I can’t think of a reason why I wouldn’t want to see him win a championship. If a lesson needed to be learned, if egos needed to be humbled, than their loss to the Mavericks in the Finals served those purposes. But why would I want to see him fail anymore?
Like it or not, we are basketball fans in the LeBron James era. With all great players, there comes a point when no matter how much you despise them for your own reasons, you can’t help but respect what they’re doing on the court, even appreciate and root for them after a period of time.
That time will come for LeBron James. It always does. I just have to figure out whether I want to see him fail just a little bit longer.
The criticisms for LeBron since the Decision have gone from reasonable with a touch of bitterness to irrational with complete bias and jealousy.
I think this Sunday will be the tipping point where we will all start moving towards rooting for Lebron again.
When he’s in that position again in the playoffs, with much more on the line, we will find ourselves rooting for LeBron to take that shot, and root for that shot to go in.
If only to satisfy our desire to move onto to the next conversation. And that’s the best storyline as we head into the second half. This is LeBron’s championship to lose. Even as we’ve waited year after year for him to come through, it seems the pieces are finally in place. But we’ve been down this road before. If anything, we are moving closer towards embracing LeBron again.
I think I’ve personally moved past the stage of despising LeBron at this point, more I’ve recalibrated those negative feelings into better context. It was never a personal matter, but more about how he collapsed a perfectly structured narrative with the Cavs: hometown hero rescues a franchise and city from years of failure.
It’s not enough to make the Finals again for the Heat, it has to happen a particular way. It’s not about getting there, but getting there the right way.
Most of the time, deserve’s got nothing to do with it.
But in the case of Lebron: that’s the only thing that matters to us.
What happens if LeBron has a dominating series and it’s still not good enough?
We’re headed towards another two weeks of micro-analyzing the entire LeBron situation. Know this: the narratives are shifting again, and if the Heat don’t win, it’s entirely possible that LeBron actually shoulders much less blame that what we’ve come to expect.
As we continue the continuous need to deconstruct LeBron, he’s become a proxy for our feelings. The anticipation for his failure, the need for each one of his shortcomings to remind him that he was wrong, that he is not above anything, and remind us that we stand for something better.
But by delivering a masterpiece just in the nick of time, all those feelings are pushed aside. His overwhelming talent is always has and will remain frightening.
And it reminds us that those skills is more powerful than whatever venom we can muster towards him.
He will never be the superstar that we can all admire and celebrate — but when his game decides to speak up on his behalf; we just all fall back, we sit down, we watch, and maybe, just maybe, we appreciate the magnitude of the performance.
Until tomorrow of course.
For now, there will be no tomorrow. No more conversations about what he hasn’t accomplished, what he cannot do on the basketball court.
The best player in the league is the champion at last.
And finally, we have closure to a storyline that started with The Decision, and ends all because of LeBron’s incredible playoff run, a run that I think will be appreciated in much more detail as a few seasons past and we soak in all the moments when he stepped up.