Besides the Boston Celtics, no team in over 30 years has won an NBA championship when their small forward is their best player.
Think about recent history. Shooting guard Michael Jordan grabbed six rings, power forward Tim Duncan four, Kobe/Shaq five, a balanced Pistons team grabbed one and a dominant big man Hakeem Olajuwon got two. Before that there was Magic Johnson (five), Isiah Thomas (two) and Larry Bird (three).
Celtics small forwards Paul Pierce and Larry Bird have been able to do it, but not since Julius Erving of the Philadelphia 76ers has a small forward led his team to an NBA championship. In Erving's case, he had Finals MVP Moses Malone to help carry the load.
It seems weird to imagine today's small forward superstars like LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony ending their careers without a ring, but history has not been kind to their position (with the exception of Boston).
LeBron James' best chances to win are these next four years, when he has a pre-33-year-old Dwyane Wade. The problem is that teams like Los Angeles, San Antonio, Boston and Dallas will still be at the top of the league in the next two years, and after that, there may be more Big Threes floating around along with Oklahoma City and Chicago.
Although I see no chance of Dan Gilbert's prophecy coming true about Cleveland winning a ring before LeBron, an NBA title is no guarantee for King James.