LeBron James came back home to Akron, Ohio, but fell short of delivering a title again. In a letter last summer via Sports Illustrated’s Lee Jenkins, James closed saying, “I’m ready to accept the challenge. I’m coming home.” This summer he will be home not writing a letter, but looking at his accomplishments this past season. James realizes he is the best player in the world, but losing in the NBA Finals means this challenge is harder than he thought.
James averaged fewer than 36 points, 13.3 rebounds and 8.8 assists throughout the series. He was able to lead this Cavaliers team to two wins against a Golden State Warriors team that finished with 83 wins, the third-highest single-season total in history, moreover one of the 10 best records in league history.
My opinion of LeBron’s greatness has not changed for the better or worse. Individually he is the best player in the world however picking the team with the best player in the world to win the NBA title is not what I did. LeBron’s career is defined by his pursuit of a championship. This was his fifth straight Finals appearance and sixth overall; he has two wins and four losses to show for it. The four losses always hurt more than the joy of winning the two.
James has lost in the Finals two years straight. Again he enters the summer offseason regimen, logging back into the social media platforms, but more importantly refueling his pursuit for another championship. “[I] put my body through a lot, you know, but it’s the price for your body feeling this way for winning. Did I win? I didn’t win a championship, but I’ve done a lot of good things in this first year back and hopefully I can continue it.”
LeBron is one of the most amazing athletes on the face of the earth. He is worth the price of admission. This challenge of delivering a championship to Cleveland does not get easier. The price he is paying for losing in the Finals is coming at a cost he cannot afford yearly. Another full season out of his 30-year-old body, one that has already played more than 43,000 minutes. The team’s roster today minus him can possibly finish last in either conference.
It is all part of the challenge. Cavs fans again have to be patient, but it is easier said than done since Cleveland has been without a title since 1964 and the Cavaliers have never won one. Time is not on LeBron’s side. The four-time MVP knows it and he left that out in the letter.