“It’s about damn time man, It’s about damn time.” Lebron said moments after winning his first NBA Championship. It has been a long 9 years in the NBA for Lebron who came in with surreal expectations of how great he truly could be. Since arriving into the league in 2003 the bar was set so high that experts felt James could make the impossible seem possible. After 2 previous trips to the NBA finals which ended in losses for Lebron, he finally has a chance to call the trophy his along with the finals MVP trophy.
“I had to regroup after losing last year to Dallas. I had to get back to playing the way i did when I was in Cleveland before I came to Miami and played with anger. When I play with anger the game isn’t fun for me so I had to get back to playing the way I did when I was having fun.” Lebron said after the game. The 2012 playoff run was one of the best individual playoff performances in the NBA history. James recorded 2 triple doubles alone during the NBA finals along with his other jaw dropping stats.
You have to wonder now that Lebron finally has that elusive championship and has figured out how to win one, how much more can he possibly has by the time his career is over. Yes he is 9 years into his career but he is only 27. With Dwayne Wade 30 years old he has officially passed the torch to Lebron as the leader of the Miami Heat. Wade has done the torch passing gracefully and without hesitation because it’s the right thing for the Miami Heat team.
This Miami Heat team played their best basketball with their backs against the wall in the playoffs. They trailed the Boston Celtics 3-2 before dominating game 6 and finishing them off in game 7. A Round earlier against the Pacers the Heat were staring down a 3-1 deficit before winning the last 3 games to advance. They fell behind the Thunder 1-0 and almost gave game 2 away before winning the last 4 games to be champions.
There was a different energy this season about the Heat this year. Last season they played with a chip on their shoulder and a sense of entitlement. This season they went about things in a very workmanlike way and just played the game with purpose.
Miami now has the experience, and all the tools to dominate the league for years to come. The way the Heat were constructed has them firmly in the drivers seat for a good 5 year period.
Congratulations Lebron and Chris Bosh on your first ring, and to Dwayne Wade on your second ring.
They say defending your title is a lot harder then winning your first one. Let’s see if the Miami Heat have a dynasty on their hands.
Eager to erase the bitter ending to the 2011 playoffs, Lebron James has been spectacular in leading the Miami Heat back to the finals for another shot at his first championship. Hard to believe this is already the 9th season in the NBA for Lebron and he is only 27 years old. Coming straight out of high school, James has always been held to the highest expectations and possibly unrealistic expectations. Even before stepping foot in his first official NBA game the “experts” were saying Lebron would be better then Michael Jordan.
This is Lebron’s 3rd time in the finals in his quest to win a championship. When he first signed on with the heat he went on the record to say “we’re not gonna win 1, not 2, not 3, not 4, not 5, not 6 championships but 7.” With that infamous quote he added even more pressure to himself that has been placed on him since draft day in 2003. James first finals appearance in 2007 ended in a sweep at the hands of the San Antonio Spurs. The criticism after that series was that Lebron needed to develop his jumper otherwise he would be easier to defend. After the Heat lost last year in 6 games against Dallas, the criticism was Lebron needed to improve his post game and show up in the 4th quarter.
Only 2 games have been played during the 2012 Finals between OKC and the Heat, and Lebron has answered the bell so far. Despite Miami losing game 1 of the series Lebron delivered 30 points including 7 in the 4th quarter. Lebron again answered the bell in game 2 during the 4th quarter scoring 32 points including 6 in the 4th quarter while going a perfect 12-12 from the free throw line. For the Heat to win this series they will need Lebron to continue playing like a man on the mission the way he has the entire playoff run of 2012.
They have always said to be a champion you must learn to fail. Maybe Lebron has finally learned after failing more then once?
“Getting number 6 will be the sweetest one. This has been a tough year, a year in which everyone counted us out and called us too old and that we were done. They said I had nothing left, to get number 6 would mean everything to me, I just want to win.” Bryant said. 16 long years in to his nba career, 19.5 seasons if you include all the playoff games and Kobe still managed to finish 2nd in the league in scoring at nearly 28 points per game.
Kobe Bryant has seen the highest of highs in the league and has reached the lowest of lows. Bryant came into the league paired with super star Shaquille O’Neal and experienced almost immediate success in winning 3 straight championships before he turned 24. Following Shaq’s trade the Lakers missed the playoffs one seasons and were eliminated in the first round 2 straight years prompting Kobe to demand a trade. 2008 saw the emergence of Andrew Bynum and the trade that brought Pau Gasol to the Lakers and suddenly breathed championship hope into a team that was in disarry. The Lakers returned to the finals that year only to fall to the Celtics in 6 games.
2009 came and Kobe and the Lakers were hungrier then ever to return to the finals and finish the goal they fell short of the year before. “I just want to win. I just want to win so bad, I stay awake at night, im obsessed with winning this championship.” Bryant said. LA met up with the Orlando Magic in the finals that year and prevailed in 5 games ending the 7 year drought from the last championship. The following year in their quest for a second consecutive championship the Lakers found themselves in a rematch with the Celtics. In one of the most epic series in NBA history the Lakers fought tooth and nail earning a gutsy game 7 win and the championship. “This one is by the far the sweetest one, because it’s against them. Getting my fifth championship means I have one more then Shaq.” Bryant said.
The Lakers were outclassed last year by the Mavs in their quest for the three-peat while all the Lakers key contributors stuggled. “This year it’s about proving something. We are the underdogs for the first time in a while and i love it. I love that everyone is counting us and giving us no shot. I believe we have a championship roster and will be crowned champions this year.” Bryant saId.
If the Lakers are to go on and capture the crown this year it will be the hardest road they have had to go through in recent seasons. If the seedings hold up the Lakers will have to get through the all the strongest teams in the west and outlast the Miami Heat or the Chicago Bulls barring any upset out east. For Kobe it’s about adding to an already historic and illustrious career. For the Lakers it’s about squeezing one more championship out of this core and closing the gap on the Boston Celtics.
If Kobe Bryant has the final word in these 2012 playoffs it would be “Dont count out these Lakers just yet.”