Appreciating The Greatness of LeBron James
At the time of this post being made, the Los Angeles Lakers were just eliminated by the Phoenix Suns in 6 games. As you would expect there was plenty of talk on all social media platforms about their performance. Of course, there was plenty of talk about the others for the Lakers, but most of the conversation was about LeBron James. The Lakers, along with the Miami Heat, have been blasted with comments about being bubble frauds. These teams have been hearing it since the end of last season. I never fully understood the bubble jokes. Each team that went to Orlando for the bubble, had the same opportunity to win a championship. The bubble is a story for another time, I am here to talk about the leader of the Los Angeles Lakers. LeBron is somebody that is used to being in the public. This goes all the way back to his days in high school when he was on the cover of Slam magazine. We have seen his high of highs, his low of lows, and everything in the middle. In my 23 years of living, there has never been a more hyped prospect coming into the league. Coming out of high school, he had the expectations of Hall of Famers. Even with that pressure on his shoulders at 18, LeBron still exceeded those expectations. LeBron is arguably a consensus top-five player to ever touch a basketball. I tell people all the time that LeBron is the greatest player I have ever seen play basketball in my lifetime. I know people will bring up Jordan, Kareem, Magic among other names, but all I have of those players are highlights. I have personally seen a prime LeBron game from jump ball to the final buzzer. I cannot say that about those other names. I have watched him take below-average Cavs teams to the finals. He has put on some of the most breathe taking performances in NBA history. It was not until later in my life that I understood the greatness that I was witnessing. LeBron is not without fault though. In the moment, the move to Miami with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh is a move that I hated. The hatred I had for the move went further than just the teaming up of three future Hall of Famers. I was not of big fan of the moves that preceded them ever taking the court together as teammates. The decision and the introduction to the team rubbed me the wrong way. It appears they were celebrating championships that they had not won yet. I also did not like the move because I was a Knicks fan. I knew my team stood no chance against the Heat. They had too much talent to overpower almost anyone. You can guess that when the Dallas Mavericks won the 2011 championship, I was ecstatic. It felt good to see the "Heatles" get humbled. They were knocked off their mountain top. LeBron was at the lowest point of his NBA career. Little did the world know that that moment would unlock a new mindset in LeBron. From that point on, he became unstoppable. He took home two more MVP trophies, four championships, four finals MVP trophies, and countless other awards. His 2012-13 season was the greatest season I had seen, until I Steph's unanimous MVP season. You could tell that he unlocked a new mindset. He eventually went back home and won a championship in the biggest comeback ever. The 3-1 comeback will be one of the first memories to come to mind when then thinking of LeBron. He now dons the purple and gold, and he even delivered banner number 17 to the city of Angels. This playoff may be a look at the "decline" of LeBron, or it may just be fatigue and injuries. No matter if it is the former or the latter, everyone should appreciate the greatness of LeBron before he calls it a career.