LeBron James, the Cavaliers & the world have now come to grips with the fact that Kyrie Irving will be out for the remainder of the NBA Finals and the majority of people have written off the Cavaliers after one game. While the chances of them winning a title seem miniscule, LeBron James couldn’t have asked for a better situation.
LeBron is now in a win-win position in the eyes of the media, fans and history. At no other time in his career has LeBron had less pressure on him to win a championship.
LeBron and the Cavaliers entered the series as an underdog to the young and sharp shooting Warriors, but they showed in Game 1 that they were fully capable of pushing Golden State to the brink of defeat. Sure, that took a 44 point performance from LeBron James and 20+ points from Irving who’s no longer active but it was still a strong enough performance to change the expectations around the team and LeBron. That was until Kyrie was injured in overtime and ruled out for 3-4 months with a fractured kneecap. Now instead of seeing a road team that pushed one of the best home teams in NBA history to overtime, we will all see a team void of any star players outside of James.
In this day and age people argue whether a team can win a championship with only two superstars, let alone one man carrying the load for a squad. It’s because of this reason LeBron can push himself into the “As good as Michael Jordan” conversation.
LeBron would have to beat the Warriors 4 times in the next 6 games with a roster that looks more and more like the 2014 New York Knicks. LeBron wouldn’t be the first LONE SUPERSTAR to win a title, but all those other teams had a much stronger supporting cast. LeBron is attempting to beat the Warriors with JR Smith and Tristan Thompson as his co-stars.
If he was able to accomplish the near-impossible feat of bringing a title to Cleveland this year his supporters will always hold the, “Did Jordan ever win a title without Pippen?” card to play in their debate. It’d truly put LeBron in rare air and catapult him into the top 5 list of players to ever play the game.
How can he do it, ironically it has been done and he knows the person who did it very well.
In 2006, the Miami Heat were dead in the water, down 0-2 to the Western Conference best team Dallas Mavericks.
Then WADE happened.
4 straight wins later, the legend of Wade was born. LeBron has an even more daunting task against a more talented team, but it isn’t impossible. He is going to need help and players who aren’t stars are going to have take their games to places that they probably didn’t even know was possible, but it can be done. But, that is what LEGENDARY players do, they find a way to do the impossible.
It’s now up to LeBron to step up to the challenge and will his team to victory.