Top 10 reasons why this is the most important series of LeBron James’ career
King James. LBJ. The Chosen One. LeBron James can be called by many names, but his play stands alone. In the summer of 2010, LeBron made a decision that changed his career dramatically. He became a part of ‘The Big Three,’ a trio of players that will be talked about for a long time. He decided to “take his talents to South Beach,” joining Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in search of a championship (or two, three, four, eight). They promised Miami Heat fans a lot when they joined hands, but failed to bring them to life in their first year together.
During the 2010-2011 season, they finished with a 58-24 record which was good enough for second place in the Eastern Conference. That record was 11 wins better than the season before. A second seed in the East, the Miami Heat pushed their way to the NBA Finals. They only lost three games throughout the playoffs before meeting up with the Dallas Mavericks. After taking a 2-1 series lead, the Miami Heat allowed the Mavs to win the next three games to be crowned champions. After that, LeBron was still left without a championship trophy on his career achievements list.
The following year, Miami went 46-20 during a season cut short by the NBA Lockout. They once again were left with the second seed in the East behind the Chicago Bulls. This time around, the playoffs didn’t come too easy. They got through the first round beating the Knicks 4-1 and then beat the Pacers in the second round 4-2. In the Eastern Conference Finals, they defeated the Boston Celtics in seven games to advance to their second straight NBA Finals. This time facing the Oklahoma City Thunder, they had no troubles in the Finals. After losing Game 1 on the road, they won the next four games. It was LeBron’s first time hoisting up the Larry O’Brien Trophy.
Last year, during the 2012-2013 season, they had their best regular season yet. They went 66-16, good enough to secure the number one spot in the East, 12 games ahead of the Knicks. They cruised through the first two rounds of the playoffs, defeating the Milwaukee Bucks in 4 games and the Chicago Bulls in 5 games. They met the now familiar Indiana Pacers in the Conference Finals and defeated them in seven games to go to their third straight NBA Finals. Going up against the San Antonio Spurs in the Finals, they showed weakness. They split the first four games 2-2 and then lost Game 5 to go down 3-2 in the series. Battling history, they somehow won in Game 6 via overtime and then clinched their second straight championship with a Game 7 victory.
This season was much the same for the Heat ever since the ‘Big Three’ gathered here. They finished 54-28 with the second seed in the East. This time they were behind the Indiana Pacers. They swept the Charlotte Bobcats in the first round, then defeated the Brooklyn Nets in 5 games in the second round. Once again, they faced the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference Finals. After losing Game 1, they won the next three to take a 3-1 series lead. With a chance to move to the Finals again, they blew it in Game 5, but still led 3-2. Game 6 came and they smashed the Pacers as they moved on to their 4th straight NBA Finals.
LeBron and company now have a chance to get Miami their third straight NBA Championship in a rematch against the San Antonio Spurs.
Here are ten reasons to why this is the most important series of LeBron’s career:
10.) As I stated above, the Miami Heat have now been to the NBA Finals in four straight years. That means for the fourth season in a row, they have been named one of the top two teams in the league. With that comes a lot of pressure and he now has to prove that, once again, they stand alone as THE best team in the league.
9.) In addition to what I stated above, they are the two-time defending champions. Last year, they defended their championship by defeating the Spurs. That is a great accomplishment. However, they now have a chance to defend their title again. There is a lot of pressure for LeBron and the Miami Heat, having done this two times in a row.
8.) LeBron and the Miami Heat have the chance to join some elite company. Only three teams in the history of the NBA have every pulled off a three-peat. The Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers and the comparable Michael Jordan and his Chicago Bulls. The Heat have the chance to put their name on that list and be talked about for decades to come for their incredible run.
7.) After being defeated by the Miami Heat in last year’s NBA Finals, the Spurs have been seeking revenge ever since. Tim Duncan and the rest of the Spurs have already said they are coming after them and don’t want it any other way. This rematch means a lot to both teams. LeBron needs to lead his team and can’t let the Spurs get their satisfaction.
6.) LeBron James has long been compared to Michael Jordan. However, the only difference between the two was that LeBron never had a championship. After the 2012-2013 season, he finally got one. Then he got his second the year after. Now, he has the chance to get his third ring before he turns 30 years old. That’s important because Michael Jordan was at the age of 30 when he got his first 3-peat.
5.) As it stands right now, LeBron-led teams are 2-2 in the NBA Finals. A loss means that drops to a losing record. A win, puts it at a winning record for the first time. Most of the greatest players of all time have had winning records in the NBA Finals. LeBron needs to win this series.
4.) LeBron James has built a legacy. The only thing missing is rings. He has two, but he needs more to fit in with players like Bill Russell and Michael Jordan. Unfortunately in this sport, people look at rings when determining the best. To continue his legacy, he needs to keep bringing rings.
3.) LeBron, Bosh and Wade promised this Miami Heat-nation multiple rings – eight to be exact. Although that was probably an exaggeration, they need to live up to that and at least get half. They are already a quarter of the way there, but one more would put them one closer.
2.) LeBron has avoided the question all season of what he plans to do when his contract is up. Many reports have stated that his decision could coincide with whether the Heat win a third championship or not. It’s pretty clear, though, that if they do win: LeBron will stay. This series very well could decide where he spends the next stage of his career.
1.) It’s the NBA Finals. The place where he dreamt to be as a kid. He’s been here plenty of times, but it’s still important to every player on the court to win this series. It’s the NBA Finals, enough said.
Ron is the lead editor of FantasyBasketballMoneyLeagues.com. For more of his basketball insights, follow Fantasy Basketball Money Leagues at Google+.