If San Antonio does the “unthinkable” and knocks off the Heat tonight or Thursday, how will that change the legacy of LeBron James? Will it mean he can never be the greatest player of all time because he lost another final? Will James drop out of the top 20 with no chance of returning? Will people go back to saying he’s not a closer?
In the reactionary society that we live in, many of these things will be said if Miami doesn’t win 2 straight at home. In my mind none of this should change LeBron’s legacy. There is no question that he will be thrown under the bus and bashed to no end for not getting the job done, but all it means to me, is that the Spurs are a better team. Why should another team’s greatness diminish how James is viewed? San Antonio has the better coach and the better supporting cast (especially when Miami doesn’t see fit to guard them).
LeBron’s role in the history of the NBA shouldn’t be judged by a couple of missed rings. After all, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson lost in NBA finals and are still considered all-time greats. James has already won 4 NBA MVP awards. That’s more than anyone else other then Kareem, Russell, or Jordan. James is also on pace to be the leading scorer in the leagues history and top 5 in assists if he’s plays into his late 30’s. LeBron has been around for a long time, so many of us forget that he is only 28. He should have plenty of dominant years left in his gas tank. He is also unquestionably the best two way player in the game today.
The legacy of LeBron James isn’t fully written yet, but what happens this week shouldn’t change how he is viewed one bit. He’s a remarkable player with physical tools that we’ve never seen before and may never see again. We should appreciate what he does right now, knowing we have seen one of the greatest the game has ever produced. Love him, or hate him, that greatness in undeniable.