It's Still Too Early to Crown LeBron James King
And that’s the problem with James’ entitlement. Granted it was worse before he became a champion, but there is still so much work to be done. Rest assured the scrutiny will not stop after this season. Will the Heat repeat? Will James’ title run end at one? At two? He is always suggesting he isn’t worried about his legacy, but if James only has one title, that resume looks pretty slim compared to the giants he’s compared to. No, there has to be pressure for more success. This title is only the beginning of what’s expected.
(Don’t get me wrong, the Heat have all the reason in the world to celebrate. But C’mon—an LMFAO concert and a $200,000 bar tab on the night of your coronation? This is part of the reason people wanted them to crash and burn, and why the Dallas Mavericks were rooted for).
Lastly (and I’ll only touch on this, because I’ve got another article coming up exploring this a little more), James won this title with Miami, not Cleveland. And yes, it’s not entirely his fault for having to go elsewhere in order to win—the Cavaliers were just too inept in building around him. But for all the whining that Jordan, Bryant, and Magic Johnson did early in their careers, they stuck to their original teams. Even Larry Bird stuck with his Celtics for five seasons after his last Finals appearance in 1987, instead of trying to sneak on a contender as a veteran looking for another championship. Shaquille O’Neal will be remembered as an all-time great, but to what city does he owe his allegiance? Los Angeles? Miami? Orlando?
(Man, it must suck being a Cavs fan right now).
At the end of the day, greatness surely isn’t determined by success alone—ask any of the Hall of Famers that retired without a ring. Ask Adam Morrison, who has not one, but two rings from his time with the Los Angeles Lakers. LeBron James would be a shoe-in for the Hall of Fame even if he never got a ring. His ability cannot be questioned.
But the greatest find a way to get it done multiple times. Like Jordan did. Like Kobe Bryant is still trying to do. And like LeBron James will (or so has been promised). Am I going too far by already saying this championship isn’t enough to vindicate James’ efforts in the eyes of his naysayers? Maybe.
But then again, so is crowning him the “King” when his incumbency has only just begun.