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Give LeBron some credit for title win

June 22, 2012
By JAMES ANDERSEN - News Sports Editor (sports@thealpenanews.com) , The Alpena News

Can the media circus stop now?

Can the Heat just go back to being a regular NBA team?

Can we quit making up stupid nicknames, can LeBron James stop making an enemies list and telling us all to get back to our pathetic lives?

Article Photos

He's finally got a ring now, winning one in his third attempt as Miami finished off Oklahoma City 121-106 on Thursday to wrap up an NBA title.

Yes, LeBron finally has a ring, but then again, so does Chris Bosh. So does Mario Chalmers. So does Eddy Curry. So do several other players.

How about Mike Miller, who turned in a 23-point performance in Game 5 including seven makes from downtown and then limped off the court in the fourth quarter?

How about Detroit Country Day product Shane Battier, one of the real class acts of the NBA who scored 17 points in Game 2 and gets a title long after he stopped being a go-to guy.

There's big man Juwan Howard who gets a title after his 10th stop in the league and becomes the first and only member of Michigan's Fab Five to win a title at the professional level.

How about the job coach Erik Spoelstra, who supposedly wasn't going to be able enough to handle the huge assemblage of talent before him and would have to give way to Pat Riley midway through last season when Miami's players were crying (or not, but they probably were) in the locker room after a string of losses.

But now back to LeBron.

As a sports writer, I'm not really supposed to be a "fan" of athletes. But I do appreciate great athletes excelling at what they do best. I've always found that it's pretty cool to see the best of the best win titles, even if it's just one, because there are so many great ones, including Hall of Famers, who never win championships.

You can call him whatever names you like. You can still hate the Heat and the "villains" its players are supposed to be.

However you feel about it, LeBron's resume now includes the words NBA Champion.

Yes yes, we know, The Decision was a horrendous idea and maybe it would've been a little more of a feel-good moment if he'd won in Cleveland as The Guy.

One thing's for sure though, he certainly didn't take the easy way to a title. Getting to the finals two years in a row was not easy. Being tested several times during this year's run, including a Game 7 with Boston in the conference finals was hardly child's play. Winning four games against a team with the hottest scorer in the league and a talented bunch of young players was anything but a cakewalk.

He's simply fulfilling the goal he set for himself and his teammates when he took his talents to South Beach (can we please stop using that phrase now?) in the summer of 2010. The game's best player is showing why he's the game's best player and now he's got some real hardware to prove it.

There was no shrinking from LeBron in Game 5, who turned in a game for the ages, 26 points, 11 rebounds and 13 assists, to become just the fifth player to turn in a triple-double in a title-clinching game. The Heat didn't just win the title, Miami was in control from start to finish and got the job done this time.

And hold the argument about having to team with Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh to win. No team ever wins a title with just one player and even the "dynasties" have loads of talent that extends to the last guy on the bench. Even with three of best players in the game on one team, the Heat were nearly eliminated by Boston and, at times, haven't gelled as everyone thought they would.

With the burden of winning the first title out of the way though, the sky could be the limit for LeBron and the Heat when it comes to winning championships. Who knows, Miami may very well win seven or eight rings as LeBron famously declared during that victory party in Miami a few years ago. To paraphrase a line from those old Super Fans sketches on Saturday Night Live, we might not be talking about a repeat or a three-peat or even a four-peat. We might be talking a minimum eight-peat.

That scenario is highly unlikely though. Will there be a repeat? Maybe. Since 2000, only two franchises have won back-to-back titles: the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Lakers.

With the intense level of competition in the NBA now, getting back to the finals is quite a task and there are a number of teams that have legitimate chances to duke it out for championships for the next several years including the Thunder.

Love him or hate him, at least LeBron has a ring now and for at least the next several months, Miami is at the top of the basketball world. And the sports world gets a break from that all-important question we'll all be asking during the middle of the 2012-13 season.

What's wrong with the Heat?

 
 

 

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