Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP) – He went to Miami and became a champion.
He returned to Cleveland and won another title.
He moved to Los Angeles and is now back in the world of basketball.
LeBron James, love him or hate him, is now in his category. He has led three franchises to NBA titles, something nobody has ever done. His legacy came to an end long before Sunday night, when the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Miami Heat for the 17th time and became the NBA champions by winning a season-like title, capturing a bubble like no other.
But this legacy is now a little brighter.
“I guess, as Frank Sintra would say, I did it my way,” James said earlier in the playoffs.
This is not for debate.
He has won four titles. He is a four-time NBA Finals MVP, second to many to win. He has done all this with the NBA’s biggest target on his back, scrutinizing every action and every word and criticizing often.
James has become a symbol of independent superstar athletes, some try to be too many but few get the chance to attract. He does whatever He wants, when He wants, even though He wants to and He does it. Bill Russell will be the ring forever and Michael Jordan will forever be chosen by many as the greatest player in the NBA. And that’s fine with James, who has made his way.
“The game of basketball will pass me by,” James said, continuing the title. “There will be a new set of kids and a set of vests and dangs throughout the game. So, I can’t worry about it as far as the floor is concerned. How I walk, how I walk, what I preach, what I talk about, how I inspire the next generation are all important to me. ”
He never forgot that he was once a broken child from Akron, Ohio. If he’s not a billionaire yet, he’s trending this way. He is now at the Whitney Box, saying that its opening last week was “the best moment of my life.” He founded a school and was involved in affairs there. He is actively trying to get more people to vote, especially blacks.
“I just hope I can make my boys proud and it’s all important to me,” James said. . Ekron, Ohio, we did it again – and that’s it. “
Oh, if that wasn’t enough, he gave a Lakers franchise a championship that went on for 10 years without one and did so in one year when they needed it most, after all the tears of sorrow after them. Let the tears of joy flow. Kobe Bryant dies in a helicopter crash in January.
Denver coach Michael Malone said of James, “I think it’s amazing what LeBron is still doing at his age. “The minutes he’s playing are so impressive on both sides of the floor, and the impact he has on both ends of the floor, his desire to win is just fantastic.”
James, 35, finished the postseason with 580 points; No one his age had done that. He had 184 assists; No one his age had done that. If he is slowing down, he is not showing it; He scored 32 points in his first playoff game 14 years ago, surpassing 6 in this postseason run.
“He showed why he’s the player he is, why he has a career and why he has a legacy he’s constantly building,” said Jimmy Butler of Mimi.
James is 4,148 points behind Karim Abdul-Jabbar for the regular-season scoring lead, meaning he will have to play at least two more full seasons to reach that goal. Sunday was the 260th playoff performance of his career, which passed Derek Fisher for an all-time record. He became the All-NBA for the 16th time this season, a record. He started his 16th consecutive All-Star Game this season, another record. This season, more fans chose him as the MVP than Giannis Antitocompo, who won the award.
There is nothing left to prove on the basketball court.
Again, for a while there was nothing left to prove.
“I think about how the story should be told and how it should be written, how it should be written,” James said. “But I don’t think about my life heritage. What I get off the floor is more important to me than what I do on the floor. ”
What he has done, on the floor and outside, is how legends are defined.
“I think being able to sustain this kind of success year after year, year after year, is a testament to his greatness,” said Miami coach Eric Spolstra. “Different uniforms. New players and new teams following him. That is the true meaning of burning up of bad psychic imprints. He has seen everything. At this point in his career, it’s just a win. ”
Others have won more. But no one in the NBA has won like James.
Tim Reynolds is a national basketball writer for the Associated Press. Write him on Trenolds (AP)
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