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.