Through the Lake of Fire: Lebron James: The Aftermath

Posted by C.L. Anthony on Saturday, May 14, 2011 with 1 comment
10 points, 10 straight points by Lebron James to finish off the Boston Celtics in 5 games.  10 straight points to exorcise the pain that the Celtics have inflicted upon the players of the Miami Heat for years and finally 10 straight points to give the kiss of death to a well respected champion who fought to the end.  The Miami Heat did what many thought was impossible, they walked through the Lake of Fire and faced the demon that haunted them for years.  Once the game clock read zero, dot dot, zero zero, Lebron James knelt onto the court overcome by the pure raw emotions of not only a basketball player but that of a man.  No team has faced the pressure that the Heat had over the last 9 months and no player had to face the music as much as Lebron James has thus far this season.  Going through the Boston Celtics was only one goal, one of the reasons that this big three was formed and now the Miami Heat are at the threshold of their final journey; they're only eight wins away from the ultimate prize, the ultimate redemption for James, the cementing the legacy of Wade, and the culmination of sacrifice for Bosh.  Last night was the 1 year anniversary of that faithful night in Boston where the downfall of Lebron James ironic that last night he rose up in the face of all of the adversity and delivered the knock out blow.

The critics who just needed something negative to say were all underwhelmed by the 58 wins the Heat earned this past season but the bigger picture was lost.  It was always all about the playoffs and making it to the Eastern Conference Finals with what some have called a "flawed" roster is a great achievement.  All year the naysayers have spoken about this team as being bullies, front runners, not being able to win in the clutch and dare I say accused of being soft.  The majority of those labels were shed last night, the Heat wanted the biggest kids on the block "The Celtics" and they vanquished them in five games that equated to five rounds of a heavyweight fight.  Simply put it was a climatic power struggle of two great defensive teams, similar in many ways to the playoff battles the Heat had with the Knicks in the late 90's.  As stated in the past, the Celtics Big three were the blueprint for the big three of the Miami Heat and if you look at the numbers, they are staggering.  The Celtics big three averaged 50.4 points, 19.4 rebounds, and shot 42.2% from the field.  The big three of the Heat averaged 71 points, 25.2 rebounds, and shot 44.8% from the field.  Simply put, the Celtics were outplayed by younger legs.  

Mission Accomplished....Not Quite!

The Great White Shark was able to capture the seal and devour him and now what's next in the chain of life is the next meal?  He'll no doubt enjoy this meal, it was a long time coming; this meal will end the hunger of the Great White for a couple of days but then that hunger will return, consume every thought of that Great White once more.  In a matter of days it will be time for those eyes to roll over black again and those jaws spring open, ready to slam shut on the next helpless seal, whether it be the Bulls or the Hawks, the fight for survival will be the same as the last.  Will the determined win or will the desperate win?  After walking through the Lake of Fire to defeat the Boston Celtics, the Miami Heat now understands what it takes to jump start their collective games and make the championship pushes as the end of games that necessary to truly be crowned champions.  

In a season of ups and downs, a season in which the most scrutinized team in NBA history grew up before our eyes, the most honest assessment of the team came from outside of the organization.  The assessment was based on all of the negative media coverage that the Heat received throughout the season   Celtics Head Coach Doc Rivers made the assessment last night in his post game interview when he made this statement about the Miami Heat:  

"I didn't like it because I thought it helped them. I said it all year, I wish you guys would leave them alone because it allowed them to go through something, it prepared them for the playoffs, and i said it all year to our coaches, I wish people would just leave them alone."

A lot of people in this world spend the majority of their basketball time hating on the Miami Heat and attacking the Heat every chance that they can.  The deeper the Heat go into the playoffs, the less "fans" will be able to hate.  The Heat are 8 wins away from the ultimate goal, the ultimate FU and I wonder what will the "fans" who hate have to say at that point about Lebron James and the other team members.  Even this morning I heard "fans" on sports radio complaining that the Heat "celebrated" too much after the win last evening, maybe I'm biased but I didn't see it that way.  What I saw was a team exhaling after completing one of their two goals for this current season and that was defeating the Celtics, the next goal....winning the NBA Championship.

At this brief moment in time the Miami Heat are the favorites to bring the title home but they will still have to work for it.  There's no doubt that earning the next eight wins will be the toughest wins of the season to acquire but they can at least see the finish line.  The playoffs are where you make your name and Lebron James has become entrenched inside of the Miami Heat culture and it was the best thing for him as a person and as a player.  Over the past season I've seen him grow up as a player and as a man and embracing the best partner he could have in Dwyane Wade instead of standing in his way.  It seems as if Lebron, King James has figured it out and if that's the case...NBA beware because all Championship hopes and dreams for the other NBA franchises may have to go through Miami for the next 3-4 years.