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LeBron James Grows Stronger Within Miami Heat's Cocoon

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LeBron James Grows Stronger Within Miami Heat's Cocoon
Garrett Ellwood/Getty Images

America is once again laughing at and mocking the pain of LeBron James. Two years' worth of I-had-to-shut-up fan resentment burst out as if rodeo-bull uncaged the moment James looked vulnerable while spasming and incapacitated in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. It was amazing and maybe without precedent, how fast this happened to a reigning king, a Twitter-refreshed blur revealing just how little two championships had bought James in an ecosystem where winning usually forgives all. The Discovery Channel could have done a documentary on this in the wild, the way hungry fans sharpened teeth and pounced on prey at the first scent of possible weakness atop of the NBA's food chain. But before addressing this newest noise in the life of the Miami Heat and its biggest star, let us understand the cauldron where this team has lived for four years … and how it can change, shape and harden people in ways that the teeth-sharpening hunters might not have anticipated while circling and howling.

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