LeBron James won a championship and nothing changed.
Sure, there were a few events. The obligatory champagne shower at his stall in the Miami Heat locker room. The parade before an estimated 400,000 fans. A pep rally at his high school. And Tuesday night brings the ultimate capper, the ring-and-banner ceremony just minutes before the start of a new season.
Then it begins again, another year, another quest for a title.
Having one title is not completely satisfying for James, who put the he-can’t-win notion to rest when the Heat beat the Oklahoma City Thunder in five games for last season’s NBA crown. It was a perfect run for the perennial All-Star: Besides getting engaged and winning his second Olympic gold, James walked away with the NBA’s three most coveted trophies: MVP, Finals MVP and the championship.
For an encore, he wants more.
“I want to be the best of all-time,” James said in an interview with The Associated Press. “It’s that simple.”
He expressed similar sentiment last year, and the year before that, and probably all the way back to high school in Akron, Ohio. He always wondered if a championship would change that perspective.
He now has his answer.
“Not really, honestly,” James said. “I haven’t had much time to really just think about what actually happened. At the end of the day, there’s still going to be people that say, well, he’s not going to be able to win two. He’s not going to be able to do it again.”
Time will tell.
At 6-foot-8, 260 pounds and blessed with a speed-and-strength combination — “he’s a freak,” Detroit coach Lawrence Frank said — James is widely considered the best player in the game today. He has won three MVP awards and some opposing coaches say he might keep winning those until voters get tired of selecting him.
But the best of all time, that title will obviously take some work.
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