Lebron James is now a back to back NBA Champion and NBA Finals MVP. So now will his critics finally leave him alone.
Lebron clinched his second championship with a fabulous performance in Game 7, and with so much talk about what would happen if he had lost, he definitely put those demons to bed.
No other athlete in the sporting world has ever had this much pressure and scrutiny throughout their careers, with the media criticising every move that Lebron makes on and off the court.
Hopefully now Lebron has answered all his critics. Here is a selection of what they said.
“Lebron needs to win 5 or 6 championships before being considered one of the greats”
Well he’s now a 2 x champion at the age of 28, with many more to follow.
“Lebron won in a shortened season so it doesn’t really count”
He won his second championship in a full season and played the same number of games as every other team.
“Lebron didn’t play against a healthy Chicago Bulls”
I don’t think you could really fault Lebron for essentially not being injured. He can only play who is in front of him so he can’t be blamed for the other teams injuries. Anyway in the 2011 Eastern Conference Finals Miami beat Chicago 4-1 with a MVP Derrick Rose.
“Lebron isn’t clutch”
Most people think that being clutch is just about the ‘walk off shot’ at the buzzer to win the game. Don’t get me wrong this is clutch, but it ignores a players entire performance of the game.
In game 6 of the finals, facing losing the championship, Lebron had a triple double with 32 points, 11 assists, 10 rebounds and did hit a 3 to bring Miami with 2 points with 20 seconds left.
His Game 7 stat line was also impressive with 37 points, 12 rebounds, 4 assists with 5-10 from the 3 point line and he hit the dagger to give Miami a 4 with 28 seconds to go.
“Lebron took the easy way out and joined 2 all stars to win”
I would agree a little with this if his 2 all star team mates played like all stars. At times during the playoffs it looked like Cleveland 2.0 with Lebron.
Dwyane wade struggled with his knee, but to his credit did play well towards the end of the NBA Finals, and Chris Bosh just had a battle on his hands. Playing centre against Noah, Hibbert and Duncan is not easy and he did struggle both offensively and defensively.
Lebron pretty much carried this team and lead them in points, rebounds and assists. I don’t think this was an easy way out.
“Lebron has already lost twice in the finals, Michael Jordan never lost in the finals”
Other superstars have lost in the finals like Shaq, Kobe Bryant (twice) and now Tim Duncan. Losing in the finals doesn’t discredit their other achievements. You could say that Lebron has never lost in the first round of the playoffs, unlike Michael, but at the end of the day people will remember what you win rather than what you lost.
Finally the comparisons with Michael Jordan can be a bit too much at times. Jordan is the greatest of all time but fans and media hold him at such a high level and don’t ever want him to be caught.
Wouldn’t you like to see someone to see someone try to reach the level of Jordan? Personally I would. So I think it would be better to encourage Lebron instead of hating on his every move. Let him finish his career first, before we put him on the all time greats list.
- LeBron summons all his powers to will Heat to another NBA crown (cbssports.com)
- PBT: James, Wade once again stand as champions (probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com)
- LeBron: Shot in Game 7 was ‘an MJ moment’ (cbssports.com)