“It’s about Damn Time,” Lebron James’ immortal words on winning the NBA Championship with the Miami Heat. That’s all you need to know. He deserved to win the championship and defeat the Oklahoma City Thunder. The basketball world owed him a championship, and that is all you need to know about Lebron James’ NBA Championship. That was the motivation behind moving his talents to South Beach and buying a championship with Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh.
The Miami Heat are the first team that blatantly bought an NBA Championship. While there can be arguments that the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics teams of the past made similar moves, the players never orchestrated such a deal. David Stern even admitted his mistake on the matter by vetoing the Chris Paul trade to the Lakers. Baseball is the only sport to endorse such tactics, with teams like the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox.
The Miami Heat can now be used as a blueprint for future stars aligning in the league. What it says for most teams in the NBA is that they can enjoy superstars’ early years, and then become a footnote in their list of accomplishments. Toronto Raptors’ and Cleveland Cavaliers’ fans are feeling that way right now, especially after Nike made a whole video about it. Unless you have an unselfish superstar like Kevin Durant or Tim Duncan, they will leave the dim lights of mid-markets.
The NBA’s labor dispute did not solve any of its problems. The league has branded itself as the place for the stars. Michael Jordan became larger than the game and is still more recognizable than any NBA team’s logo. The teams do not have control of their players, as shown by the Dwight Howard-Stan Van Gundy Incident. The league does not have control of its referees, the uneven calls and bribery scandals will forever taint the league’s image. Most importantly, the fans are pulled blindly along, bowing to a reign that was bought for Lebron James and the Miami Heat. Someone should tell Seattle, the NBA’s not into sentimental underdog stories.