Defending the King

Every king needs to have a crown and this year the NBA crown resides in Golden State with Steph Curry instead of in Cleveland with Lebron James. While there are those fans that are celebrating LeBron’s unsuccessful quest for obtaining an NBA title LeBron’s performance in the NBA Finals still needs to be respected and considered one of the greatest final performances in NBA history.

LeBron averaged 35.8 points, 13.3 rebounds, and 8.8 assists per game. To put these stats in perspective Lebron was 8 assists away from averaging a triple double for the entire series. The only aspect that was missing for LeBron was that his team did not win the series. If Cleveland did win the series the discussion would alter from LeBron being finals MVP to LeBron being the greatest player of all time.

The state of the Cleveland Cavaliers would also have to be evaluated to determine the true performance of Lebron. The injuries to Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving severely damaged the Cavaliers in scoring, rebounding, and depth. Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving made up 36.9% of the Cavaliers regular season scoring and 30% of the Cavaliers rebounding average. LeBron had to raise his game during the finals and was able to bring his depleted squad two wins away from an NBA title. Revisionist history would allow people to determine what would happen if both Love and Irving were healthy but those arguments still would not take the crown away from the Golden State Warriors.

While individual success can still determine the performance of an individual athlete, basketball is still a team game and the overall goal is to be victorious. When you are considered by some and anoint yourself the greatest basketball player alive the expectation is to win the NBA title every year. And this is the second year in the row that the king has not received his crown even if he had a dilapidated supporting cast with him in the final game. Instead of being gleeful Lebron haters should be cautious going into the 2015-16 season. Injuries stopped the Cavaliers this season but if all the members stay put and stay healthy Lebron could easily lead his team to through the Eastern Conference to the NBA finals again. With improved and healthier reinforcements LeBron can finally bring a title to his hometown and wear the crown he deserves.

LeBron James:

http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/j/jamesle01.html

Kevin Love Stats:

http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/l/loveke01.html?lid=header_players

Kyrie Irving Stats:

http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/i/irvinky01.html

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