The season is over, the abrupt end to Miami's run to a championship is behind us, and now begins the long off-season of rebuilding; both of rosters and emotions.
Many believe that LeBron's incredible balling skills dropped in the Finals because of his inability to handle the role when it counted, but there are just as many who think he immaturely turned sour after he just couldn't rack up his usual point totals.
Whatever the reason for LeBron not being the superstar he is during the Finals this past year, he has some serious cleaning up to do of his image. Sure he helped take the Heat to within two wins of an NBA championship, but the path he took to that point left many angry fans in its wake.
Saying that Cavs' fans are angry might be an understatement, and there are plenty of other NBA enthusiasts who pretty much hate him. However, LeBron has the Heat fans to deal with as well. He was supposed to be their savior and help D-Wade earn another ring, but instead he didn't step up when he was needed the most.
LeBron can restore his image if he manages to make the right moves in the coming months. Here are five things that he can do to win over some fans he lost over the last year.
First and foremost, LeBron's job after the loss in the Finals is to get to work. He needs to get in the gym and on the court and up his game to an elite level. He almost completely disappeared in the last few games of the playoffs and he needs to come back on day one of next season with a vengeance. LeBron has to show the Heat fans he is ready to get down and dirty and earn himself and South Beach an NBA title.
Actions speak much louder than words—no promises of a title or press conferences apologizing for what happened. Just straight up LeBron being LeBron and getting it done on the court. Heat fans couldn't ask for more.
The majority of Miami Heat fans (those who were loyal before this season, especially) will tell you that this has been and will continue to be Wade's team ever since he arrived from Marquette. The fact is that when a player of LeBron's caliber joins your team, he is definitely going to steal some of the limelight.
In another attempt to win over the Heat fans heading into next year, LeBron will have to prove to them that he's only here to help Wade win it all and be the perfect partner on the court instead of the team's main event.
I'm sure you all know the feeling when you're really pissed off at someone and they try to talk and make it worse by apologizing? Yeah, well that's pretty much how the Cavs fans feel right now.
Nobody in Cleveland wants to hear LeBron apologize or say anything for that matter about why he left them or how he feels since he left them. LeBron needs to get over the move to South Beach himself and let everything blow over.
Nothing he can say or do (short of a return to Cleveland, which I'm not so sure will work either) will change their minds about LeBron, and he just needs to shut up and get on with trying to win a ring for Miami.
This one is meant for both the Cavs and Heat fans alike.
LeBron needs to control himself emotionally or his breakdown in the Finals could become a recurring tailspin and he could completely lose control. Nobody wants to see LeBron become a completely different player on the court because he couldn't handle the pressure. They certainly don't want to see him tweet a round-about F You! to his haters the day after getting eliminated from the playoffs.
The NBA is an intense league with endless amounts of scrutiny from the team, fans, analysts and haters. If LeBron learns to take all that in stride and use it to prove his doubters wrong he will be the better man and player afterwards.
This one definitely won't win back the Cleveland group of haters but it will certainly do wonders for him in South Florida.
The reason LeBron left the Cavs and came to Miami was to win a championship, and getting that checked off his bucket list will finally turn the hate into love. Not only will LeBron's own confidence grow but he will start to earn the respect that Heat fans give to Wade. Get it done, LeBron and you're good to go.