LeBron James and His Tarnished NBA Legacy

Carlos IglesiaContributor IIIDecember 26, 2011

ORLANDO, FL - DECEMBER 21:  LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat looks on during a preseason game against the Orlando Magic at Amway Center on December 21, 2011 in Orlando, 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

Possibly the most "hated" and scrutinized player in NBA history, LeBron James is also an extremely gifted athlete. Among the best in the business, there's no denying that. 

The first overall NBA draft pick in 2003, he has been one of the most hyped-up sports stars in recent memory. With several MVP awards and All-Star game appearances, his accolades go on and on.

But he keeps messing up.

In seven years with his own Cleveland Cavaliers team, he always fell short. We saw him "choke" against teams like Boston back then—lots of hype, but no cigar.

He then decides to bring "his talents to South Beach."  Dwayne Wade's team, in Wade county, where Wade already had won without him in 2006. And he makes an infamous, ill-advised circus about it, with predictions of seven straight championships and "now or never" tweets.

Even mocking other players like Dirk Nowitzki on national TV, or reminding fans that they have to "get back to reality," if you recall. 

And then he proceeds to lay a huge egg last final series against Dallas, which clearly cost the Heat the championship. Another choking job, much like he did against Boston and other teams before playing with his Cavaliers.

Even if this Miami Heat team wins three championships now, many people won't forget all that, plus the infamous things LeBron James has said and done in the public spotlight.

He seems to be a fine person in his private life, but so are many NBA players. Some are even more generous and humble with charity work and such contributions. 

LeBron messed up, and he's getting exactly what he deserves from NBA fans: tons of criticism everywhere. 

Some prominent TV analysts, such as stars like Magic Johnson, Charles Barkley or Shaquille O'Neal, might forget and forgive LeBron James for these first eight years of underachievements. And most Heat fans will probably also forget and start idolizing the talented, yet mentally-flawed player. 

Especially if he helps D. Wade and Bosh win a couple championships for Miami now.

I won't forget, regardless of what happens from now on. 

In my book, his legacy is tarnished forever.