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NBA Finals 2012: LeBron James Is No Longer a King Without a Crown

MIAMI, FL - JUNE 21:  LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat answers questions from the media next to the Larry O'Brien Finals Championship trophy and James' Bill Russell Finals MVP trophy during his post game press conference after they won 121-106 against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Five of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Benjamin J. BlockCorrespondent IIJune 25, 2012

Up until June 21, Kanye West's lyrics from his Graduation album, "Everything I'm not made me everything I am," seemed to appropriately sum up LeBron James' legacy.

Now, it's fair to say that the King is singing a whole different tune. 

It may have taken the self-proclaimed King James nine NBA seasons and nearly 700 games to validate that title, but he hath done it! I am very excited to see what The Chosen One has in store for audiences over the next nine years of his career.

Now that the burden of winning it all has been lifted and he's had a little taste of glory, I don't envision complacency in his future.

He is a student of the game with a heightened awareness of the history, and like him or hate him, it warrants reminding that he is still just 27. If a 27-year-old who has figured out the formula for winning championships isn't a scary thought, then I don't know what is.  

LeBron will never again be associated with the likes of Patrick Ewing, Charles Barkley, Reggie Miller, Karl Malone and other NBA superstars that never won a championship. With his effort of 26 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds in the Heat's 121-106 Game 5 championship-clinching win, he enters a new fraternity of stars who have won it all.  

Before the championship, it was an injustice to compare James with guys like Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Bill Russell, Shaquille O'Neal, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson. But now we can justifiably entertain the debate of how many rings LeBron will end up with.   

All of sudden, it doesn't sound so crazy to think that LeBron could eclipse Kobe's five rings or maybe even Jordan's six. One certainty is that nobody will ever touch Russell's 11 championships, but it sure will be fun to see how many James can stack up.

Stay tuned.   

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