.
The Priceless Smile on LeBron's Face Is Worth More Than a Thousand Words
The game wasn't completely over at this point, but LeBron knew it was in hand.
While LeBron earns millions upon millions every year, this is without a doubt the happiest he's ever been. And it's certainly refreshing to see.
Some Said LeBron James and Dwyane Wade Couldn't Do It
This moment of LeBron and Wade finally realizing their dream of winning an NBA title together will live on for years to come.
For the Heat, this is hopefully just one of what will be many championship photos in the future.
The Beginning of What Could Be the Next Superstar Rivalry in the NBA
Kevin Durant didn't carry his end of the bargain in these finals, but hopefully this won't be the last time the two superstars meet in June.
LeBron vs. Durant is a headline that we'll be talking about for years to come in the NBA Finals. Get ready.
Chris Bosh Steals Kevin Durant's Thunder, Hugging His Mom as the Confetti Falls
Kevin Durant got all the press for hugging his mother and family after he helped the Thunder close out the Western Conference finals over San Antonio.
Chris Bosh undoubtedly got the sweeter moment, as he embraces his mother on the court after the clock hit double zeros.
Erik Spoelstra Does the Job Most People Didn't Think He Was Capable of
Remember that time when LeBron brushed shoulders with Erik Spoelstra on the way to the bench?
I'm sure both Spoelstra and LeBron have completely forgotten about that, replacing that memory with this one, after they worked together to bring the 2012 NBA title to South Beach.
Add an NBA Finals MVP Trophy to LeBron James' Trophy Case
LeBron capped off his historic and epic 2011-12 campaign with not only the 2012 NBA title, but also the 2012 NBA Finals MVP award.
He's going to have to upgrade his trophy case.
Hey LeBron, This One Is No. 2 for Me
LeBron James, Chris Bosh and quite a few other guys earned their first NBA title, but not Dwyane Wade.
The 2012 NBA title is Wade's second title. I'm sure LeBron doesn't care though, right?
The NBA Title Moment That Took LeBron Nine Years
The pure joy that is on LeBron's face is priceless.
The humility and maturity that he showed throughout the postseason prepared him for this moment, and it made his first NBA title that much sweeter.
Pat Riley Proves He Doesn't Have to Be a Coach to Win an NBA Title
Throughout the last two seasons, there's been a lot of clamoring over the future of Erik Spoelstra, and whom Pat Riley needed to coach the Heat's big three.
All that was put to rest when Riley proved that he can win an NBA title in the front office. He also proved that Spoelstra was the right man for the job.
Who would've thought?
Let the Party Begin
It's time for the party in South Beach to get underway.
Enjoy it while it lasts, because in a week or two it'll be time to start focusing on how to improve so you can do this all again next season.