CLEVELAND – What makes a king a king? Is it his power amongst the people, the way he leads his troops in battle or better yet the way he protects his legacy? For Cleveland’s self-proclaimed king, LeBron James, it’s a combination of all three. Even though LeBron has silenced critics who questioned his status among the NBA’s greats by winning not one but two NBA championships, LeBron’s homecoming and the Cleveland Cavaliers 2nd appearance in the NBA finals gives us three reasons “Why LeBron’s 3rd ring will be better than the first two”.
July 8, 2010 the date that will haunt Cleveland forever, or at least until they win a championship. It has been almost 5 years to this date, the date LeBron announced his decision to take his talents to Miami to play for the Miami heat. And during those 4 years the city of Cleveland & its fans grew a cold shoulder to its once beloved king. His return to the city this past summer gave hope that those once gasoline fueled burned bridges could eventually be rebuilt. The way a king treats his people will give him an understanding as to how long he will rule over them. King James learned this lesson the hard way when he decided to leave his beloved city for a city of thrills and adventures. But those thrills and adventures were needed for the growth of the king in ordered to face the challenge that his second coming to Cleveland would call for.
In the Cavs return to glory LeBron has worked very hard at reclaiming the witnesses who once booed him whole heartedly during his time in a Miami jersey. But following a tough season & successful playoff run that has the Cleveland cavaliers poised for a dominant Finals performance, LeBron has mended the wounds of his “witnesses” and turned those boos back into cheers. Cheers that lift the spirits of him & his teammates over the bridge that James has rebuilt with his beloved fans and the same bridge that has the cities first championship on its horizon.
To go alongside winning back the trust of his witnesses the king had to win back the trust of his teammates and lead them in a new way. The likes of Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love & J.R. Smith all have reputations as being solid players in the league today, but they also have in common the fact that they aren’t NBA champions with two of the for mentioned three not having any playoff experience at all. A talented team with little to none playoff experience LeBron was faced with leading this bunch through a treacherous season being the experienced vet, a role he had never had to play before. There was no longer the crutch of having a “big three” to lean on & other vets who have been to the NBA promised land of championships; This time around it was all on the king’s shoulders to lead the way. But with his fifth consecutive finals appearance underway and a potential third ring on the horizon LeBron’s legacy seems to be coming full circle as he’s already solidified his presence amongst the NBA’s greats.
A king’s light shines brightest when he acts upon the things he says he will do, for when it’s all said and done all a man has is his word to fall back on. Winning titles one and two did wonders for LeBron’s legacy. But his legacy would unquestionably surpass that of Michael Jordan as the “greatest of all time if he is able to bring to life to the words he spoke in Miami but instead do it in Cleveland “Not one, not two, not three, not four, not five championships”.