The Miami Heat and LeBron James faced elimination from the NBA Finals at the hands of the San Antonio Spurs. With 28 seconds remaining in game six, it took two incredible 3-pointers, one from James and one from Ray Allen, to force overtime where the Heat prevailed.
Miami prevailed in Game 7 as well to win their second consecutive NBA Championship. However, the biggest winner of the series and the deciding game was LeBron.
James was under a ton of scrutiny through the first five games of the series as he was allowing San Antonio to force him out of playing his game and to take ill-advised shots. In Game 6, he answered with a triple-double and followed that with a 37-point, 12-rebound performance in the final game, enough to earn him Finals MVP honors.
LeBron is one of the most heavily criticized athletes in all of professional sports, not just basketball. He shoots a jumper, people want him to drive to the basket and draw a foul. If he goes to the rim and gets the foul, people say he flopped. It’s a never-ending cycle with James.
The primary narrative leading up to last year’s playoffs was that James was great, but he couldn’t win a championship; he answered those questions. The narrative in this year’s NBA Finals was that LeBron had reverted back to his ways prior to last season and was going to crumble when it mattered; he answered that call, too.
When it comes down to it, we are watching one of the most gifted basketball players at the height of his talents right now. He occasionally flops, complains a little much and has bad games because, contrary to what some believe, he is a human being. Those types of things are going to happen.
LeBron came into the league as the self-proclaimed “King James.” However, now that he’s won back-to-back titles by carrying the Heat on his back, it’s hard to imagine anyone denying his crown.