Could there be a more perfect stage for the most scrutinized sports athlete to prove himself.
When you think about greatness, Wilt, Russell, Magic, Bird, Dr. J, MJ, and Kobe comes to mind. When you think what made them great then championships should enter your mind. But let me take one more stab at it. What puts them at greatness status is they had to go through each other to win championships. Now that brings us to Lebron James, which is the most scrutinize player or athlete in sports history. We all know he hasn't won a ring in two attempts and how he has merely disappeared when it counts the most, but maybe this is what he needs to drive him for that infamous championship ring.
During any other time I would consider comparing him to MJ blasphemy, but just hear me out this time. MJ had won two MVP's but had no rings by the time he turned 27. In fact he had never got to the finals until he turned 27. James is 27 and he has won three MVP's with no rings under his resume. Yes MJ wasn't scrutinized like Lebron but he had created this stigma "yeah but he can't win a championship." Here is where it gets interesting. Jordan first Finals appearance was against Magic. I'm sure he would have played well against any other team but it was against Magic. As maybe the most ridiculous Jordan fan, I know that motivated Jordan more than any thing except maybe coming back from his first retirement. Same as Magic vs Bird, Magic vs Isaiah and so on... Greatness drives Greatness.
Lebron had luxary of reaching the Finals twice before turning 27 but of course he failed. Now take his opponents in the Finals, The San Antonio Spurs featuring Tim Duncan. Yes the Spurs was the best team in 2007 and Tim Duncan was the best power forward but Lebron was young and had no help, except for Boobie Gibson, yes I said Boobie Gibson a young player himself. I'll give him a pass on that.
Next was the Dallas Mavericks last year in the Finals, which I believe all the hate should have gave him that drive but that's another story. Dirk Nowitzki had an unbelievable Finals but he might be the ninth best player in the NBA. For that matter, Dallas wasn't even one of the top teams in the Western Conference that year.
So why didn't Lebron take advantage.We will never know.
What makes this Finals match up interesting is the fact that there is someone on the opposing team that is ready to take the title of the best player in the NBA from Lebron, Kevin Durant! Duranchua, the one who is unguardable and unstoppable like James himself, maybe the only one who gets Lebron juices flowing. After the amazing 4th quater by Durant, Lebron showed us this killer instinct that might be buried inside of him which unleashed 45 points in just a little over 3 quarters. In fact, when we all though it would be Lebron would be linked up with Carmello, but Durant vs Lebron might be the more of a reality.
Is this finally the opponent and stage that will prompt Bron Bron to show he is the best and propel him to his first Chip or will we see the what we are familiar seeing and the downfall of his career.
My only advice is (in the words of my boys' nephew) someone get Morpheus and tell Lebron "he's the one"!