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It’s championship or bust for King James

By: Damon Sloan

It doesn't matter if the Golden State Warrior have made history this year, with a healthy Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving, LeBron James has to deliver Cleveland a championship this year.

It doesn’t matter if the Golden State Warrior have made history this year, with a healthy Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving, LeBron James has to deliver Cleveland a championship this year.

LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers are still undefeated in the playoffs heading into the Eastern Conference Finals and look to make their second-straight appearance back to the NBA Finals hoping this time to crown themselves as champions. However, it is extremely vital to King James to bring a title to his hometown team is he wants to submit his legacy as the “Chosen One” of his era.

James has been to five straight NBA finals, an impressive feat in its own right; but those two rings that he won were with a Miami Heat team that already boasted one of the greatest players in the decade in Dwayne Wade as well as adding the versatile Chris Bosh from the Toronto Raptors.

The Cavaliers now have that same formula with Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving joining LeBron to form one of the most dangerous Big Three’s in the history of the NBA. They have proven that they can take care of business in the first two series overcoming both Detroit and Atlanta with better talent in the end of the game. But can Cleveland sustain their level of dominance in their quest for a title? Can LeBron remain the King and lead his Northeast Ohio kingdom to the promise land and capture the treasure?

It has to be done for James, if he wants to lay to rest the doubters that say he can’t win the big one for his hometown.

Now that LeBron is back in Cleveland, He must finish what he started before he left for Miami. He has the best team in the Eastern Conference and they have gotten better throughout the season with better ball movement and less dependency on James, Irving and Love. That will serve them he has a similar situation with Irving and Love.

The main difference is that Wade and Bosh were already proven leaders on their squad. Bosh was the face of the Raptors and led them to the playoffs and a division title. Wade brought the Heat team a championship in 2006 and the Heat have been a threat in the eastern conference since he emerged as the star. But now he has a younger version of Wade and Bosh and wade in Irving and Love as well as solid role players like J.R Smith, Iman Shumpert and Mo Williams, who ironically was the starting point guard for Cleveland in LeBron’s first last three years with the team before leaving to Miami.

Another ironic situation that Cleveland finds themselves in is that they are in the same situation they were in back in 2009; the year Cleveland had the best record in the league with 66 wins and ironically they faced the Detroit Pistons in the first round and the Atlanta Hawks in the second round, sweeping both teams just as they did this year.

They will head into their eastern conference finals shows down with the Toronto Raptors undefeated just as they did in 2009 when they faced the Orlando Magic. The problem with that scenario is that Cleveland fell short, losing to the Magic in six games, one of more underrated losses of LeBron’s career because that was the year that he was supposed to face Kobe Bryant and the Lakers in the finals, in what would have been an epic showdown.

LeBron and the Cavaliers face that same scenario against a young, hungry Raptor team that wants to take that next step in bringing their first NBA title to the Great North. The Toronto Raptors of this year and Orlando Magic of 2009 are similar in the fact that they boasted superstars that can match LeBron’s performance. The Magic had Dwight Howard, the three time Defensive Player of the Year, who dominated inside the paint against Cleveland that series and did a great job of matching what LeBron did offensively with his defensive and dominant inside presence. The Toronto Raptors have two stars in their backcourt featuring Demar Derozen and Kyle Lowry, both all-stars and can both close games for the Raptors if need be.

When it comes to LeBron’s dominance, there’s no doubt it will be on full display as he gets closer to the finals. But it’s his teammates that need to step up when he needs scoring help. He lacked that help in 2009 which is why they were upset by the Magic. LeBron literally had to do everything that series averaging 38.5 ppg 8.3 rpg and 8 apg. Legendary statistics, but are forgotten because his team could not help produce.

But this Cavalier team is a lot deeper than it was in 2009 and they have two All-stars to help bail him out this year. LeBron’s quest to not only get back to the finals but to bring the Cavs their first NBA title must be done and their best shot just might be this year.

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Damon Sloan

Staff Writer
Damon Has been an athlete his entire life. He started playing basketball when he was three-years-old and played competitively all the way through his high school years. He had a chance to pursue a collegiate basketball career but chose to focus on getting his education. Damon knew he wanted to be around sports and he was always interested in knowing statistics about players and could separate the good players from the bad. Growing up his mother called him the "stat king" because he could tell you any statistic about any player. Damon wants to be versatile in writing not just for basketball, but for football, boxing, and mixed martial arts. One thing that may separate Damon from other journalists is that he isn't just knowledgeable about basketball, but he played at a high level for years and still continues to play today, which helps him mold his knowledge of the game.
One Response to “It’s championship or bust for King James”
  1. Deb says:

    Wow…Awesome Insight and well written…This may be Labron’s breakout for Cleveland!