LeBron James’ most recent NBA Finals victory will be viewed as his greatest achievement without question. If he decided to hang up his trainers today and leave the game, then he would be considered one of the greatest talents that the league has ever seen.
The King has fulfilled every promise that he has uttered since being drafted by the Cavaliers in 2003. His checklist includes winning an MVP award, capturing a championship, coming home to Northeast Ohio and ending the area’s 52-year title drought.
He even checked that last box off his to-do-list in dramatic fashion after coming back from a 3-1 deficit against the Golden State Warriors.
Observers everywhere are wondering: What is next for the kid from Akron? One camper at the All-Star’s own camp asked that question himself this week. He wondered: what will motivate the Finals MVP now?
Sports Illustrated captured James’ response: “My motivation, is this ghost I’m chasing. The ghost played in Chicago.”
The 31-year-old is chasing history after proving himself the most dominant current force in the association this past season by reaching the championship round for the sixth straight year and defeating a 73-win team.
Michael Jordan was always going to be the measuring stick that the Cavaliers forward was going to be held to. The Bulls guard was the ideal of sports triumph throughout his playing career and will be until someone unseats him from that lofty throne.
Players like Kobe Bryant came close to equaling Air Jordan’s overall ring total but, detractors will say that he was not the alpha dog on the teams that he won his first three championships on. That honor belongs to Shaquille O’Neal.
For James, it becomes even more precarious as he has lost on the biggest stage four times. But, he was an underdog in all of those series except the one he lost to the Mavericks in 2011.
However, there is no doubt that if The Chosen One can keep up his amazing play for a few more seasons then he has already put himself in the position to try and equal His Airness.