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With two rings, LeBron’s decision to go to Miami vindicated

Jun 21, 2013, 4:11 PM EDT

San Antonio Spurs v Miami Heat - Game 7 Getty Images

It worked out.

You don’t have to like LeBron James — and we know from the comment section here plenty of you don’t. You may be the minority, but you’re vocal. There is still something that rubs a lot of people the wrong way about LeBron. People continue to eagerly root against him.

You don’t have to like the way he handled his decision to go to Miami. Frankly, nobody does outside South Beach. It was a mess. The decision on where to play was his to make — he had earned that right by playing out his contract and spending seven years in Cleveland — but having teams come to pitch him then taking part in a television special to announce his choice was a public relations disaster. As was the pep rally after he arrived.

But he chose Miami — to team up with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh — because he wanted to win rings. Plural.

He’s done that. LeBron made the right decision for himself back in the summer of 2010.

While the bar is set high in South Beach (and LeBron set that bar) the fact is the Miami Heat are back-to-back NBA champions and with that get mentioned with some of the other great teams of their eras. The 80s Lakers, the Bad Boy Pistons, they won back-to-back. Now the Heat have as well. The legacy of the Heat and LeBron are far from set (he is 28) but they earned a special place in the NBA pantheon with that victory Thursday night.

And Miami won those rings because of LeBron. This is his team. He is the alpha dog, the unquestioned leader.

Critics like to say “he couldn’t have won without teaming up with other stars” but that was always a straw man argument. Nobody — not Jordan not Magic not Russell — won without quality players around them. The key is those teams were built around and reflected their star player.

The Heat didn’t win this with three big dogs playing equal roles. Not even close. The Heat’s other two have had to subjugate their games to make room for this to be LeBron’s team, to make room for his game. Pat Riley and the Heat front office have brought in role players to build around what LeBron does on the court. LeBron’s imprint is all over this team.

They also won those rings because LeBron was clutch, killing another meme that should have died long ago. He led the Heat’s comeback in Game 6 then put up 37 points in Game 7 of the NBA Finals. That is pretty much the definition of clutch.

You don’t have to like LeBron James, but it’s time to respect his game. And time to respect that he made the right decision for himself three years ago.

LeBron went to Miami and won. Which means he ultimately won the decision.

100 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. bmoreravens1012013 - Jun 22, 2013 at 12:13 PM

    @mjcobs45: I couldn’t agree with you more. Not to mention Kobe is (and especially in his prime) a better outside shooter than LeBron. LeBron doesn’t have that killer in him like Kobe and Mike. He is definitely a top 10 , maybe even top 5 player if all time when its all said and done. The media loves to force him down our collective throats as if most people like him but you can’t pee on me and tell me its raining. He had to join not 1 but 2 of the top 10 players just to get his rings. You LeBron lovers can say what you want but Kobe or Jordan never did that , then on top of it , make a big spectacle ,then declare 7-9 titles . All that said he already has a successful career and undoubtedly will get at least 1 more ring to boot( due to the fact he will just leave Miami and join forces with two upcoming stars in a few years). But I can’t wait to see how many he ends up with. Hopefully it won’t be more than the two he has because all if this “all hail the king ” crap is making me “nauseous”. People act like he is a real live king and that is crazy.

    • condor75 - Jun 22, 2013 at 4:26 PM

      Dude seriously, you need to drop the Haterade and step away from the keyboard. I would love to see your trophy room, or are that dude that no one wanted on their team? WOW

  2. jetsfan79 - Jun 22, 2013 at 3:01 PM

    The jets should trade for this guy

  3. jbeagles23 - Jun 22, 2013 at 3:57 PM

    Kobe had shaq ( who was winning the finals MVP) then when Kobe had no one he was trying to force his way out of la until they got gasol. Know your facts please before posting. He couldn’t sniff the finals without some of the best centres in the league

  4. 1972wasalongtimeago - Jun 22, 2013 at 4:19 PM

    You know, some of us thought the decision to come to Miami was correct from the beginning and never needed vindication. Not by you, or you, or you, or you.Or you either. Yes I’m talking to you.

  5. commonday - Jun 23, 2013 at 8:27 AM

    I live across from the Miami Arena and am a heat fan. Lebron coming to Miami was a true celebration for us but even WE winced at “the decision”. We love the fact he’s here but it was done in poor taste. His PR group must have been on vacation.

    Also, when the big 3 got together and promised not 1, not 2, not 3, etc rings, that was another flop with someone not doing their PR job.

    However, without those incidences, Miami wouldn’t have gone to the finals three times and won two. LJ had a lot to prove since he made the country hate him. The team learned from losing the first finals; I actually think they needed that to bring them back down to reality and what it takes to win. When LJ held the trophy for the first time, the relief on his face was priceless.

    We’re glad he’s here. He made some mistakes and he’ll probably make some more but it’s going to take some hard work to beat divisional teams that have really done well in building their roster.

  6. thelastpieceofcheese - Jun 23, 2013 at 10:41 AM

    Lebron was already vindicated last year when he won the first one.

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