June 25th, 2012
11:01 AM ET

Miami Heat's 'King James' earns his crown

After nine long seasons, LeBron James finally picked up his first NBA title.
After nine long seasons, LeBron James finally picked up his first NBA title.

Back during his unveiling with Miami in July 2010, LeBron James promised Heat fans he would bring them “not two, not three… not seven” but maybe even more NBA championships.

While seven or eight may be a stretch, “King James” delivered at least one after the Heat ousted the Oklahoma City Thunder in five games in the NBA Finals. After all, you need to win one to get to eight, right?

It took James until his ninth season to claim his maiden title. But this victory could open the floodgates. It’s not just that he won, it is how he won.

LeBron has always posted incredible numbers during his career. But statistics do not always tell the whole story. That’s why, despite being named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player for the third time this season, critics still took shots at his inability to perform when the chips were down.

Critics pointed to his final playoff series with the Cleveland Cavaliers back in 2010, which included a 32-point home loss at the hands of the Boston Celtics, where James was accused of melting under the pressure.

They also said LeBron shied away from taking the big shot during last season’s Finals, which saw Miami blow a 2-1 series lead as the Dallas Mavericks claimed the title.

This time around, Miami took care of business, and it was with LeBron as the focal point. He was relentless from start to finish. In a team which also boasts superstar Dwyane Wade, James made clear that he would defer to no one. “King James” would earn his crown on his own.

James averaged more than 30 points per game during this season’s playoff run, including a 30-point first half in Boston. He would finish with 45 points in that game, as the Heat avoided elimination and went on to win the series.

Coincidentally, that 30-point first half happened a day after NBA legend and basketball analyst Charles Barkley pleaded for LeBron to put the Heat on his back and carry them to the Promised Land.

“King James” did just that. And by putting the Heat on his back en route to the title, he got the monkey off of it. The critics are a thing of the past. What does the future hold? Miami fans hope not two, not three… not seven, but maybe more titles for “King James.”

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soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. alehandro

    The Heat and Lebron have a title. That's the good news. The bad news is that it took 9 years, many millions of dollars and yards of column ink for King James to warrant the wearing of his crown. That's a pretty poor return on investment. The fact is a championship was massively overdue and the fact that he's finally got a ring must surely be a sense of relief more than celebration. To be fully vindicated Lebron has to be part of more title winning teams soon. Jordan earned his crown, Lebron succeeded to throne by process of elimination – the NBA needed a "face" in Kobe's declining years and Lebron's self-belief and huge potential made him the obvious choice. Sadly, he's yet to justify that huge confidence and, even after this win, needs to consolidate the victory to truly walk among the game's royalty.

    June 25, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Reply
  2. Basketball Fan

    I am so exhausted of comments of this nature. LeBron has won a Championship, Finals MVP and NBA MVP which places him among an elite group, and he knocked off serious competition to include the team that was believed to be the best in the league during the process. The NBA today could be considered somewhat different from the NBA of old; however, in many ways it is still the same, as there were big 2s and 3s, but during that era there was no foresight to call them big 2s and 3s since they were not paid, recruited or marketed that way. Many were seen as sidekicks or compliments to the actual stars. Please let King James have his moment and just watch the greatness as it continues to be revealed!

    June 26, 2012 at 1:00 am | Reply
  3. Miami

    Kobe, and MJ were so lucky to work with Phil Jackson, and other amazing players. We saw how Kobe and his team played w/o Phil Jackson. You haters will not stop talking!

    June 26, 2012 at 5:00 am | Reply
  4. AL

    What about Karl Malone, Charles Barkley, John Stockton, Patrick Ewing and countless other great players that never won a ring? A champion ship is never guaranteeed no matter how great you are as a player, that's what makes it so special. Pretty Poor Return of Investment? ?? This guy sounds like Dan Gilbert. Gimme a break

    June 27, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Reply
  5. Peasa Kende

    One need to remember where Lebron James got Cleveland Cavaliers from, this was a no team James made them have a contender on the NBA. Imagine if King James went straight to Bulls, Lakers or Celtics, how many championships would he be having? Lets the king enjoy the fruits of his labor. and if the finals were anything to go by, then we r in for an unbeatable Heat. Go King James, go heat

    June 27, 2012 at 11:52 pm | Reply
  6. Zethleen

    "King James" is just lucky that Rose can't play the finals. The true win is beating the best man/team. But if you only beat the 3rd best, it doesn't give you much except for little satisfaction.

    Oh look at the bright side, he got one title.

    July 6, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Reply
  7. Gosfield

    Talk is cheap and there's always a lot of it in these parts. The King James' Version is ACTION. I watch with wonder and admiration and I keep my mouth shut except to cheer!

    October 25, 2012 at 11:00 pm | Reply
  8. advantec333

    LBJ answers to no one but God, he is the best ever.

    June 4, 2013 at 1:57 pm | Reply

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