LeBron James: Why the Hatred Will Quickly Dissolve

Dustin TurnerCorrespondent IJune 1, 2011

MIAMI, FL - MAY 31:  LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat reacts in the fourth quarter while taking on the Dallas Mavericks in Game One of the 2011 NBA Finals at American Airlines Arena on May 31, 2011 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

For eight years, LeBron James has dazzled NBA fans with high-flying dunks, clutch playoff performances and his cocky antics on the bench.

Last summer,  when he decided that he wanted to play with his friends Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade in Miami in hopes of winning the title, there was a massive outpouring of angst against the self-proclaimed King. 

Much of this had to do with him leaving a team in his home state to go to a team that was supposedly "buying" a championship. He was criticized endlessly for his savvy maneuver to attempt to monopolize the NBA's Larry O'Brien trophy.

Now that the Heat are in the NBA Finals and sit three wins away from hoisting that trophy, a lot of the LeBron haters have disappeared.

They say that time heals all wounds; that is false and is certainly not the case here. No, what has sewn up this wound is the relentless assault of talent displayed by King James. 

The same thing occurred with Jordan. He was cocky, a ball-hog, too much of a scorer, uncoachable...until he won. 

LeBron, while displaying plenty of the Jordan-brand swagger on the court, has showcased nothing but a humility and respect for the game reminiscent of Magic Johnson. LeBron has finally taken control of the NBA as a stopper, a scorer, and a team leader. 

When Derrick Rose was running circles around Wade in the Eastern Conference Finals, LeBron shut him down. When they have needed a clutch shot or a big play, it has either started with LeBron or ended with LeBron.

After watching Game 1 last night, it is difficult for me to see a reality in which LeBron lets his team lose even one game. He is unguardable on offense and impenetrable on defense. Someone with such talent entertains the mass audience to the point where eventually everyone outside of Cleveland will forget his small mistakes last summer, and instead point to his greatness. 

He is the most skilled man on a basketball court the world has ever seen (not an exaggeration). And now that he has found his home, there is no telling how big he can get.