Only two summers ago, LeBron James and the Miami Heat were celebrating. However, it wasn’t for the reason they wanted. After defeating the Oklahoma City Thunder in game five at American Airlines Arena in South Beach, the confetti poured down for all the right reasons. LeBron James and the Miami Heat had finally won the NBA championship. After the game James said, “It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done as a basketball player”.
After making the decision to sign with the Miami Heat instead of re-signing with his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers, James began a long time period of receiving criticism from just about everyone. From the fans in Cleveland burning his jersey to nearly every reporter and writer criticizing his inability to close out games, James quickly became the most hated player in the NBA.
Only a season ago, James was sitting in the losing locker room after the NBA finals. After last year’s loss in the finals to the Dallas Mavericks, James went through some of the harshest criticism any NBA player has ever seen.
Now, he has finally silenced his critics. He has won that NBA championship he so badly desired. The questions are endless. Does it make him better than Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant? Is this what legitimizes his legacy? Nonetheless, after nine grueling years in his NBA career, LeBron James can finally put on his championship ring.
After losing game one in Oklahoma City, the Heat turned a switch and took complete control of the series. The Heat went on to win four straight games (one on the road, three at home), to win the NBA finals. Although this time, it wasn’t just the “big three”. They found support from different players and that was the big difference from last season.
Of course the majority of the credit must go to Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh and most importantly, LeBron James. Compared to last post-season, these three played much better together. However they didn’t have a supporting cast. It was Shane Battier with 17 points in the first two games. Mario Chalmers’ 25 points in game four and Mike Millers’ 23 points in game five that put the Heat above the Thunder.
When it came down to each teams big three, the Thunder actually outscored them. However, the Heat out did them in just about every other category. They finally learned how to play together which is just scary. Many believe this is just the beginning of the Miami Heats’ legacy.
In a condensed season due to the infamous lockout, we witnessed some of the youngest teams be more successful than others. Both the Miami Heat and the Oklahoma City Thunder were able to prevail to the finals. However in the end, experience triumphed over youth and the Heat went home with the championship.