Christmas is about sharing, caring, giving and receiving. On the court, it's hard not to say that Heat point-forward LeBron James does not epitomize all that and much, much more.
One of the few players in the league who does just as much stat-wise as he does in not-on-paper intangibles, the Chosen One became the champion this year by defeating all comers with a breathless, smothering defense and a brilliant, assertive offense.
The last step to get to the throne saw James' Heat face off with the Thunder, and although the Heat won 4-1 in the series, Miami knew that the Thunder's thirst for the ultimate prize had only been whetted that much more.
Now, on a day filled with peace and prosperity, the Heat and Thunder Christmas Day rematch will relive a bit of the furious battle fought between these amazingly talented teams.
Nothing's changed for James, who was quoted at the end of the Olympics saying, "...who I was and who I became in this last year, it's a big turnaround. That's what helped me get those accomplishments. And I just didn't take anything for granted." (interview with ESPN, transcribed by Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel, Aug. 20, 2012)
As far as the Heat's season has already gone, James is still taking nothing for granted.
Oh, the Thunder are in trouble.
Passes to Ray Allen for treys, alley oops to Dwyane Wade on the baseline, soaring hammer dunks on the break, vicious blocks and momentous rebounds are all in store for a Christmas game that could cement James' place in Christmas basketball lore.
James' stat line: 40+ points, 15 rebounds, 12 assists, four blocks, three steals and one turnover.
Of course, he doesn't really need to do this for them to win, but a monster triple-double, stat-filler on Christmas Day would be a first, right? Wrong, it's been done before by one Cleveland Cavalier named LeBron James on Christmas Day 2010 (27 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists and four steals in a 96-80 Lakers beat down).
So, James has already done it and looks to take nothing for granted in a rematch with what is likely the hungriest-to-win-a-title squad in the league.
Unfortunately for the Thunder—barring a major offensive explosion by Durant—the Heat haven’t lost their championship swagger; and right now there is definitely only one king.