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LeBron James: Legacy vs. Championships

Posted on July 23, 2010 by Ryan Heller

Will it hurt LeBron James' legacy that he is no longer an individual superstar?

It’s hard to tell what is in store for Lebron James as he tries to change his sense of direction for greatness. He may have a plan to make himself known as a champion team player rather than leaving a legacy of individual greatness like Michael Jordan. In some respects, it seems like Lebron gave up on the Cleveland Cavaliers and instead took a shortcut to becoming a champion by joining Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat.

I am not taking anything away from James, because he is a great athlete with unbelievable skill and talent. I just think that leaving a legacy is more impressive than just being a champion with no sense of leadership. James was a great player for the Cavaliers, but he was just learning to show the type of leadership that you now see from Kobe Bryant for the Los Angeles Lakers.

By choosing to go to a team that already has a recognized leader, James seems like he wants to be the backup rather than being the franchise leader the way he was in Cleveland. That just takes a lot away from the thought of James being a king on the basketball court. Who wants to be the second option if they have as much talent that James has?

Is James tired of facing the kind of individual expectations he dealt with while in Cleveland? Given his seeming desire to be known as a global superstar, it’s hard to think that James wants to be a Scottie Pippen rather than being a Jordan.

Now that he is playing for the Miami Heat, he is not going to be that big, as he is going to be behind Dwyane Wade who already is the heart and soul of a city and basketball team.  He might have some sort of trick up his sleeve to make a stronger sense of the word legacy that might change the NBA for years to come; only time will tell.


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