After years of being criticized and becoming probably the most hated sports player in the world, Lebron James can finally call himself an NBA champion.
It’s hard to believe that James was just a regular high school student ten years ago at St.Vincent-St.Mary’s in Akron, Ohio. Actually, he was the complete opposite of a regular high school student. When he was only 16 years old, and in his junior year of high school, he appeared on the cover of ESPN The Magazine. Three state championships and national championship is what Lebron left high school with, as he made it official that he would be entering the 2003 NBA Draft. He was picked by his home-state team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, as the number one pick.
James would quickly turn the franchise around, and by James’ third year, the Cavs were in the playoffs, and the next year, Cleveland was in the finals. Although they got swept by the Spurs, you could tell that James would be the center of this franchise for a long time. However, despite having the best record in the league in the 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 seasons, James and his team failed to make it back to the finals. At the end of the 2010 season, when the Cavs suffered their worst playoff loss ever to the Celtics, a game in which they were eliminated, people wondered if that was the last time they would see James in a Cavs uniform, being that James was now a free agent.
July 8,2010, Lebron James made his decision to take his talents to South Beach and become a member of the Miami Heat, joining forces with Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh. This announcement was made during a one-hour televised program called “The Decision.” In Cleveland, fans burned James’ jerseys, saying that his decision was one of the worst things in Cleveland history, ranking second to Art Modell’s efforts to relocate the Clevaland Browns to Baltimore. The next day, James signed a six-year contract with the Heat.
James’ first season with the Heat was a success, winning the eastern conference championship, by defeating the number one seeded Chicago Bulls, in five games. In the finals, the Heat faced off against the Dallas Mavericks. The Heat raced off to a victory in game one, however, they lost game two at home, as Dallas made a huge comeback to stun the Heat. By game six, Heat fans couldn’t believe what they were seeing, as Dallas celebrated winning the championship, as they had just defeated Miami, four games to two. James received much of the criticism for the loss to the Mavericks, as he only averaged 17 points per game.
The next year, there was only one thing on James and the Heat’s minds, win the championship. In the regular season, the Heat dominated much of the competition, and Miami received the number two seed in the East. They cruised through the first round, before playing the Indiana Pacers in the semi-finals. Down two games to one, Miami was on the brink of falling apart. Facing, not just the Pacers, but also a raucous crowd, James responded with one of the greatest playoff performances of all time, scoring 40 points, grabbing 18 rebounds, and dishing out nine assists, in a Heat win. Miami would go on to win the series in six games. The next series, against the Celtics, the Heat were facing elimination in game six, in Boston. However, James played terrific again, scoring 45 points in a blowout win, as the series shifted back to Miami. James and the rest of the Heat played great in game seven, and captured the conference championship for the second straight year. In the finals, the Heat faced off against the highly talented Oklahoma City Thunder, and their superstar Kevin Durant. Unlike last year, the Heat were picked to lose, and Miami dropped the first game in Oklahoma City. In game two, James scored 32 points, silencing the loud Thunder crowd, and tied the series. Games three and four also belonged to Miami, as Lebron led the Heat in scoring for both game, as Miami stood on the brink of greatness. On June 21, 2012, Lebron James and the Miami Heat defeated the Thunder in a blowout victory, as James record a triple double in the win. After the game, James was also awarded the Finals MVP. Almost two years have passed since James has made the decision, as he promised he would win a championship for the city of Miami. Love him or hate him, you cannot deny the fact that James is now a world champion.