Legacy On the Line

6.7.12.  The date Lebron James became the player we’ve seen dominate the modern era.  In the offseason preceding the 2010-11 season, the reigning MVP decided to leave his homeland of Cleveland, Ohio to join forces with Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh in South Beach in unpopular fashion and received much criticism for doing so.  “The Decision” was a disaster and if you were to ask LeBron, I’m pretty sure he would’ve done it differently.  Because as life tends to do, a lesson in Humility 101 was just around the corner.

The superstar studded Miami Heat were definitely the favorites to win the hardware going into the 2010-11 season.  In 79 starts, LeBron averaged 27 point per game with 31 double-doubles and 4 triple doubles.  The Heat finished the season 58-24 and advanced to the NBA Finals cruising pass the Sixers, Bulls and Celtics without any of the series going more than 5 games.  The Heat were peaking at the right time and LeBron was 4 wins away from accomplishing the task he set to accomplish in Miami.  To win his first NBA title.  Up to this point in his career, he had accomplished everything he could have possibly had.  Rookie of the Year, Two MVPs, All-NBA teams, All-NBA Defensive teams and much more.  He accomplished all of these accolades but still was not a NBA Champion.  

In the NBA Finals of his debut season with the Miami Heat, James averaged a mere 3 points in the 4th quarter and after leading the series 2 games to 1, the Miami ended up losing the series to the Dirk Nowitzki led Dallas Mavericks in 6 games.  LeBron James lost it all but learned a valuable lesson.  A lesson of nothing is given and everything is earned.  Even for one of the greatest basketball players to ever lace up and play the game.

Photo courtesy of The New York Times
One can only imagine the emotional stress LeBron endured over the course of that offseason after losing in the 2010-11 NBA Finals.  After promising 4, 5 and 6 championships for the franchise, he failed.  And he did so in unforgettable fashion.  At the time, it may have seemed like the absolute worst thing ever, but it prepared him for the next phase in his career.  Losing to the Mavericks laid the foundation for the second coming of “The Chosen One.”

Now back to 6.7.12.  You now know the backstory.  Let’s fast forward to this date.  TD Garden is the set for a show that is the most defining game of James’ career and legacy.  Down 3-2 and facing elimination in the Eastern Conference Finals to the gritty and pissed off Boston Celtics with their own “Big 3,” LeBron James laced up and hit the hardwood in these:

Nike LeBron 9 Elite PE

Neue Neueste Schwarz Rot Männer Nike Lebron 9 Ps Elite Basketball-Schuhe Hamburg 1697
Photo courtesy of bagsev.ed

Photo courtesy of bagsev.ed

Photo courtesy of bagsev.ed
LeBron went on to score 45 points and pull down 15 rebounds in a statement win.  In that game, every doubt was clarified and every hater was silenced.  James went 19-26 from the field shooting an outstanding 73 percent from the field against a top-rated defense.  The Celtics dared him to shoot from the perimeter and he torched them from start to finish.  LeBron James led the Heat to win the game 98-79, win the series 4-3 and ultimately the NBA Finals in 5 games against a young Oklahoma City Thunder led by Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.

Photo courtesy of Davis Enterprise.
Game 6 of the 2011-12 ECF may not sound like it would mean as much as a game 7 of the NBA Finals, but LeBron’s legacy was on the line.  If the best player in the world on the most talented team in the NBA were to come up short two years in a row, all fingers would have point to him.  He’d be the one to blame.  Expectations were high with all eyes on him anticipating another King James’ failure.  LeBron understood the task at hand and accepted the challenge.  Just play, leave it all on the floor and live with the results.  He didn’t overthink the game and ended up accomplishing a lifelong goal just when it seemed almost impossible.  As a result, he is now the best player in the world and most dominant player in the NBA.  That’s the story behind the Nike LeBron 9 Elite PE.

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