LeBron James carried Heat to title and should no longer be criticized for failing to win, not being clutch

After spending nine years in the league, losing twice in the NBA Finals, and taking more criticism than perhaps any other player in NBA history, LeBron James finally won an NBA championship.

“It’s about damn time,” he said.

It is about damn time, but like LeBron mentioned, losing in the Finals to the Mavericks was the best thing to happen to him.

As one of James’ biggest backers, defending him against all the criticism he’s faced has been tasking.

The man left for Miami because his GM didn’t build a good enough supporting cast over seven years in Cleveland and nobody wanted to sign there as a free agent.

Sorry he wasn’t lucky enough to be drafted by an organization in a desirable city for free agents. Sorry the Cavs didn’t draft a Scottie Pippen while he was in Cleveland. Sorry his team never ripped off an opposing team for Pau Gasol.

LeBron took a look around the league, realized that superstars everywhere were joining forces (e.g. the Celtics), so he went to Miami so he wouldn’t be left behind. And he didn’t go join another person’s team; the Heat have become his team. He worked and played his butt off this season, and nothing he did was easy.

“I’m happy now that nine years after I was drafted, I can finally say that I am a champion and that I did it the right way. I didn’t shortcut anything,” James said after the game. “I put a lot of hard work and dedication in it, and the hard work pays off.”

The Heat lucked out in a few senses. Derrick Rose’s knee injury eliminated what likely would have been their toughest competition in the Eastern Conference, but they ended up facing the Celtics in the conference finals and coming back from a 3-2 deficit to win.

They had two moments when they were down in a series and doubt crept in. Both times James took over and carried his team to victory — one time without Chris Bosh, and another with limited minutes from the forward.

When the Heat fell behind the Pacers 2-1, LeBron James took his play to another level. He had a historic 40 point, 18 rebound, 9 assist game in Game 4 against Indiana. It was a similar story when the Heat were facing elimination down 3-2 to the Celtics in Game 6. LeBron went off for 45 points on 19-for-26 shooting to save his team against Boston. And in the clinching Game 5 against the Thunder, LeBron recorded a triple-double.

When everyone doubted the Heat, James played his best. He didn’t take any shortcuts or easy paths to his first ring. He beat tough competition, won with a short-handed team, and he carried his squad.

I’ve said all along that LeBron is clutch and that he is a winner, but most people need to see a ring before they can say that. Now that he has one, all the doubting should stop. LeBron is clutch, and LeBron is a winner. The only question that remains is how many rings will he win. I say at least two more.

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  • Sheryl Simpson

    a punk with a ring is still a punk

  • http://twitter.com/JKolodne Jay Kolodne

    Lebron never had to be “clutch” by the technical definition of it in this series, ‘cuz the games were – for the most part – one sided.   The definition of clutch that I found was “Tending to be successful in tense or critical situations”.  There WERE no “critical situations” in the games because the games were basically decided by the middle of the 4th quarter, if not sooner.  I’ll preface this by stating that I am by NO means, in ANY way, shape, or form, attempting to compare them talent-wise, but I think that one could argue (and I WOULD argue) that Tim Tebow has proven to be more “clutch” than Lebron.  Even though he sucks as a QB for 3 1/2 quarters, and his stats don’t look good other than his w-l record, when it comes down to “crunch time” and he has to take his team and get them in the end zone and come back from the deficits he gets them in cuz he sucks, Tim Tebow ALWAYS seems to pull it off.  Lebron James hasnt done that.  So in summary, Lebron is a PHENOMENAL player, but NOT a clutch player, and Tim Tebow is a TERRIBLE quarterback, but IS a clutch player. 8D

  • Gene

     Gee, I recall that LeBron made a key three pointer, with his leg cramps and all, to break a tie in Game 4 with well under four minutes left.  Where were you?  Games two through four were all close and decided in the last minute or two.  Only games 1 and 5 were one sided and decided early.

    Magic Johnson and Bill Russell, to name two people, were all time greats without taking the last shot on a regular basis.  I think most people would refer to them as “clutch”. 

  • Gene

    I guess a punk with five rings (Kobe) is still a punk.  LeBron left Cleveland with the misguided “decision show” and in the euphoria of joining the Heat he screwed up again with the “not one, not two……” comment.  He certainly did not criticize anyone with those comments, nor hurt anyone physically.  He signed a second, short term contract with Cleveland and played it out.  Management there had ample opportunity to bring in players to help him, but alas, nobody wanted to go to Cleveland.  In fact, Cleveland fans should be booing Chris Bosh.  LeBron tried to bring him to Cleveland up until a few days before the decision and Bosh said he wanted no part of that city.

    He came to the NBA right out of high school and has managed to stay out of trouble with the law, which is more than  I can say for a lot of NBA players, including Kobe.

    LeBron is a team player with an all around game.  If that is your definition of a punk, then what is Kobe, who argued over whether the Lakers were his team or Shaq’s and also tanked game 7 against Phoenix to spur management to get him help?  What about Shaq, who left Orlando?  What about Kareem, who wanted the NBA to get him out of Milwaukee?  Carmello, who wanted out of Denver? Why just pick on LeBron?