Now that we have had a few months to reflect and get some perspective over the last season, it would seem to me that most of the basketball world was wrong about Lebron James’ first year in Miami being a failure. Cavs owner Dan Gilbert and the Cleveland fans acted like they have actually won something when Dallas Beat Miami for the NBA Title. How pathetic is that? His team came in dead last. What about that prediction that they would win a championship before Lebron and the Heat does? I sure wouldn’t mind betting him on that.
Now let me be clear, the way Lebron left Cleveland was cold hearted. Perhaps he should have gone about it a lot differently in hindsight. But really, was there any way to let them down easy? He was so worshipped in Cleveland there was really nothing he could have done. If he had said “I love it here in Cleveland and the fans here are great. I really tried to get Dwayne to sign with us but he was determined to stay in Miami. So if I want to join up with him I have to leave,” it may have softened the blow a little, but not much.
So let’s look at how “The Decision” worked out in year one. In Cleveland, Lebron played for the Cavs for six years and made one trip to The Finals. In that series the Cavs were swept by the Spurs. So he was four wins away. In year one Miami was knocked out in The Finals in six games. That’s two wins away. So he already gotten closer than ever before. Isn’t it a pretty safe bet that he and his Miami team will get better the more they play together?
I’m sure the pre-season bravado and championship predictions, or should I say multiple championship predictions, made it easy to laugh when they fell short. But unless you’re a Dallas fan, Miami went further than their teams. And from the way it looks, Lebron was never going to lead a team to a championship by himself anyway. With those pitiful second half performances in the Finals, Lebron for whatever reason does not have that “I’m taking over now, get out of my way” mentality. It seems like he knew this before the rest of the basketball world did.
Really, is there anything wrong with that? Is basketball not a team sport? If only the “star” gets credit for winning the title then let’s forget about five-on-five and go to one-on-one games. Scottie Pippen, James Worthy and Kevin McHale had Hall of Fame careers and walked away with a lot of Championship Rings. What’s wrong with that? If Lebron rides Wade’s coattails to a couple of World Championships isn’t that better than being the alpha male in Cleveland and coming up short every year?
If we have a season in 2011-12, when Cavalier fans are watching the Heat go deep into the playoffs, are they again going to jump on the bandwagon of Miami’s opponents? If so, that is sad. Can you picture Yankee fans or even Rays fans rejoicing over the Phillies beating the Red Sox in the World Series? Would Steeler fans get a thrill out of the Ravens losing the Super Bowl? Being there and losing is better than not being there at all.