The vilification of LeBron James has reached the pinnacle of abhorrence and can be measured on the tidal wave scale—the cause of which can be traced back to his tsunami-like decision last July and it’s negative domino effect.
James is viewed with palpable hatred not seen since Mike Tyson bit Evander Holyfield’s ear off. Not even Tiger Woods' sleeping with the enemy garnered as much disdain.
A myriad of armchair athletes have registered their disapproving votes of James and his recent NBA Finals collapse versus the Dallas Mavericks.
And their shear negative presence in cyberspace is causing the internet to sag with the ensuing witch hunt.
Their ire is the result of the self-proclaimed king and chosen one’s toxic level of immaturity and arrogance, combined with his inability to follow through in the NBA’s endgame.
For the most part, these Budweiser boys were holding their collective breaths and crossing their fingers in the Dallas Mavericks' corner. When the Miami Heat lost, they were extremely ecstatic and relieved that James failed.
And it certainly didn’t take long for the tar and feathers to be thrown in his direction.
But did James actually fail?
James played a major role in taking the Heat to the NBA finals in the newly assembled team’s first year. He almost single-handedly dominated the Boston Celtics in the second round and the Chicago Bulls in the third round of this years’ playoffs.
You could say that Miami Dolphins great Dan Marino failed because, despite his talent and multiple opportunities to win on football's grandest stage, he never won the Super Bowl—when guys like Joe Montana, Steve Young and Troy Aikman won several each.
You could say that the likes of Karl Malone, John Stockton and Patrick Ewing failed for never winning the big one during their finest hours in the NBA.
LeBron James is only 26 years old. He may not win six titles like Jordan or five like Kobe, but he will win at least two.
James is a two-time MVP and his individual accolades are staggering. He has been the most dominant presence in the NBA since Shaquille O’Neal was in his prime.
And without intending to disrespect Derrick Rose’s great season, James should have won his third straight MVP. His stats were much better across the board, while having to share the ball with Dwyane Wade, while Rose was the clear-cut No. 1 option in Chicago.
Efficient production should never be all about scoring. The less glamorous stats such as RPG, APG and SPG are just as important in helping a team win, and nobody does all of these things together and as well as James.
Last year, James was second in scoring (26.7 PPG) on 51 percent from the field, had more assists than most point guards in the league with seven per game, and had more rebounds than most centers with 7.5 per game.
NBA superstars will also tell you that James’ defense is suffocating.
Many still consider Kobe Bryant to be better than James and the NBA’s gold standard, but James has proven that he’s better. You have only to compare every aspect of their games to see why that's a fallacy.
Kobe still has the insane ability to play at an elite level, but there is absolutely no glue to that argument and there hasn't been for at least the last three years.
James is simply the best player in the game today.
And this past season, according to NBA.com, James was also the most efficient player in the NBA.
Despite early struggles, the Heat overcame adversity on several fronts last season—they proved they could play together and beat winning teams when critics said they couldn’t.
You simply can’t deny that the chemistry and synergy that the Heat have achieved by season’s end is leaps and bounds ahead of where it was at the beginning of the season, when their tribulations were at an all time high.
And the symbiosis of Miami-Thrice is simply undeniable.
Make no mistake—James is already considered as one of the 20 greatest players to ever play the game. The only thing missing from his resume is a championship.
James still has time on his side, but an acceleration in his maturation process will expedite the ultimate goal—a lack of which is a major rock on his own personal Autobahn.
But he certainly is not the same fool he was last July, which is a step in the right direction to getting the King Kong sized monkey named Maverick Carter off his back.