4 NBA Championships, 4 MVP titles. Give the legacy of LeBron James his respect. NOW!
Photo created by SLAM Magazine @SLAMonline
My Heard Take:
Ladies and gentlemen, unless you've been living under a rock, LeBron James is coming off of a winning season and part of the NBA Championship for the Los Angeles Lakers, a team that was not even thought of by the sports experts, to be in the NBA Finals. And yes, I was one of those ones who thought that it would be another LA team in the finals, the Clippers. This team, if you look at it on paper, shouldn't have even made it this far, let alone holding up the Larry O'Brien Trophy in the center of the 'Bubble Court'. I've always respected the game of LeBron and all that he has done for it, even (gulp) when he showed up and showed out against my Detroit Pistons in 2007. He gained my respect that early in his career. So what baffles me is the ongoing conversations on various sports networks, basketball fans, and those that claim to be "experts" that LBJ is NOT one of the greatest players to have ever played this game. At 35, almost 36 in a few weeks, he's playing at a caliber that many players 30 years old and up, is a rare accomplishment. Through his body taking the absolute beating and the amount of minutes on the floor at his age is amazing. And what's even more laughable, is that due to the pandemic, this NBA Title, should have an *asterisk* next to "Los Angeles Lakers, NBA 2020 Champions" (sorry/not sorry Skip Bayless, I kindly disagree with you). I found it amazing that so many "fans" also said that the Lakers had the easiest path to the NBA Finals (what games were they watching?). While holding his MVP, (his 4th, by the way) when speaking with ESPN's Rachel Nichols during the trophy presentation, LeBron has some strong words for his critics of him and the Lakers organization:
"I told Jeanie when I came here that I was gonna put this franchise back in the position where it belongs. Her late, great father did it for so many years and she just took it on after that. For me to be part of such a historical franchise, its an unbelievable feeling not only for myself, but for my teammates for the organization, for the coaches, for the trainers, for everybody that's here. We just want our respect. Rob wants his respect. Coach Vogel wants his respect. Our organization wants their respect. Laker Nation wants their respect. And I want my damn respect, too"
IT'S TIME TO GIVE THIS MAN HIS RESPECT. PERIOD. BOTTOM LINE!
Whether you're a fan of LBJ or not, this man's resume, on three different NBA teams, which he's the ONLY one to win a title on each team, and is the FIRST to win an MVP with all three teams, twice with the Miami Heat. I could bore you with his career highlights and achievements in his 17 year career, but I save you time and plus, Wikipedia will have all those for you. What I will say and continue to say is this, respect this man. Respect his work ethic, his leadership, his achievements, & his drive to make his teammates work harder. When he walks away from this great game, all the things that he's done will be forever set in history. He is, in my opinion, in the top 10 of NBA Greats. There is nothing else that needs to be argued or questioned of his legacy. Just respect it.