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Crown the King: third time is the charm for LeBron


When the clock struck zero, LeBron James did something he had never done before after winning a NBA Championship—he broke down in tears.

Everyone said he could not succeed this season at Cleveland, he was on the decline. No one thought the Cavs could come back after being down 3-1, since no team had done so in history.

It was all supposed to go down as LeBron “choking” yet again.

But the 2016 NBA finals proved to be a historic one in LeBron’s favor. He went from relishing the moment with the championship trophy in Miami, to a total and utter breakdown after winning the title for Cleveland.

Because at this moment, he proved everyone wrong.

At this moment, despite everyone claiming he was not a top playoffs player, James defied the odds and did something no one thought he could do.  During this moment, after the confetti filled the court, after his team swarmed him, after he was named the finals MVP, LeBron was truly a champion.

There have been 32 NBA teams in the past that have fallen in the finals when trailing 3-1.  Cleveland had not seen a championship in any major sport in 53 years.

Steph Curry, the unanimous MVP, and the Golden State Warriors posted the most-wins regular season of all time with 73 wins.

The odds were stacked against LeBron and his championship-thirsty Cavaliers. But, true kings defy all the odds and prosper through the hard times.

That is exactly what the king, LeBron James, did. With 27 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists—and help from Kyrie Irving’s 26 points—the Cavs were able to defeat the Warriors in Oakland, 93-89.

Although he has been criticized for his 3-4 overall finals record, let us look at the stats that help support Lebron’s greatness through this year’s finals.

He led all Finals’ players in five different categories—in points per game (29.7), rebounds per game (11.3), assists per game (8.9), blocks per game (2.3) and steals per game (2.6). Along with those five noteworthy leading categories, James became only the third player in NBA Finals history to put up a triple-double in a game seven.

Before going into anything regarding legacy, prominence or the question of where LeBron will rank amongst the all-time best, basketball appreciators need to let this one sink in.

“In Northeast Ohio, nothing is given. Everything is earned. You work for what you have,” James said in the post-game interview.

Had the Warriors won, talks about the team with the most wins in history would have sparked the idea that head coach Steve Kerr’s Warriors were the greatest team in NBA history. However, since Cleveland stole the series, talk can now begin on the matter of LeBron being the greatest player of all time. And he definitely has a claim.

He challenged the league’s back-to-back MVP, Curry, and shut the spectacular shooter down for the majority of the series. There is no arguing now that LeBron is still the greatest player on the planet due to his playoff performance.

Also, LeBron lifted up a Cavs team that was so misunderstood during the regular season, and molded it into something boundless. He enhanced players such as Kevin Love and Irving, asking for them both to increase their roles on the team. He built  C+ players such as Tristan Thompson and JR Smith into key factors of the game. Nonetheless, LeBron made his teammates look good and finally seemed to find chemistry amongst his team.

And there is no way he is stopping now. How monumental would it be to see LeBron make a Finals appearance for an entire decade (2011-2020)?

The odds are, again, stacked in his favor, after all he’d have to make four more consecutive Finals. While some may argue that since he is in the Eastern Conference he has no competition, making six consecutive finals appearances is fabulous in itself. When you factor in injuries, coaching changes and a free agency, James has never used any of those to excuse him from executing in the post season. Although Jordan did win six championships in a row, LeBron’s six consecutive appearances should not be looked at as any less of an accomplishment.

The bottom line is LeBron has nothing more to prove. He has hoisted his well-earned trophy through a peak in the off-season and regained the throne as the best player in the league. He shut all the LeBron haters up and it would not surprise me if he were back in the Finals for the next four years.

Adrian Broaddus may be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Adrian Broaddus, Sports Editor
Adrian Broaddus is the sports editor for The Prospector. He is a junior multimedia journalism major with a minor in political science.   Adrian was born and raised in El Paso, TX, and is a graduate of Franklin high school. He entered college in the fall of 2015 in hopes to better his career in journalism.   Along with sports, Adrian enjoys writing music reviews, perspective columns and news stories on politics.   Although he is pursuing his degree in journalism, Adrian would like to go to law school and be an attorney while doing part-time work in journalism.  
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Crown the King: third time is the charm for LeBron