LBJ: GREATEST EVER?
Last year, Lebron took it on the chin from all-comers, including myself. He took his criticism for the hoopla surrounding his free-agency and his one-hour EPIC FAIL called “The Decision”. Lebron chose to embrace his new role as the villain. It became his main motivation. However, that idea came crashing down as he had an NBA Finals performance to forget. Lebron averaged 17.8 points during the 2011 NBA Finals. This was nearly nine points lower than his average during the regular season. His fourth-quarter stats were dreadful. It seemed as if the labels that critics have cast upon Lebron James had some truth to them.
Lebron James has now joined the ranks of the great NBA players that have led their teams to an NBA championship. There are varying reasons for his triumph. One reason that was documented by Lebron himself was a change in his mental approach. Last year, Lebron’s motivation was hate and animosity towards the critics. During his post-game interview, he noted that it was a detrimental approach. This year, he chose to ignore the hatred and played the game with love. Lebron James averaged 30.3 points and 9.7 rebounds during the entire playoff. The finest moment of the NBA playoffs for Lebron James was his Game 6 performance against the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals. All the critics believed that Lebron would simply give up just like he did in the 2010 Eastern Conference Semis against the Celtics. Well, Lebron unleashed an unforgettable 45-point performance that aided in the Heat’s series victory over Boston.
Lebron’s success in 2012 stemmed from the fact that he was hungry for a championship. His motivation spilled onto the rest of his teammates in the NBA Finals. This could be seen in the way that Chris Bosh dominated the boards against Oklahoma City despite a recent abdominal strain. It could be seen in Shane Battier’s consecutive 17-point performances in Game 1 and Game 2. It was seen in Mike Miller’s inspiring 23-point performance in the series-clinching win despite being practically hunched over due to back problems. Miami’s supporting cast played at an abnormally high level during the NBA Finals. This made Miami practically untouchable and too good for the Oklahoma City Thunder.
There is no question that Lebron shut a lot of critics up. He deserves his moment of glory. Now it will remain to be seen if he wins six, seven, or eight championships.