MIAMI- If there was ever a player that had the weight of the world on his shoulders, it was none other than LeBron James last season. If you thought that last season was hard, then this season will be even harder for James if he wants his Miami Heat team to repeat as NBA champions.
Ever since he was drafted first overall by his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers, James has had the weight of the whole world on his back until this past season. After eight seasons with the Cavaliers, James decided that it was time for a change, which we all know as the “The Decision,” where James announced in front of the whole world that “he was taking his talents to South Beach”–now known as the day James betrayed Cleveland.
Or maybe it was ever since the James quote that the Heat “would win not one, not two, etc.” speech that has really carried a burden over him, but either way it goes, the pressure will never stop mounting for James until the day he decides to hang it up for good.
James, a three-time MVP, eight-time all-star and NBA Finals MVP, goes into this 2012-2013 season with one goal: to bring another championship to South Beach. After a historic playoff run in which James averaged 30.3 PPG, 9.7 RBG, and 5.6 APG, which ended with his first NBA championship, he knows that his Heat team still has some more work to do, and it starts with him.
It was James who decided to leave Cleveland to join buddies Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to form the The Big Three and who put the world on notice that the Heat would be a team to reckon with for years to come. So, it should be no surprise that the Heat will live and die with the play of James.
In James’ first season with the Heat, while the Heat made it to the NBA Finals, they ultimately lost as James choked in the Finals. This season, however, was a different story as the Heat went all the way and James was the main reason.
Coming into this season, James will have even more pressure to bring the NBA championship back to South Beach, but nonetheless, expectations will be sky high in Miami.
The Heat improved themselves over the off-season, bringing in ex-Celtic Ray Allen along with Rashard Lewis to solidify their outside game in a move that will further establish James as multidimensional this season.
After struggling so much with his jumper and mid-range game last season, James made it a point of emphasis to work on his post-game in order to diversify his game. After working with the great Hakeem Olajuwon, James came into last season a changed man, but when we really saw the change was in the NBA Finals, where James dominated Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder, opening up the three point arc for players like Shane Battier, Mario Chalmers and Mike Miller to have big games.
Feeding off those NBA Finals, the Heat will ask James to play more of a power forward role this season, realizing that nobody can defend his 6-8 260 pound frame. This will open up lanes for Wade to drive and kick outs for Chalmers, Battier and now Allen and Lewis to bomb away threes at will.
A healthy Wade and Bosh will help James, but as we all know the Heat will ultimately go as James goes and if last season was a glimpse, then the Heat will be just fine this season.