If you are thinking I am going to be hating on Lebron James in this post then you are wrong. Lebron is the man. If I was building a team today and had to start with one player, Lebron and Kevin Durant would be on my short list. The man is a Hall of Famer already. In his 9th season, Lebron James is a 3-time MVP, 8-time All Star and the BEST one-on-one defender in the league. He is already in the discussion of top 5 players All Time.
The heat is on Lebron. The pressure is higher than it will ever get. Lebron James needs a title. Is the pressure deserved? Yes, it is.
“To be the man, you’ve got to beat the man.” – Ric Flair
Lebron’s career is very similar to the greatest player of all time, Wilt Chamberlain. (If you don’t think Wilt is the greatest ever then you are crazy.) Wilt’s game was great but he was getting knocked for not being able to win the title. Wilt didn’t win his first title until his 8th season in 1967 and that was with future Hall of Famers Hal Greer and Billy Cunningham on the squad. Wilt was the game’s best player and the fact he was never the last player standing was killing him. Maybe Wilt had an excuse? He was playing during the Bill Russell led Celtic teams that dominated the 60′s. Wilt would get another title in 1972 after Russell retired and he was playing against an injury riddled Knicks team (Picture the 2012 Bulls but worse).
Fast forward to now. Lebron James needs a title. He has had chances already in his career. He took the Cavs to the finals in 2007 before losing to the Spurs and went to the finals last season before falling to the Mavericks. The man has had chances. But it looks like Lebron has become the best player on some very good teams but not the main contributor and leader on a great team. With that comes the pressure.
If you win MVPs then you pressure belongs to you. If you are the best player on the team then the pressure belongs to you. If you are a top 5 player all time… the pressure belongs to you. There is no way around it. It is there. The greats have excepted it and risen above it. Lebron hasn’t done it yet. Lebron makes comments about doing enough to give ourselves a chance to win. A CHANCE TO WIN!! Showing up gives you a chance to win. What would Kevin Garnett have said after that loss? I know it wouldn’t have anything to do about a chance to win.
Can he get a title? Hell, yes! He may even get one this season (unlikely). Until he does though, Lebron James will be deserving and subject to all the blame and pressure that comes with being the best but not beating the rest.