5 Ways LeBron James Can Officially Silence Critics for Good in 2012-13
He still has a long way to go to silence his biggest critics, but the 2012-13 season is a perfect place for him to do just that.
From winning the 2013 scoring title to entering the 2013 slam dunk contest, there are a number of things LeBron can do this year to give his detractors less to talk about.
The 2012-13 season is the most important for LeBron because it gives him the best opportunity to prove his doubters wrong, and ahead are five ways he can do just that.
Enter and Dominate the 2013 Dunk Contest
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If you're reading this LeBron, do the entire NBA world a favor and enter the 2013 slam dunk contest. And while you're at it, go ahead and dominate it.
Winning a slam dunk contest would take yet another accomplishment off of the list of things he's never won, and it would shrink his critic's repertoire of criticisms.
Entering the dunk contest would create an unbelievable level of hype for the 2013 All-Star game, and it would be extremely positive hype. Surrounding himself in hype that is exceedingly positive would help LeBron take a step towards fostering a more positive image of himself in the public's eye.
With a slam-dunk title under his belt, critics would no longer be able to say, "well, LeBron never put himself out there for the fans like Michael Jordan did."
Putting that argument in his rear-view mirror would be a great move for LeBron. It would show that he truly does listen to his fans, and he cares what they think of who he is.
Win His 4th NBA MVP Trophy
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Right now, LeBron James is elite company with three NBA MVPs. Only Magic Johnson, Larry Bird and Moses Malone have that specific number of MVP trophies.
While that's quite an accomplishment, LeBron's biggest critics will point to the fact that there are more elite players ahead of him with even more MVP trophies—specifically Michael Jordan, with five, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar with an NBA record six MVPs.
LeBron's critics will always talk about who he isn't. All that LeBron can do about that is keep garnering accomplishments and accolades to gain momentum in the greatest-of-all-time conversations and slowly pull away the foundations of his biggest detractors.
He does a great job of making it look like his sole focus is team accomplishments, but in his heart of hearts, LeBron's competitive nature has to lead him to wanting to be considered the best of the best.
With a fourth NBA MVP, LeBron would only have Wilt Chamberlain (4), Bill Russell (5), Michael Jordan (5) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (6) holding him back from breaking another seemingly unbreakable record.
He would also be the only player in NBA history to win two, back-to-back MVP titles. Impressive stuff.
Win the 2013 NBA Scoring Championship
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There's no way LeBron James will ever come close to Michael Jordan's record of 10 career NBA scoring titles. He's too complete and well-balanced of a player to score that much.
Luckily for LeBron, all he has to do is win the 2013 scoring title, and it's not really about him winning it. It's actually about who he would be keeping it from.
Hoisting this year's scoring title would mean that LeBron not only outscored Kobe Bryant, but more importantly that he kept Kevin Durant from winning his fourth-straight scoring title—an accomplishment that only Michael Jordan and Wilt Chamberlain have obtained.
Getting in the way of Durant, who is arguably LeBron's greatest competitor right now, from achieving something truly elite would build LeBron's legacy as being a true competitor. A player who not only wants to win, but also wants to prove his greatness by keeping others away from it.
Being a cut-throat competitor is something that LeBron's critics point to when it comes to pointing out things that he lacks.
Keeping his training buddy, Durant, from establishing himself as one of the most lethal pure scorers in NBA history would certainly prove that he's ready to do what it takes to be the greatest. That would go a long way in silencing his critics.
Lead the Heat to Back-to-Back NBA Titles
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The talent standing in the way of LeBron winning back-to-back NBA titles is at a level that it's never been at before.
Last season there were talented, complete teams like the Oklahoma City Thunder, San Antonio Spurs and the Boston Celtics. While those teams are all back and ready to compete, there are other teams who are on an entirely different level this season.
From the newest super team, the L.A. Lakers, to teams who reloaded like the New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets and L.A. Clippers, the NBA is full of deep and talented teams that are poised to keep LeBron from winning his second title.
The teams he has to get through to win a second title would make it that much more special, and that much more valuable in terms of building his legacy.
Taking down a veteran-laden Lakers team with Dwight Howard, Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash would be a great way to win his second NBA title. It would also help silence his critics that consistently tear him down by arguing that his success is a product of his super team more than his individual skill.
Becoming a back-to-back NBA champion is just another accomplishment that LeBron needs to add to his resume, and this year is his best chance to do it.
Average a Triple-Double for the Entire Season
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Back in 1962, Oscar Robertson became the first player to average a triple-double over the span of a regular, NBA season, with 30.8 points, 12.5 rebounds and 11.4 assists per game.
In the following 50 seasons, no other player has accomplished that feat, which goes to show just how difficult it is to do. What better way for LeBron to silence his critics than to do something that only one other player in the NBA has ever done?
While this is the most unrealistic way to silence his critics, because of its sheer difficulty, averaging a triple-double during the 2012-13 season would silence them more than any other accomplishment.
There's no doubt that LeBron can create 10 shots for his teammates every game. It's just a fact of them knocking them down.
With the offensive additions of Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis, LeBron will have better options on the perimeter than ever before, but they'll have to put up career shooting percentages to help him average 10-plus assists per game.
A triple-double season for LeBron, wouldn't be as dominant as Robertson's, mainly because of the star power he has beside him. But with an average of 20 points, 10.5 rebounds and 10 assists per game, his critics would have a hard time trying to find the negative it.