Sports

LeBron James’ Legacy Fades with Each NBA Finals Loss

Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) hangs his heads during the second half of Game 6 of basketball's NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors in Cleveland, Tuesday, June 16, 2015. The Warriors defeated the Cavaliers 105-97 to win the best-of-seven game series 4-2. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) hangs his heads during the second half of Game 6 of basketball’s NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors in Cleveland, Tuesday, June 16, 2015. The Warriors defeated the Cavaliers 105-97 to win the best-of-seven game series 4-2. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

 

(USA Today) – Two titles in 12 seasons. That’s the current résumé of the greatest player in the world, LeBron James, who single-handedly kept his beat-up Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals, only to lose again, falling to 2-4 in NBA Finals and raising questions about his ever ping-ponging legacy.

No one doubts LeBron is the greatest player of his generation. But, at this point, he’s the only player ever to earn that honor who hasn’t dominated the NBA Finals while in his prime — a prime that’s ending sooner rather than later. Is it his fault for not making his teammates better? Is it his team’s fault for not getting him better teammates? These questions are irrelevant and will stay irrelevant if LeBron ends up with a pedestrian amount of NBA championships. There’s no nuance involved in questions about legacy. It’s about numbers, pure and simple.

Two titles in 12 seasons. Michael Jordan had five in his first 12 years with the Bulls and six in 13 seasons overall. He waited six years for his first title, while it took eight years for LeBron to get his. But Jordan then went six-for-six in each of his last full seasons with the Bulls, while LeBron is only one-for-three after winning his first (though he’s made the Finals each of those years).

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