Nine seasons after coming into the league and two after taking his talents to South Beach, Lebron James has finally won his first championship and the respectable title “King James.” Despite the pressure from the media and their fans, James and the Heat beat the young Oklahoma City Thunder, 4-1.
The Thunder fought hard to beat several veteran teams on their way to the Finals such as the Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs, but it is clear that Miami was just too much Heat for them to handle.
The Heat’s road to the Finals wasn’t one easily paved either. Although they showed no adversity getting by the Knicks in the first round, the ones to follow gave them trouble. The Pacers gave them everything they got when they demolished Miami by 19 points to take a 2-1 series lead. This would be the last game the Pacers win in the series.
At this time, Chalmers was the leading scorer for their team and Joel Anthony was the third. Wade had one of the worst games with 5 points (2-13 FG) while Chris Bosh was out with an injury that would sideline him for the next seven games.
Like always, Lebron received much of the criticism and people began to doubt him when he couldn’t help his team win a crucial Game 3. Despite the criticism, Lebron led the Heat to a 101-93 win in Game 4 after finishing with 40 points, 18 rebounds and 9 assists.
Miami faced some obstacles in the next series as well against the Boston Celtics. Panic and doubt surrounded the Heat as they lost their third straight game with Boston taking a 3-2 series lead.
The Heat had lost at home in an inexcusable fourth-quarter performance and their team was scrutinized for their lack of effort. Fans began picking apart their team for the sake of their future wondering if Spoelstra will get fired, or who will get traded away, Bosh or Wade. Everyone continued to criticize Lebron for his poor fourth quarter performances and lack of leadership.
Despite the criticism once again, the Heat would prevail and win Game 5 by 19 points. In elimination games where Lebron and the Heat were expected to fail, they played hard and put on a great enough performance to get the job done and silence their critics. For the people who continuously criticized Lebron for not being able to “carry his team,” in Game 5, he shot 73% from the field and besides Wade, he was the only Miami player to score in double figures.
Lastly, in their final series versus the young and hungry Oklahoma City Thunder in the Finals, the Heat had a much easier time than people predicted. Lebron played like a Finals MVP should with another Hall of Fame worthy performance, finishing his MVP season off with a triple double. He also continued his streak of 25+ points in a game, a streak he began 15 games ago during Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
By his critics, Lebron is often called a “choker,” but in this playoff run, with his spectacular performances under the pressure of elimination in each series, he prevailed with great effort to prove everyone wrong. That doesn’t look like choking to me.
During “The Decision,” Lebron promised quite a few championships, “not one, not two, not three, etc;” although we can’t be sure that Lebron can keep that promise, there is one thing we can be sure about: for the first time in his NBA career, Lebron can be called a champion.