Making the Sports Illustrated cover at only age 17, LeBron James was deemed as “The Chosen One,” as the possible heir to Michael Jordan himself. Fast-forward to 2012 and LeBron has finally accomplished what many did not want him to. James led the Miami Heat to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder in five games (essentially four straight as they won Games 2-5) to win his first NBA title.
As a No. 1 overall draft pick with eight consecutive All-Star appearances and three MVPs, the only thing critics saw that separated James from the elite was an NBA title.
He can now not only add a title to his resume, but also NBA Finals MVP, as he averaged about 30 points, nine rebounds and seven assists in the Finals.
Many wanted or expected LeBron to fail in his quest for a title. Critics slammed LeBron for not being able to get a ring, and they questioned his hunger for a championship. Although all of that was answered with his title, critics will certainly not be quiet.
LeBron became a villain after his arrival in South Beach because of the way he handled his “decision” (which should not be an issue because all proceeds were donated to charity) and his promise of "Not five[rings], not six, not seven,"…you get the rest.
Some may say, “LeBron could not do it himself like any of the other greats.” One word…absurd.
Michael Jordan, known as the greatest ever, had two sets of “Big Threes” with Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman, and also Pippen and Horace Grant. Kobe Bryant had Shaquille O'Neal (or vice versa), Magic Johnson had “Showtime”—the list goes on and on.
Even with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh as his supporting cast, James managed to average about 31 points, nine rebounds and five assists a game. Not to mention, he was able to land a triple-double on the night he won a title with 26 points, 11 rebounds and 13 assists.
Others may say that James is not clutch. Did people already forget about his go-ahead three with two minutes remaining in Game 4? Or rewind the clock to 2007 where LeBron single-handedly led the Cleveland Cavaliers to beat the Detroit Pistons, scoring 29 of the last 30 Cavs points.
LeBron James is not by any means perfect.
He does have aspects of his game that can be tweaked. He shot a horrid 73 percent from the free-throw line, a number that should improve for how many foul calls he gets. He also shot 27 percent from beyond the arc. At only 27-years-old, he has time to polish his game.
Critics will continually slam James for an array of reasons, be it his “decision” to leave Cleveland, or just stubbornness over comparisons to the great Michael Jordan.
Heck, maybe people are jealous that LeBron is not playing for their home team. Whatever the reason, people need to start appreciating James, as he is one of the rarest talents of our generation.