LeBron James has just won his fourth MVP award in the last five seasons. He has proven to be the most talented player in the league, at least from an overall skill level. However, I think there are somethings people are over looking when talking about Mr. James.
To any follower of basketball, we expected just about nothing less from LeBron James. Since appearing of the cover of Sports Illustrated while still in high school, we have been expecting big things from him. He was anointed "The Chosen One" and even has a tattoo that says as such on his body. He was drafted number 1 overall right out of high school by his hometown team, the Cleveland Cavaliers. After 7 seasons in his hometown, including the franchises first finals appearance, he was gone. He could not deliver a title to his home state, so then he made his first mistake.
For the first time in history, a free agent had an entire show dedicated to his free agent destination. It was called "The Decision". On national, prime time television, James went on ESPN and ripped out the hearts of not only Cleveland fans, but fans of the NBA. He said he was taking his talents to Miami, to team up with off the court buddies Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh. The decision turned a lot of people of because of the grandiose way James went about a business decision. Never before, and probably never again, has an athlete gone on prime time television to address his next destination. The worst part was that Cleveland was still in the running to resign their hometown hero, but he ripped there hearts out on national TV.
Since arriving in Miami, they have both won and lost an NBA championship. The team has added other pieces at a cheaper cost because players are willing to take less to win a title. While I am a proponent of this attitude, it is generally not the way the game used to be played. It used to be that a player would essentially want to be the "Man" on his team. Like Jordan, Russell, Bird or Magic, when you thought of those guys, you thought of them as the one guy on their team. Now, players just want to team up in pursuit of rings. To me, it is not a good thing for sports in general. Pretty soon, there will only be a handful of viable teams, while the rest have to watch as mega teams get put together. It is sure to have an impact on the overall product sports are trying to produce.
Basically, I think LeBron James is the most physically gifted player in the NBA. He can do it all, but he is not without his flaws. He could not win a championship until he teamed up with two other superstars. He has a tendency to disappear in big games, deferring to other teammates. While he is surely going to be a Hall of Famer and be talked about as one of the greatest ever, there will also be whispers about the things he could not do on his own. Namely, carrying a team to a title.