Congratulations on winning you first NBA title. You rose above the odds (albeit, self-created odds) and are finally an NBA champion. I have to admit, you played great throughout the playoffs and somehow managed to turn it up a notch during the Finals. There’s no debating your immense talent on the basketball floor and as a result you no longer have to worry about finding yourself in the same chapter of NBA history with the likes of Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing, and Karl Malone. Unlike them, you’re a super-star who was able to get a ring.
But here’s the thing LeBron. I understand the need for a title. We all do. There was never doubting the fact that you needed to win it in order to hush your harshest of critics. Only… we’re not 100% sure your reason for so desperately wanting a championship wasn’t motivated by a desire for brand enhancement. Why else would Nike have a commercial celebrating your grandest achievement ready to go within minutes of the final buzzer if not for the sole purpose of enhancing your brand?
That’s all it’s ever been about. All of the interviews you gave, all of the press conferences with your teammates surrounding you, and even “The Decision” itself have been calculated to build your brand as a global icon. Winning a title is just the icing on the cake. So last night, while you partied it up with Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh and ESPN crowned you as the greatest thing since sliced bread, Clevelanders let out an exasperated sigh of relief. We can finally move on with our lives now that you got yours. We can finally start rooting again for something TO happen instead of rooting for something NOT TO happen.
We know you probably don’t care about what we have to say or think about this, otherwise you would have responded to Jason Whitlock’s “non-baiting” line of questioning. Truth be told, we don’t care either. The city didn’t burn to the ground and the sky didn’t rain fire. Instead, the sun rose this morning and everyone carried on with there lives. We got up, went to work, and did the same thing we do every day… persevere.
We won’t allow ourselves to be defined by your accomplishment, or maybe you’re non-accomplishment. You got yours and in the process ended the traumatic six-year championship drought in Miami. Toddlers in Miami can sleep easy knowing they’ve finally seen a title in their lifetimes.
Now it’s our turn and there’s reason to be optimistic.
Thanks to Kyrie Irving, Tristan Thompson, and the plethora of picks we’ve accumulated in this year’s draft we’ve never felt better about our future. We’re building something special, something lasting. We’re building a team. And maybe that’s been the secret to this thing all along. Maybe, the task of ending our 48 year title drought is too big and too daunting a task for one person. Maybe one player alone can’t get the job done. Maybe it’s going to take a team motivated enough at a shot for eternal glory to get over the hump; a team that understands just how much a championship is going to mean for the name running across the front of their chests and not the name stitched on the back.
Whatever the case may be, I hope you’re happy with how things have turned out. Judging from last night it would appear your thrilled. And that’s fine. You have every right to be excited after doing something in a city that was done six long years ago. Odds are good that you’ll be in this same position again next year. Just know this LeBron. Keep this one thought in the back of your head for safe keeping.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are coming for you.