ESPY Awards 2012 Winners: Results Show LeBron James Is Finally Winning Fans Back
When LeBron James decided to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers to join his buddies on the Miami Heat, fans that were enjoying his greatness suddenly started turning against him. His big night at the ESPYs shows the tide is turning back in his favor.
After leading the Heat to a championship, James dominated the biggest award show in sports. He won the honors for Best NBA Player, Best Championship Performance and, most importantly, Best Male Athlete.
In that category he beat out tennis star Novak Djokovic, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander. Not only did those three guys all have tremendous years, but they are fan favorites in their respective sports.
So for James to beat them out in a competition based solely on votes from fans says something about his recovering image. As "The Decision" continues to fade out of the rear-view mirror, those who love sports are starting to respect him again.
Are you surprised James won three ESPYs?
Winning the NBA title certainly helped his cause. That was the biggest leverage naysayers had against him. It doesn't matter how much a player dominates during the regular season, there will always be questions raised until they get a ring.
He answered those questions with a terrific postseason performance. Even with Chris Bosh sidelined for parts of two rounds and Dwyane Wade clearly playing at less than 100 percent, James made sure his team didn't fall short this time around.
And I think fans—including the ones that jumped off the LeBron bandwagon for a while—respect that. As the old saying goes, winning cures everything. It's definitely starting to cure James' tarnished image, at least outside of Ohio.
That didn't slip the mind of James, who immediately took to Twitter to thank his supporters for allowing him to take home the night's top award.
HUGE S/O to the Fans though! U guys mean everything to me. #loveyouguys— LeBron James (@KingJames) July 12, 2012
James is far from finished, however. The pressure will immediately be back on his shoulders this summer as he attempts to lead the United States to another gold medal at the London Olympics.
There are plenty of other superstars on the team, including Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant, but it will be James' team. He's in his prime and just won a championship, meaning he must take control in any key moments that may arise.
If the heavily favored Americans don't run the table—especially after all of the Dream Team talk and comparisons—James will receive a vast majority of the heat (no pun intended). He's the best player on the planet and most prove it starting in a couple weeks.
As for now, he can rest easy knowing fans are starting to respect him again. They may never cheer for the Heat—who are quickly becoming the NBA's version of the New York Yankees or Dallas Cowboys—but the awards prove they understand his greatness.
Yet another step in the right direction for King James.
For a complete list of ESPY winners from Wednesday night, click here.
What is the duplicate article?
Why is this article offensive?
Where is this article plagiarized from?
Why is this article poorly edited?