As I’m typing this, the Lebron James-led Miami Heat have just captured their second NBA Championship on their home court in Miami, Florida. A home court that produced one of the loudest crowds from start to finish that I’ve ever heard at a basketball game. He did it. He finally did it. Lebron James won an NBA Championship. After all the years he spent toiling in Cleveland for the Cavaliers. After the epic sh*t storm that befell him when he jumped ship to South Beach to team up with Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh in hopes of turning Miami into Titletown, NBA. After losing in six games to the Dallas Mavericks last year in the NBA Finals. After the season threatening lock out. After all of that, Lebron is a world champion. And each and every one of you should be ecstatic.
You all wanted him to win this title. Even if you think you wanted him to lose, you wanted him to win. Everyone loves to kick a man when he’s down. That’s just human nature. People will never remember Ben Affleck for any of the good work that he's done as an actor. They will only remember Gigli. That’s because it’s more fun to make jokes about a loss. Headlines are more creative when you have ammunition. The closest thing I can compare this effect that Lebron James has on people is Peyton Manning. Some years ago, all people did was talk about how great Peyton Manning is. He has incredible stats. He leads his team so amazingly. He has such a mind for the game, but, man, that Peyton Manning…he can’t win the big game. Tom Brady will always be a better quarterback because he wins the Super Bowls, and Peyton just can’t get that W at the end of the season. Well, he did. Finally, Peyton Manning won the Super Bowl in 2007. Fast forward three years. At Super Bowl XLIV, the New Orleans Saints trounced Peyton Manning and his Indianapolis Colts, but the conversation the next day wasn’t about whether or not Manning could win the big game. It was about how great of a game the Saints played to win their first NFL title after the horrible events of Hurricane Katrina that had rocked the lives of everyone in New Orleans and what it meant to the people of that city. Why? Because Peyton had already WON the big game. He had nothing to prove anymore. The press couldn’t kick a loser, because, when all was said and done, Peyton still had his ring from three years prior. The press coverage wasn’t about what Peyton did to lose the big game. It was about what the Saints did to win it.
What does this have to do with King James? Simple. People hate Lebron because they’re sick of hearing about Lebron. If the Miami Heat had dropped this series to the Oklahoma City Thunder, the entire offseason press cycle would have been dominated by stories of what Lebron has to do next year to win the championship. Will he ever win a championship? Was it all worth it? Will he leave Miami to go to another team where his chances are better? Why does Lebron hate the NBA fans? Why is he so willing to throw his teammates and management under the bus? It was his fault. He should have single handedly defeated NBA scoring champion Kevin Durant. OH MY GOD! How annoying would that be? Even Lebron James would hate Lebron James after all of that. However, now that Bron-Bron has won the big one, everyone will discuss this team's amazing game five performance (seriously? Mike Millar was 7-8 on three pointers! That’s unreal. I think he’s a witch). Then, they'll talk about this team’s place in NBA history. Maybe a few days of Lebron vs. Jordan talk, and then everyone will MOVE! THE F#CK! ON! The conversation is over, and no one will have the Miami Heat crammed down their throat for the next four months. There will be less discussion and dissection of everything that he does. In general, there will be less Lebron James.
And, to be fair, that’s what everyone wanted anyway, and you weren’t going to get it until Lebron James won it all. And THAT is why I wanted Lebron James to win tonight, and so did you.