The Miami Heat won the 2012 NBA Finals, and they did so in such convincing fashion, that it's raised some question as to whether or not LeBron James could be on his way to Michael Jordan-stature after all.
LeBron Reels in First Tittle
After LeBron went 8 full seasons through the league without a championship, his moment finally came last night in South Beach as the Miami Heat won their first tittle since 2006. The win gave LeBron his first tittle at age 27, which is a year younger than the great Air Jordan was when he hoisted the trophy for the first time with Chicago. It's prompted a lot of talk around the basketball world whether or not this victory should put LeBron James in the same sentence as Mr. Jordan, but I think it's way to early to make that jump. Jordan was a 5-time Champion, put up ridiculous scoring numbers and had one of the best jump shots in the NBA and LeBron, in comparison, is just getting started. I personally am not even close to being ready to put James up on the pedestal with Jordan, but he's definitely on the right path. During that championship celebration, LeBron exuded a persona that I've never seen out of "The King". He admitted being humbled by last seasons loss to the Mavs and even said he played the game "angrily". It seems like LeBron has grown up a lot since his last trip to basketball's biggest stage, and as a fan of the NBA, I'm happy to see he's finally getting it. He's certainly one of the most skilled players I've ever seen, and although I'm not ready to say he's Jordan 2.0, he's definitely on the right path.
D-Wade: The Glue of the Heat!
The two overlooked guys, in my mind, for the Champion Miami Heat is the guy who brought them home the 2006 tittle, Dwayne Wade, and their tremendous coach, Erik Spoelstra. After that loss to the Mavs last season, I thought that Spoelstra would be the guy who would bear the brunt of the failure and end up losing his job. However, all he did during this playoff run was prove that he too learned from the 2011 upset to the Mavericks. That dude has to run perhaps the most glorified and heavily ridiculed team of the last 20 years, and even when it looked like they were down for the count various times throughout these playoffs, he riled his troops together and got them back on track. He took over a team with 3 guys that were always option number one for their respective teams, and managed to get those 3 to not only mesh, but play together like powerhouse. That's a leader for you. This is also where I think D-Wade helped a lot. As great as LeBron is, Wade is older and more mature than James, had been there before and won and seemed willing to do whatever he had to in order to ensure the "Big Three" would be successful. He went from being one of the leagues premiere stars himself to playing 2nd fiddle to LeBron and did it terrifically, and selflessly. Qualities that are hard to find in modern day NBA stars.