I started to believe the Miami Heat would win the NBA Title the day they were crying after a virtually meaningless regular season game.
Everyone at some point in their life has had an emotional breakdown. The stress just overwhelms you and you just lose it. Doesn’t matter if you are rich, poor, black or white it happens to everyone.
When these things happened afterward it can go one or two ways.
You either fall off the cliff or you man up, face your problems and go into F-U mode (hope Stern doesn’t fine me for that).
The biggest game of the season for the Heat was when they were staring at that cliff ready to jump and the defending champions Los Angeles Lakers walked into their building with the opportunity to give them a bit of a push.
It is these type of crossroads games that determine what a team is really made of. With all the pressure on them, they pulled out the victory and while most of the attention went to what Kobe did after the game, I was more impressed with what happened during the game.
I have watched at least parts of every Heat game since then and what I see is a team that has developed a sneaky confidence, like they know something that you don’t know.
From a pure basketball standpoint they remind me greatly of the Early Michael Jordan Bulls of the late 80’s early 90’s. They don’t quite have all the parts, but the have the best player (Lebron), a #2 who is virtually a #1 on every other team (Wade), a #3 who many overrate because of the other two players (Bosh) and a bunch of role players who need to come up big.
To get to their goal of a Championship they will have to derail an old champ (Celtics) while fending off young guns (likely the Bulls ironically) and then taking out either an aging superstar (Kobe or Duncan) or a young superstar (Durant).
I have seen this script play out before.
People mistakenly compare Kobe’s career path to Michael Jordan, when their paths were totally different. Jordan career path is much more similar to Lebron James.
Jordan early in his career had ton of critics who said he would never win a title, he was just a scorer, he was selfish and his brand of ball just couldn’t beat a good team.
Lebron early in his career has had a ton of critics who said he would never win a title, he more interested in being an icon, he isn’t a closer and chokes when the pressure is too high.
Jordan won his first title in his 7th year, but it was only after he had the right pieces in place. It is Lebron’s 8th year in the league and while he didn’t stay in Cleveland he went somewhere that he felt had the right pieces in place to get a ring.
You can be critical of some of Lebron’s “Decisions”, but you need to know this.
Those are his career averages, now go look up how many players in the history of the NBA have averaged that. Even if he wins a title in the court of public opinion, it was always be a bit tainted because he left Cleveland to go to someone’s town, but all that matters is the ring.
I said this a very long time go that if it ever clicked with Lebron it would be a wrap for the league and he would run off multiple titles.
He is simply that good.
When I saw him live in Atlanta when he dropped like 100 points on the Hawks in three quarters, I observed someone who was real close to “clicking” and I don’t think his mom pimp slapping, Bosh crying or the fact that Eric Dampier is on the team is going to slow him down.
There is only one way to quiet a critic in sports and that is with jewelry.
Look for Lebron to have everyone on his “list” kissing the ring when it is all said in done.
HEAT OVER LAKERS IN 7
PLAY THE MUSIC DJ…..