With the Miami Heat’s huge victory in spite of the odds, roaring accolades and league supremacy, LeBron James made good on his promise to ‘be better’. With his superb performance, James is now just the third player to win the season MVP and Finals MVP in the same season multiple times, earning him a place in an exclusive club with Michael Jordan and Larry Bird.
Spoelstra credited James as the difference in winning and losing Game 7, and shared his joy in James’ success on CNN.
“You’re always happy for guys when they’re so dedicated,” he said. “And we all know his work ethic. … He always rises to the occasion when it matters the most, when the competition is fiercest.”
LeBron James’ stormy rise to the top was hotly anticipated but also heavily critiqued. Tainted by some less than admirable moves and more than his share of controversy, betting agencies, fans and punters wagering online were often left scrambling to adjust their odds and basketball wagering strategy quickly enough to keep pace. See more on this by the oddsmakers at www.wageronsports.com. James’ beginnings in Akron, Ohio, were humble, but in high school he was already being heavily promoted as a future NBA superstar, and won multiple national player of the year honors before graduating. The Cleveland Cavaliers snatched him up in the 1st round draft in 2003, and earned his stripes straight off the bat by being named NBA Rookie of the Year and finishing his first season with averages of 20.9 points, 5.9 assists, and 5.5 rebounds per game.
After leading the Cavaliers to the 2007 NBA Finals, James did it rough after making one of the biggest blunders in sports PR history. He was viciously criticized by fans, executives and current and former players alike for ditching the team after a period of free agency, and he fueled the outrage by signing with Heat during a live, nationally broadcast TV-special called ‘The Decision’. James’ year ended with his brand in the gutter and a falling ranking. The road to redemption looked tough indeed.
He clawed back, rehabilitating his image through social media and earning praise and awards all the way. By 2012, commentators were drawing comparisons with Jordan and suggesting James could be a contender to usurp the GOAT (greatest of all time) crown.
The 2013 season was patchy, with James pledging, “I have to do better,” just two weeks ago on NBC’s probasketballtalk blog, he shone often––no doubt choking the sports odds calculators with the countless re-calibrations––and his coach was nothing less than effusive in his praise.
“That’s LeBron showing his greatness and making it look easy,” Spoelstra said, following James’ superb performance in the 2013 Eastern Conference finals against the Pacers.
Now, after scoring 37 points in Game 7 of the finals, James is the undisputed and reigning King in NBA basketball. The backlash is still alive––‘James bashing’ can be seen on the NBA betting forums––but has lost its sting, drowned out by the spoils of victory. “Hopefully people will leave him alone a little more now,” Heat forward Shane Battier was quoted as saying on USA Today.”He takes a lot of heat, I think undeservedly. He’s the best player on the planet. And hopefully now with two titles, he’ll get more the benefit of the doubt.”
If this story offers any lessons on how to wager on basketball players that have come full circle, from being anointed early, then vilified, then resurrected, you can bet US fans, always superstitious, are going to be eager to divine them. Some sports betting websites are not above running online bets on whether LeBron will wear a headband or not. Definitely, LeBron has proven his worth in the NBA and has evolved into a player who found his own identity to rank among the greatest of all time.