If they win tonight, the Miami Heat will hoist its second championship banner, and LeBron James will finally have his first championship.
Of course, the self-appointed King James has long been the source of fan vitriol and ridicule–for his hubristic and dramatic televised “Decision” to announce that he was breaking the hearts of Cleveland sports fans, and his inability to show up in the most important moments during games.
With the Heat up 3-1 in the Finals, this is uncharted territory for James, but he said he didn’t have any extra butterflies or anxiety on Thursday morning despite the opportunity at hand: winning his first championship and everything that comes with it.
“I’m just focused on the game, and everything else will take care of itself,” James said. “People are going to have their opinions about me no matter what — win, lose or draw. That’s one thing I can’t worry about. People are going to have their opinions about me, what they think about me, what I should do, what I shouldn’t do, so on and so on. But for me as a basketball player and for me as a leader, I just have to go out and do what I know I’m capable of doing.”
Read more at ESPN
Should the Heat win tonight, or over the weekend however, it will almost solely be due to James’ herculean will and effort. He’s seemingly matured, been much more focused and serious. James no longer pretends to pose for team pictures with his teammates before games, and he has adopted a serial killer-esque stare during them.
He’s also stopped caring about–or at least paying attention to–what people have said about him. He’s turned off the tv and abstained from Twitter in exchange for books. (Let that be a message to black youth.)
Still, though, there are those who will root against James with a passion fueled by the bitter taste previous antics–some James’ fault, some not–left in their mouths. BYP blogger Tamara wrote a great piece about James yesterday.
With Tamara’s blog and game 5 in mind tonight, we must ask: Are you (still) rooting against James and the Heat tonight?
If you’re rooting for or against James, why? Would a championship rehabilitate James’ image?
Sound off below!