Editor’s note: Please welcome to the Project Spurs family Kyle Boenitz. Kyle is an aspiring sports writer and if his name sounds familiar, it’s because you might have seen him on San Antonio’s News 4 WOAI Sports Roundtable. Kyle will be writing weekly on NBA news and stories aside from the Spurs here at Project Spurs. We are excited to add him to our outstanding team. Enjoy his debut post on Miami Heat’s LeBron James.
Miami Heat’s LeBron James had the most to lose this year.
It wasn’t going to be Dwyane Wade, he stayed with his team and had already won a championship. It could have been Chris Bosh, but he just doesn’t seem to enjoy the spotlight as much. Not to mention, people found out pretty quickly that Bosh wasn’t as much of a prime-time player as advertised.
No, it had to be LeBron. He put a target on his back the second he decided to publicly announce his future plans on live TV. He made it worse when his team decided to hold a victory celebration before the season even started. Even if you didn’t think a trio of all-stars was worthy of being the best team in the NBA, you still wanted to beat them more than anyone else.
So when all the other teams had fallen, only one remained, and that team stood between LeBron and silence from all the haters. Four wins and he could finally rest easy, he would have his championship that he burned so many bridges for. It might all seem worth it. But when the dust settled, the Dallas Mavericks were victorious and LeBron had lost more than just the series.
Respect was probably the most important. Even if you didn’t like him, you had to respect him if you respect the game of basketball. He can play and there’s no doubt about that. But in six games he severely tarnished his legacy. This generation’s biggest basketball debate, “LBJ vs. MJ” finally has an answer.
I was always on the fence about that one, because I felt their skill set was comparable but LeBron’s physical presence might have put him into number one on the all-time list. I’m no longer on the fence. In fact, I fell face first on to Jordan’s side. Funny enough, that clip of the movie Bad Teacher shown a thousand times during the NBA playoffs – It’s the only argument I need, Sean! – is now outdated, because we’d just laugh that kid out of school.
Jordan would have never sat back and watched his team crumble like that. Jordan was always one of those guys that you could just see the competitive spirit in his eye, you knew he wasn’t going to let his team lose.
We also learned James isn’t good at responding to criticism. The athletes that we think of as the big names in sports will shut up the media when faced with scrutiny. If Tom Brady had a bad game, and was bashed by reporters, you know he’d come out next Sunday and play like his life depended on it. You just don’t see that spark from LeBron. I kept expecting him to come out and score 50 after all the criticism, I was honestly sad it didn’t happen.
Just looking at this season, you have to consider LeBron the biggest loser, but the Heat aren’t done yet. I’ll be shocked if they’re not right back in the finals next year, and LeBron will get another chance to cement his place in basketball history.
But how many chances should he get?