If you view LeBron James as anything less than supremely talented and a winner, you need to get your eyesight checked.
There is no way anyone can look at his block on Andre Iguodala with less than two minutes left Sunday night – hustle play meets ridiculous athleticism, lunch bucket meets five-star restaurant – and not see greatness. Never mind his triple-double to lead the Cavaliers over the Warriors in Game 7 of the NBA Finals and never mind the near triple-double he averaged in the last three games of the series. Just remember James sprinting the length of the court, catching Iguodala from behind and slapping the ball about two feet above the rim. Very few humans can do that. Only one did it with an NBA title on the line.
Some of us asked where James had been after the Warriors had taken a 3-1 series lead. He had been doing what his overly generous nature dictated – trying to get his less-talented teammates involved. It was hugely frustrating, like watching Pavarotti refuse to step out of the choir. That has always been one of the criticisms of James, that he doesn’t take over when games need taking over. Yeah, well, you can bury that criticism for good now.
James took over the series the way great players do. He put his head down, he put his shoulder down and he put the Warriors down as he drove to the basket. He finished.
He has been to six straight Finals and won three of them. It’s time to end the silly discussion of whether he’s a winner. No superstar has been the subject of so many debates about what he’s lacking. LeBron isn’t lacking anything.
These Finals were a certain type of Bulls fan’s worst nightmare: the team (the Warriors) that had broken the 1995-96 Bulls’ regular-season victory record vs. the man (James) most compared to Michael Jordan. What do you root for?
James can stand on his own merits. He’s a different player than Jordan, but the same kind of superior athlete. Impossible to not see the truth in that. Unless you’ve blindfolded yourself.