LeBron James ESPYs 2012: Haters Silenced as Fans Show the Love
LeBron James' detractors were overwhelmed as his fans made a strong statement of support at the 2012 ESPY Awards.
Following his historic run through the playoffs, James took home the ESPY for Best NBA Player and Best Male Athlete, while also leading the Miami Heat to the award for Best Team.
On paper, it was no contest. The reigning NBA MVP had one of the most dominant postseason runs of all time, putting up 30.3 points, 9.7 rebounds and 5.6 assists per game. Yet more important than any statistic is that LeBron finally got the championship monkey off his back, getting his ring and winning the Finals MVP award in the process.
There were no jeers at the 2012 ESPYs. After his onslaught on the hardwood, James received the fans' appreciation and votes for the first time in years.
Back in 2009, James was named Best NBA Player and would have won the Best Male Athlete award if not for Michael Phelps and his eight Olympic gold medals. He was the pride of Cleveland, the toast of the NBA and one of the most likable athletes in the world. There were no signs of the fall from grace to come.
We all remember the outrage surrounding the Decision, and we all hit LeBron in the only place we could: the polls.
Less than a week later, the sports and entertainment world used the ESPYs as an opportunity to skewer the once-and-future King James. When Kobe Bryant was named the Best NBA Player of 2010, it wasn't a matter of fans valuing his fifth ring over LeBron's second consecutive MVP. The people felt betrayed, and they booed, mocked and voted LeBron down in one voice, full of scorn.
2011 was a different year but the same story for LeBron at the ESPYs. This time, James wasn't even nominated for Best Male Athlete, but the fans still smacked him by giving the award to Dirk Nowitzki, who had just beaten the Heat in the NBA Finals.
It wasn't until we had two years of distance from the Decision that we finally could show LeBron some love again. We were all witnesses to a transcendent level of greatness. Unless you were from Cleveland, Boston or Oklahoma City, LeBron's performance compelled respect. As a sports fan, it was so much more worthwhile to celebrate his performance than to hold old grudges.
We will never see LeBron as the happy-go-lucky man-child he was before the Decision, but in the 2012 playoffs, we were inspired to look past it. These past ESPYs showed that the haters are finally backing down. In James' words from the Finals run that vaulted him here, "It's about damn time."
What is the duplicate article?
Why is this article offensive?
Where is this article plagiarized from?
Why is this article poorly edited?