Has a 3rd Fi­nals loss tainted Lebron James’s legacy?

The Covington News - - SPORTS -

In the world of sports there are al­ways spe­cial su­per­stars who come around once ev­ery gen­er­a­tion who dazzle fans around the globe with their abil­ity to dom­i­nate their sport. In the ‘80s there was Joe Mon­tana, Magic Jon­son and Larry Bird. In the ‘90s there was Barry Bonds, Ken Grif­fey Jr. and Michael Jordan. And in to­day’s gen­er­a­tion there is cur­rent NBA su­per­star, Lebron James.

How­ever, when those su­per­stars are con­sid­ered that great they are also ex­pected to pro­duce greatly on the cham­pi­onship level and that can carry an im­mense amount of pres­sure men­tally.

Lebron James has just con­cluded his 11th sea­son in the NBA, and he has been one of the most dom­i­nant play­ers in the league all of those sea­sons. In five of those 11 sea­sons he has led his team to the NBA Fi­nals whether it was the Cleve­land Cava­liers or Mi­ami Heat.

How­ever, af­ter los­ing to the San An­to­nio Spurs last week, James has now lost three out of those five times on the NBA’s great­est show­case.

When he first ap­peared in 2007 as the leader and cap­tain of the Cleve­land Cava­liers the main ques- East­ern Con­fer­ence, it seemed fit­ting that the Heat would cruise to a third straight cham­pi­onship vic­tory.

But then the sim­i­lar­i­ties of 2011 be­came the re­al­ity of 2014. The Heat lost to the Spurs in five games and failed to get their “three-peat.” Un­like 2011, Lebron was great, but the sup­port­ing cast was not. This se­ries has com­pared to his 2007 se­ries with Cleve­land, but this was worse than that.

Lebron may have got­ten swept in 2007, but at least the games were closer than the blowouts for the 2014 Heat. This gave Lebron his third fi­nals loss and while it’s not fair to him for how well he played, this loss does hurt his legacy a lit­tle bit but it also es­tab­lishes him as his own man.

James has said var­i­ous times that he isn’t Magic, Bird, Jordan or Kobe. He is Lebron James. He isn’t per­fect, but he is great.

How­ever, what we as fans tend to fail to re­al­ize is he is 29 years old, and as long as he stays healthy he can win many more cham­pi­onships be­cause all these losses do is make him bet­ter.

Kobe has been to seven NBA Fi­nals and won only five of them. Magic car­ried the Lak­ers to nine NBA fi­nals but only has five cham­pi­onships. That doesn’t change the way we view them and their great­ness and at the end of Lebron’s ca­reer in the long run it ul­ti­mately won’t change how we view him. Or will it?

He continues to be the most scru­ti­nized player by fans around the league whether it’s los­ing, not tak­ing the big shot or pos­si­bly jump­ing from team to team. We all should stop crit­i­ciz­ing him for his flaws and en­joy him for his great­ness. Be­cause just like the oth­ers, he too will one day be gone away from the game and we will miss it.

tion ev­ery­one was ask­ing was, “Could this be the start of an­other Jordan-es­que era?” But we quickly learned it wasn’t his time just yet.

A few more sea­sons went by and Lebron had quickly es­tab­lished him­self as the best player in the game talent wise..

Then came the sum­mer of 2010, and Lebron’s in­fa­mous “de­ci­sion.” That is where we learned Lebron would take his tal­ents to South Beach to join Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh on the Mi­ami Heat and he quickly be­came the most scru­ti­nized, hated su­per­star the NBA has ever seen.

Four years later and here we are. Lebron went on to ap­pear in the fi­nals four times with the Heat. He won two cham­pi­onships and lost two cham­pi­onships.

The 2014 play­offs were very sim­i­lar to 2011 for the Mi­ami Heat.

Af­ter dom­i­nat­ing

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