James Nosek | Press Box Perspectives Editor/Columnist
Nine years in the making, the dream finally came true for LeBron James.
As the Heat celebrated the franchise’s second NBA Championship, James’ critics, colleagues and fans could only watch. We saw a NBA superstar develop the past decade. (If you haven’t noticed that then you’re as NBA savvy as the million of Twitter “fans” who decided to be a basketball fan, and Heat fan, for one night).
“I’m an NBA champion, you can never take that away from me,” James belted out as he walked in the backstage hallways of the American Airlines Arena, holding the Larry O’Brien Trophy and the Bill Russell NBA Finals MVP award in both hands.
Yeah LBJ, we can’t take that away from you. You’re a part a part of history, congrats. But remember history can also be not so memorable. That excitement can turn to sorrow in the snap of a finger.
Celebrate all you want. Celebrate with South Beach. Celebrate with your wife and kids. Celebrate with of your true fans, Cleveland or not.
I want to see James celebrate and enjoy the title. If I said that a few years ago, I’d probably stick hot sauce in my right eye, but now that he has become a true “NBA player.” I finally respect him.
But LeBron, here’s some advice for you.
Don’t be satisfied.
Have all the fun you want, but remember there are the Olympics coming up, and not to mention another NBA season next year.
There’s two ways James can go from here.
One, LBJ can be happy with his first ring, put the rest of his career in cruise control (which probably means a few more MVP awards) and once again: be satisfied. Two, LeBron can move on from the recent NBA title and focus on next year, and the year after that, and the year after that.
Now, I hate mentioning Michael Jordan and LBJ in the same piece but when talking about the NBA Finals, it’s impossible not to mention Jordan. You can tell LeBron wants to cut his ties with his “Chosen One” titles, or in plain terms: His Jordan comparisons. That’s the way it should be.
But he never will, as long as MJ still holds six rings.
If there is one small nugget to take away from Jordan’s career, and I mean small, it has to be his memory.
What am I talking about?
It’s simple: Jordan would win a title, hug and kiss the hell out of the Larry O’Brien Trophy, and forget about winning it the next day. And I’m not talking about a hangover; I’m talking about his “champion’s mentality.” One wasn’t enough for Jordan. He needed more, and wanted more.
After he won a title in 1991, he wanted the same feeling the next year. Then after 1992, he’s like, “I’ll take another.” So he did. I bet Jordan and his Bulls would have won eight straight titles if he didn’t make the bad decision to try out baseball.
The bottom line is: Feel your gut, and want more. That should be the mentality of LeBron. I don’t know him personally, so I can’t tell you what his mind-set is a day removed from game five. He could be thinking of playing video games for all we know.
If James thinks one ring will shut up the critics and the haters, think again. Some people say it’s crazy to call him the most “critiqued” player in NBA history, but it’s absolutely true.
One ring isn’t special, at least in my mind. I’m not saying he has to win six like Jordan, that’s not my point. To be considered one of the best, you have to be special.
Brett Farve only won one Super Bowl ring in his whole career. The amount of championships don’t matter, he is still one of the best NFL players of all time. You want to know why?
He was a tough son of a gun who liked to have fun and play football. Sure, he has almost every major quarterback record, but his persona, and love for the game, made him special.
James doesn’t have to win another title. He really doesn’t. If he is happy with the 2012 NBA championship, then so be it. And really who cares what the critics say, he did it: A championship is all that matters. James is a sure Hall of Famer (unless someone finds him taking steroids or something) and one of the most gifted players of all time.
But why not go for more. James you even said it during the (pointless) Decision on ESPN. “Not six, not seven, not eight.”
Jordan isn’t put at a pedestal he is because of his individual achievements and his six NBA titles. He is considered one of the best athletes ever because he always wanted more. He had a demeanor that most people wish for.
If James is smart, he will keep his same “Ugly Look” persona for the rest of his career. He should be hell-bent on killing everyone in his path (figuratively speaking) for the next 10 or so years he plays in the NBA.
Next year we will see who the true LeBron James is. And actually today, should be the day he puts all of this excitement aside, and worries about how he can beat up the team he is playing in the Finals next year. (And it would be nice if he could do that this summer in the Olympics as well, we need another Gold medal)
If your mom makes you a special batch of fresh chocolate chip cookies, one is never enough.
Courtesy of Youtube and NBA.com (No copyright infringement intended)