By Josh Kramer
40 points. 18 rebounds. 9 assists. That was LeBron James stat line on Sunday. Recognition was given for a good 24 hour period. Come Game 5 (tonight), the remarkable performance will be a mere memory. People are still far from satisfied with the King. In taking his talents to Miami back on July 8, 2010, James chose a different life. A life where the criticism never ends. Where the expectations grow at an infinite rate. A life where the word “satisfaction” does not exist. And of course a life where returning home is more of a chore than a celebration.
You all are quite familiar with the story. Not 1, not 2, not 3, not 4, not 5, not 6, not 7. It is a quote on the same level of the classic Allen Iverson “We talking about practice” rant of ten years ago. This season, LBJ put up arguably the greatest season of his already amazing career, helping him earn his third MVP Award in the past four years. The amazing thing is nobody seems to care. All anyone cares about are his missed free throws at the end of Game 2 against the Pacers. Or the fact that he dished the ball to superstar teammate Dwyane Wade for the final shot in Game 2.
Watching LeBron play this season and during the early going of the playoffs has been a treat. The guy is doing once in a lifetime type of things on both ends of the floor. Sadly, the expectations are so high on the King, if he does not bring home a ring, it will all be nothing. His remarkable 2011/2012 season will be thought of as a failure. Will the Heat cut down the nets? I am honestly not sure. A lot hinges on when Bosh comes back and if he is at 100%. Haslem did his best impersonation of the injured Chris Bosh on Sunday. When push comes to shove though, Haslem is not nearly the caliber of player that Chris Bosh is. Plus, OKC or San Antonio would be stiff competition if Miami were fortunate enough to get by Indiana and then the winner of the Boston/Philadelphia series.
I am by no means a LeBron James fan (I am not a hater either). I never have been. But I am a fan of the game of basketball. The way James fills up the stat sheet on a nightly basis deserves some praise. What he did on Sunday was truly remarkable. Sadly, if the Heat lose Game 5, it will all be forgotten. Despite many saying Dwyane Wade is the leader of the Miami Heat, it is LeBron James who carries the team and the city on his shoulders. It is LeBron James who took the brunt of the criticism when Miami came up empty-handed in 2011. And it will be LeBron James who shoulders the majority of the criticism no matter how well he plays if the Heat do not capture a ring in June. I guess that is the life of a King. Things are great when you are winning. Things are horrible when you are losing. The life of a King is bittersweet. Continue reading