Years ago, people weren’t asking if LeBron James would ever win another title, except they were asking; will LeBron EVER win a title? Well, he did, twice. Now I’m curious thinking if he’ll ever win another one.
In LeBron’s first eight years in the league, he found himself making the NBA Finals once with the Cleveland Cavaliers. In 2007, he led his team to the NBA Finals against the San Antonio Spurs, but they got swept. In 2010, he jumped ship to Miami to join Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh on the Heat. I’m sure everybody remembers the infamous line, “I’m taking my talents down to South Beach.” He made the finals his first year there and lost to the Dallas Mavericks. People were wondering if he’d ever win a title at this point. The people that would compare him to Jordan would say that Jordan never lost in the finals but LeBron is already 0-2 in the finals. Well, LeBron would win the coveted NBA title the next year, and then the year after that. So now LeBron has two championships under his belt; he now, at least, doesn’t have to deal with the scrutiny of never winning an NBA championship.
But now we look at the fact that LeBron is 2-4 in the NBA Finals. He’s been to the NBA Finals for five straight years, representing the Eastern Conference (4 years with Miami; 1 year with Cleveland).
When LeBron came back to Cleveland in 2014 he promised the city a ring. He brought Cleveland to the finals and lost to the Golden State Warriors in six games, where LeBron basically carried his team. The Cavs were hit with some brutal injuries (Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love) and just couldn’t keep up with the Warriors.
Now it’s towards the end of the 2016 season and LeBron and the Cavs look to stay healthy in the playoffs and make it back to the NBA Finals. LeBron is seeking his sixth consecutive trip to the NBA Finals as well. It seems LeBron doesn’t have any issues when it comes to getting past the Eastern Conference playoff teams, but when it comes to playing in the finals, that’s where the problems come along.
Let’s face it, the Western Conference has been the supreme conference in the NBA for the past couple of years. Currently, there may be more winning records in the Eastern Conference than the Western Conference, but the Western Conference’s top teams are significantly better than the East’s top teams record-wise. Right now the Cavs would be sitting as the 3rd seed in the Western Conference. Teams like the Warriors or Spurs are killing it this season and seem dead-focused to win an NBA championship. Can LeBron and the Cavs beat either these teams in the finals, if the make it of course? I don’t believe so honestly. I believe the Warriors will win the west and ultimately the finals this season. And I think it’ll be like this in the many years to come. They’re a modern-day Chicago Bulls. I expect them to dominate the league and I expect to see a lot of repeats coming from them.
What does this mean for LeBron? He’s lost to them once in the finals and I can imagine it happening again if they meet up once or twice more. LeBron can’t leave Cleveland again for a better team… That would be career suicide. How many stars does he need around him in order to win? Unfortunately for LeBron, I just really don’t see him winning any championships in the next few years if the Warriors keep doing what they’re doing. Unless a serious injury or roster shakeup happens, I see the Warriors winning multiple championships in the years to come, and that isn’t good for LeBron.
It also seems that there is drama surrounding LeBron and the Cavaliers too. The firing of David Blatt, constant Kevin Love trade talks, chemistry issues with Kyrie… It just always seems to be something new. You rarely hear issues like that when it comes to the Spurs or Warriors.
In order for LeBron to win, the Cavs need to get their act together. They can’t rely on one or two players to carry the team; they need to play as a team to take down the top teams in the NBA. In the 2015 NBA Finals LeBron averaged 35.8 points, 13.3 rebounds, and 8.8 assists in 46 minutes played. I understand Kyrie and Love were injured and he basically had to do everything, but one man can’t win your team a championship. One man can only do so much. LeBron’s stats are just stupid and it was fun as hell to watch him do what he did, but he can’t beat a whole team on his own. Matthew Dellavedova can only do so much, too. I believe once the Cavaliers are fully healthy they can compete better and not have to rely on one person as much… *cough* LeBron *cough*. But to beat a team like the Warriors, they’re going to have to really come together to take them down.
I hope that LeBron leads the Cavaliers to a championship soon and fulfills his promise to bring the city a championship. The city of Cleveland deserves it. LeBron definitely deserves it. I just hope he wins it once or twice more as his legendary career comes to a close.