Full Circle: LeBron James

Posted by C.L. Anthony on Friday, April 27, 2012 with No comments
        As the MVP chants filled the arena they grew louder and stronger.  The raucous crowd were giving the soon the be MVP the stamp of approval the only way that they knew how.  There he was, LeBron James, standing at the free throw line, the loneliest place on the basketball court, basking in the glory of the MVP chants from the crowd.  It's a scene we've all seen many times but this time, on that night, April 16th, something was much different.  LeBron James who was once one of the most loved players in the NBA became one of the most hated players when he decided to "take his talents to South Beach".  Throughout the entirety of last season and the majority of this season, James would travel to different cities and be booed relentlessly by opposing fans; the boos often being born out of hate, spite, and insecurity but on April 16th, 2012 the scene was surreal.

Miami is home, the expected place for James to be playing in front of a raucous crowd, being showered by a chorus of MVP chants as he stands alone at the free throw line but that wasn't the case, the basketball Gods had spoken and they wouldn't have any of that.  LeBron James, the self proclaimed King and two time NBA MVP stood before the crowd basking in the MVP chants but not in Miami, the King had returned and it was to New Jersey.  As James was in the middle of scoring 17 straight points the New Jersey crowd showered him with adulation.  On that night, April 16th, the MVP chase ended as James did what many thought was impossible after his collapse in the NBA Finals last season, he put the Miami Heat on his back and carried his team to victory with his 17 straight point explosion.  Pure NBA fans, fans of basketball
knew all along that James had it within himself as in the past there have been glimpse of greatness, but this was his first display since being a member of the Miami Heat.

When the Miami Heat shocked the NBA universe and reshaped its team virtually overnight sacrifice was the theme but perhaps James sacrificed too much, deferred to close friend Dwyane Wade too much when all including Wade were expecting James to carry the torch held by previous Heat greats such as Alonzo Mourning, Tim Hardaway, Shaquille O'Neal, and Wade.  The fans of the Heat waited patiently for James to take control of the reigns and it now appears that he has.  It is widely known that the NBA MVP award is a "regular season" award so if indeed James is named this season's MVP, it will just be the first step of a two step process.  For James, leading the Heat to the NBA Championship will be the final step in his coronation.

Remember, it is said that time heals all wounds.  Is this the NBA or some great fairy tale that was written by an accomplished author.  In a span of 20 months LeBron James went from being one of the most hated players in the history of the NBA to being showered with MVP chants in a opposing arena.  Oh how sweet it was to see a man who was once vilified and reviled reach a point of being vindicated.  With that being said I'll be the first to acknowledge that no trophy has been handed out and no championship banner has been raised but the purity of James's game was showcased as he quietly marches towards his third MVP award and perhaps his first NBA championship.  Simply put, James's ascension has been clear as he is in the closing stages of one of the best statistical seasons in league history.  The career arch of LeBron James has brought him full circle in the eyes of true NBA fans and once this current chapter in his career ends in June, he may truly be known once again as The King.

“If I’m able to win it this year it would be very humbling knowing the caliber of guys who have won it three times,” James said.  “I’m just back to playing the way I play the game, with a lot of fun and a lot of joy and just not proving anything to anyone......Last year, I felt I had to prove something to people. I have no idea why. But I got to that point, and it took me away from why I love the game so much and why I love the NBA.”

Full Circle

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/04/20/2760393/lebron-has-miami-heat-marching.html#storylink=cpy

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/04/20/2760393/lebron-has-miami-heat-marching.html#storylink=cpy