It started with James winning his third career regular season MVP award, capturing 85 of the 121 first place votes. Kevin Durant was a distant second, with a mere 24 voters offering their first place praise.
James proceeded to torch the New York Knicks, Indiana Pacers and Boston Celtics en route to his third career NBA Finals appearance. Prior to this visit, however, James had never won an NBA championship.
The third time proved to be the charm.
After eight long years of criticism pertaining to his inability to win an NBA championship, LeBron James finally took home an ever-elusive title. James won the honor of Finals MVP with averages of 28.6 points, 10.2 rebounds, 7.4 assists and 1.6 steals per game.
Alongside James was Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh leading the way. It was the consistent displays of elite three-point shooting from the Heat's role players, however, that overwhelmed the Oklahoma City Thunder en route to a five-game series victory.
Even still, that just wasn't enough.
The Summer of 2012 proved that LeBron James was not satisfied with what he already had accomplished. James helped Team USA win the gold medal at the London Olympics.
This marked the first time since 1992 that a player had won an NBA Championship, Olympic gold medal and both the regular season and Finals MVP awards in one season.That feat previously was accomplished by one Michael Jordan.
Maybe you've heard of him.
With a full calendar year of non-stop basketball activities, it's fair to imagine that LeBron James could be looking for rest. Per a report via Michael Wallace of ESPN.com, however, it's not James who wants to remain temporarily idle.
It's the Miami Heat that are looking to limit his preseason activity.
"I don't even know if I'll play much at all in that game," [LeBron] James said Sunday about the game in Atlanta. "I'm in better shape right now than I've been, because I've played so much basketball. Usually, it takes me a week, a week-and-a-half of camp to kind of get back into it. But at the same time, I've still got to be cautious. I've played a lot of basketball and I've got to be cautious and not allow myself to be out there too much. We'll monitor that."
For some, this move is of pure logic. LeBron James is coming off a year that is certain to have taken a toll on his body. For others, however, momentum must be maintained as James continues to run through the basketball world with apparent ease.
Unfortunately for those in favor of his remaining active, LeBron James needs to rest.
Regardless of how potent James may have been over the past year, giving him no time to rest could eliminate the chances of repeating his previous success. After all, everyone runs out of gas in the tank at one point or another.
Even the almighty King James.
For what it's worth, LeBron missing an individual preseason game holds little to no bearing on whether or not the Miami Heat can repeat as champions. Quite frankly, James could miss the entirety of the preseason and the Heat would be fine.
Just as important is the fact that James would remain capable of playing at a high level from the opening tip.
Remember folks, LeBron James is not a jump shooter, or a fundamentalist who thrives off of having a crisp set of skills. He is a physical monster who, when all else fails, can attack the lane and score based off of the pure power in his step.
Polishing a few skills with a preseason appearance sure would make him a whole lot harder to handle, but it's far from a necessity.
What one must remember is that LeBron is no longer carrying a team to victory. With Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh alone, the Miami Heat would be considered favorites in the Eastern Conference. Throwing in veterans such as Ray Allen and Shane Battier only sweetens the pot.
For that reason, it's fair for the Miami Heat to allow James to rest and return to full strength. The Heat are more than capable of winning games without him, which insinuates that their position in the Eastern Conference will see a minimal affect if James were to spend a few early games finding his groove.
The craze over LeBron James missing any time simply is the latest attempt at either overpraising or wrongly criticizing a phenomenal player who happens to be a human being.
Don't forget, Dwyane Wade will be missing a portion of the preseason as well. All this suggests is that a team that has been plagued by injuries in the past is looking to reach their highest point of health before attempting a run at a second consecutive NBA championship.
Which is exactly why the Miami Heat are smart for monitoring LeBron James' early season workload.
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