LeBron James will surpass Jordan
NBA Finals players LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, James Harden will play for the USA (AFP)
LeBron James has the time and talent to surpass Michael Jordan as the greatest basketball player of all time.
I for one am a Jordan fan and will always marvel at his achievements. He is, in my eyes, without a doubt the greatest sportsman to ever compete in any sport. But the footsteps of LeBron’s size 16s will be heard over the coming years to challenge Jordan’s amazing records.
LeBron James is an amazingly multi-talented basketball player with freakish physical attributes. As a Miami Heat fan, watching him at Cleveland he was a one-man band who often won out against double and triple teams.
He recorded ridiculous numbers despite all the focus by opponents knowing that if you keep him quiet you should win.
Despite his magical performances year in and year out, he was only able to reach the NBA finals once with the Cavaliers. He needed a sidekick, as MJ had at the Bulls with Scottie Pippen. He decided to join the Miami Heat which would finally give him other players who could help him win the NBA finals.
The welcoming party was by all means well over the top as was The Decision broadcast, even though money went to his charity. I must say I was excited at the prospect of ‘The King’ arriving in South Beach to play with Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh, but the party was not required.
This just riled up fans of other teams as well as the teams themselves into despising the signings of James and Bosh even more.
LeBron had a sensational 2011 regular season with the Heat, posting 26.7 points, 7.5 rebounds and 7 assists per game. LBJ continued on with a good playoff series however he did not take the lead in the Finals when required and seemed reluctant on the big stage.
As a fan I was hugely disappointed, but knew that if it wasn’t for his play prior to the finals we would not have been in that position.
What would define LeBron is how he responded to his personal failing in the NBA finals when his team were leading 2-1 in the best of 7 series. After a few weeks of feeling sorry for himself he got back in the gym and started to work on his post game.
The Heat needed another dimension to their game due to the lack of big men in their squad. LeBron wanted to get better as a player and he certainly did that.
Then started the year of LeBron! His play was simply brutal. Whatever the Heat needed from him on any given night, he delivered. His (albeit lockout shortened season) was one of the best of all time.
His stats read 27.1 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 6.2 apg and 1.9 spg at a career high 53% shooting percentage.
Surely he couldn’t improve on that in the post season? Oh yes, he could, with James achieving 30.3ppg, 9.7 rpg, 5.6 apg, 1.9 spg.
With a hobbled Wade and Bosh missing or playing injured for the majority of the playoffs, he played the best basketball of his career. In game four at Indiana, facing a possible 3-1 deficit, he churned out a 40 point, 18 rebound, 9 assist game which was mind blowing.
It couldn’t get better could it? In the game six elimination final, he showed he could get better.
45 points (19 of 26 shots), 15 rebounds and 5 assists later, game seven is forced. Miami went on to win.
Nervousness had set in for any Miami Heat fan. Would LeBron James finally put his 2011 finals performances behind him and be a champion or would he shy away from the big stage again. I was hopeful but not confident of him taking over when crunch time came.
OKC took over in game one when I was hopeful LBJ would. Surely this wasnt going to happen again, right?
Not a chance! LeBron James was stunning through the rest of the NBA finals with games 2,3 and 4 being very close. He capped game 4 with a big three pointer after being carried off the floor with cramps. Inspirational stuff!
Then in Game 5 with a championship within his grasp, a triple-double of 26 points, 11 rebounds and 13 assists was the way to cap his stellar year off.
NBA finals statistics read 28.6 ppg, 10.2 rpg and 7.4 apg. The entire season of LeBron was amazing and well deserved after his hard work. The question is now, can he maintain this high level of play?
If he stays healthy and with better shooters around him this season, the Heat will only improve. They will knock down more shots so his assists will increase, as will his rebounds, due to the Heat playing small this season again.
With the monkey finally off LeBron’s back and a first title now in the books, I see LeBron building on that title quickly. The Heat will go back to back with the title this season, putting him in a similar position to Jordan at 28.
If LeBron James stays healthy for the next 10 years, I wouldn’t bet against him winning a minimum of five more titles.
Folks, don’t let the next ten years of basketball pass you by without appreciating the greatness of this superstar. The legend Michael Jordan will be hearing his footsteps, as ‘The King’ is coming!
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