It seems like LeBron James’ finals streak might finally come to an end this season and for the better or worse. LeBron, indisputably the greatest player of this generation, has been in the limelight since age 17 and in-spite of great expectations being thumped upon him since the beginning of career, he never seemed to be succumb under the pressure.
And even in his 15th season, LeBron has been everything but frail. At age 33, where most veterans seem to have a declining chapter of their NBA career, LeBron has been setting up new boundaries and is breaking league records a well as his own. With Kyrie Irving joining the Boston Celtics this year and experiencing repetitive roster changes, the team has repeatedly fallen prey to many below average teams which they should have been blowing out. And at times like this, who else came to the franchise rescue then their very own superhero LeBron James. But in-spite of all this hustle, LeBron has always been on the receiving end of criticism coming from the critics, fans and the analysts.
The reason for LeBron always being on the radar comes from the fact that he has frequently been delinquent in his NBA Finals appearances. In eight of his finals appearances, LeBron has only managed to win three, and even though he always gave his best in each finals series, being the leader of the team, the burden of the loss always fell on his shoulders. But appearing in the finals is a huge deal for LeBron, who wears it as a badge of honor. As in an interview with ESPN’s Dave McMenamin just days before the NBA 2017 Finals, LeBron mentioned,
“I think it’s going to be great for my legacy, once I’m done playing the game and can look back on the game and say, ‘Oh, this guy went to three straight Finals, four straight Finals, five, six whatever’. I think it’s great to be talked about, see what I was able to accomplish as an individual.”
But sadly, the critics and the audiences think otherwise. One of the reasons, Michael Jordan unanimously holds the “G.O.A.T ” (Greatest Of All Time) title, is not because he went to six straight finals, but because he won all six of them. And winning Finals M.V.P in every finals was just the icing on the cake.
There’s very little left for LeBron James to prove as a basketball player. He is the best at every aspect of the game and has proved himself worthy time and again. Maybe, not going to another NBA Finals won’t affect his legacy as much as losing another finals would.