It's tough. For several years now, we've all been able to dismiss LeBron James as a choker, a failure, a joke. Not anymore.
It's very tough.
This isn't like A-Rod winning with the Yankees. This isn't an athlete we hated hitch-hiking his way to a title. LeBron led the Heat to this victory. And last night's triple-double was the icing on the cake of a very respectable postseason.
But just because the performance was respectable, doesn't mean the man is. We all hate LeBron for reasons other than his choking. The choking was just something funny to laugh at him about. He has a ring now, but he's still a douchebag.
Let's look at the facts. He couldn't carry Cleveland to a title. It wasn't until the Heat became a fantasy team that he made it all the way, and only after a few tries. And it's not as if the refs, and the way the NBA is structured didn't help him along the way. The NBA is designed for people like LeBron James to be successful, and it still took him 9 seasons to achieve success.
He won, though. Fair and square. You can give him that and still hate him. He's still a douchebag. And I doubt after this title that the value of his shares in the Douchebag Stock Exchange will go down. If anything, he'll be cockier now.
We've enjoyed some fun Schadenfreude moments thanks to LeBron. The Celtics only won 1 title in the 2000s, but every time LeBron was knocked out of the playoffs, it was almost as good.
But all good things come to an end. A-Rod has a World Series ring. Peyton Manning has a Super Bowl MVP. LeBron James has his ring. But you never know what will occur down the road to allow you to once again mock the athletes you hate. We discovered that A-Rod took roids. And now Peyton is inferior to Eli. It all works out. People never fail to find ways to mock those they hate.
ESPN will be insufferable for some time. But when is ESPN not insufferable?
And as Jason Segel's character points out in the video clip, Jordan has 6 rings. LeBron is on 1, and he got it just barely. Bird has 3. Kobe has 5. Bill Russell has 11.
LeBron might not be a choker or a loser anymore. But until winning becomes more persistent for him, he's not a true winner. Winners win more than just once in a lifetime. He's shed the loser label, but he's not among the NBA's winners. Not until winning becomes more regular.