And once he was dubbed the best player in the NBA by fans and media alike, James was under pressure to win an NBA title.
While basketball is a team game, James seemed to take most of the blame, including from me in various articles. It didn't matter if he averaged a triple-double, it was never going to be enough until James and the Miami Heat won a title.
But James shut up a bunch of his critics, myself included, and it's time for him to enjoy it. So, now that the pressure is off, there are other NBA stars who will be under the microscope when it comes to whether or not they can win a title.
Will these guys go the way of Karl Malone and Dominique Wilkins—Hall of Famers with no rings—or will they find a way to win at least one title before all's said and done?
Here's a look at eight guys who are now under the most pressure to win the NBA championship.