It’s over.Never again can someone argue that LeBron James — one of the most talented, productive, awe-inspiring players the NBA has ever seen — is an inadequate basketball player.
People can still hate LeBron James for the narcissism of ‘The Decision.’
They can still hold a grudge for the heinous extravagance of the Big 3 Welcome Party in 2010.
And they can still sneer at his gaudy outfits and general lack of self-awareness.
But after tonight, no one can criticise LeBron James, The Basketball Player, anymore.
He had 26 points, 13 rebounds, and 10 assists in the deciding Game 5 — which is spectacular for anyone else, but just slightly above-average for LBJ.
The performance rounded out one of the greatest individual playoff runs of all time. Over the past seven weeks, LBJ crossed off every box he needed to cross off:
- He dominated from start to finish, averaging 30 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 assists
- He stepped up in the biggest games of the year, scoring 45 points in an elimination Game 6 against the Celtics, and throwing down a triple-double tonight
- He came up clutch — drilling a key 3-pointer in Game 4 against OKC while suffering a cramp
- He was willing and able to dominate in the low post — something his critics harped on endlessly last year
- He shut down the best scorer in the league in Games 4 and 5 of the NBA Finals.
- He got his ring (most important)
LeBron James is a transcendent basketball player. That’s it.
He’s not perfect, and he’ll surely make mistakes in the future. But the false narrative parroted by his many haters — that he has some inherent psychological flaw that will prevent him from ever being true great — is dead and buried.
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