Lebron’s Championship Asterisk

Lebron isn’t being defined by what he has done or rather hasn’t done in the 4th quarter. He wasn’t given a blank sheet to start a new legacy when he uttered the now most overused phrase in sports. When Lebron James took his talents to South Beach his legacy became partially defined no matter how many championships he won.

The Chosen One has already given up his opportunity to be considered one of the best champions in NBA history. He gave it up when he decided that he needed help to be mentioned in the same breath as Michael Jordan and Bill Russell. Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh can’t elevate him to that status. They’re the reason he can’t reach it.

If Lebron James ever does win a championship they should put an asterisk beside his name in the record books.

He doesn’t deserve to be given the full credit like other superstars have been given. He could win a few championships. He could win 10 championships but unless the other superstar and perennial all-star on his team vanish, then Lebron’s place among the true greats is cemented at least a notch lower.

Championships aren’t the measure of a man.

Related: NBA Playoffs – Where Legends Are Made

Lebron James doesn’t understand a lot of things. He didn’t understand how many people he had hurt leaving the only team he ever knew the way that he did. Lebron cannot comprehend that winning some championships won’t right all his wrongs. He didn’t understand that joining forces was the worst possible decision he could make.

It’s not just his now humpty dumpty public image that made the decision so poor. He has yet to realize that, given his talent level, taking the responsibility to win championships on his own back is the most important quality a superstar can have.

Michael Jordan had Scottie Pippen. Scottie Pippen says Lebron James is better than Michael Jordan. Scottie Pippen has trouble seeing, you know, with his green eyes and all.

Scottie Pippen didn’t get as much press, maybe less than he deserved, but there’s a reason for that. He was a bonafide second fiddle, Michael Jordan’s second fiddle. Lebron James can also be a second fiddle in his own right, depending on the night.

A guy can’t be a second fiddle on a semi-regular basis and still be considered one of the all-time greats. It doesn’t work that way. He can be one of the great talents of all-time but not one of the all-time greats.

Lebron’s championship mentality was questioned when he first became “His Quitness” against the Boston Celtics in game 5 last season. James’ lack of a championship mentality became clear after the decision. It’s crystal clear now.

Where would Lebron James be without Chris Bosh averaging over 23 points a game against the Chicago Bulls or Dwyane Wade pouring in 28.4 a game in this year’s finals?

Related: Miami is Wade Country

The passiveness Lebron has been content to play with in these NBA Finals is consistent with his mentality. His passiveness told him to wave the white flag and decide that he wanted to take the easy way out. If Lebron James cared at all about his legacy, he should never have bothered to start singing “I get by with a little help from my friends.”

Lebron thinks he can prove the critics wrong by winning championships. However, each year that Lebron plays will be one more year that he didn’t win a championship, a real championship.

If Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire want to team up it won’t be the same. They aren’t going to be judged like Lebron James. They don’t have the Jordan comparisons flying at them from every angle. I don’t remember any of them proclaiming themselves to be the king or get “CHOSEN1” tattooed across their back. A championship for those guys wouldn’t have an asterisk. It would be legit.

I always thought that a King was a person who leads, not a person who follows. You would think that a chosen one wouldn’t give in so easily when the road gets a little bumpy.

Giving up his number wasn’t a gesture out of respect for Michael Jordan. It was Lebron trying to stop the comparisons but it ended up being a metaphor for his legacy. By going to Miami he gave up any chance he still had left at reaching his ultimate goal and his number went along with it. He tried to be Michael Jordan but fell short. So he gave it up.

No one will ever know what Lebron James was capable of. Who knows if he had 6 championships in him all by himself. Maybe he would have been the greatest of all-time. We can always speculate but it won’t give us the answer.

It’s why any and every championship that Lebron James ever wins should have an asterisk beside it. Like Barry Bonds, Mark Mcgwire and Sammy Sosa, we will never know what could have been.

Agree? Disagree? If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, please feel free to reply in the comments section below. Or you can e-mail me at cross_can15@hotmail.com. Also, follow me on twitter @paintstheblack and I will gladly return the favour.

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About Chris Ross
Questions, comments, suggestions? Send yours to cross_can15@hotmail.com. Follow me on twitter @paintstheblack

27 Responses to Lebron’s Championship Asterisk

  1. Max. W says:

    Great Post. I just think that Lebron definitely knew what he was doing when he went to Miami. He knew he was upsetting Cleveland but the man has the right to play basketball where he wants. Although I think the way he conducted himself during free agency was disgusting. It’s true though, if he wins 10 rings I think that that equals about 1 ring to Dwight Howard and his all-starless supporting cast. Lebron ruined his legacy as being one of the best players ever, but he can start a new legacy as being apart of the most dominant team ever. If the Big 3 can develop as a team and get some other pieces.

  2. tophatal says:


    If there was ever a time to question the player’s (James’ ) mentality now would be it ! He’s become an ingrate to say the least and his Wade’s most recent actions in mocking Nowitzki’s illness shows how classless both he and Wade are . And they both try to set themselves as something that the kids and fans can look up to ? Trust me if the Heat fail tonight there’ll be a lot more at stake than James’ legacy ! Riley and Arison will be pi##ed to say the very least from a financial standpoint .

    tophatal ….

  3. frances says:


  4. If the worst thing that happens to LeBron James in life is that he isn’t as great a player as Michael Jordan, then he will have had a pretty good life. I, for one, am sick and tired of the ongoing demonization of LeBron James. You didn’t “The Decision” or the way he left Cleveland, fine, that’s your opinion. But the piling on from former players, media people, bloggers and others is absolutely ridiculous. James didn’t break any league rules or real-life laws. Up to now, the only legal trouble I’ve ever heard connected to him has been a speeding ticket a couple of years ago. No DUI’s, no domestic abuse charges, no gambling debts, etc, etc.

    Give it a rest!

    • Chris Ross says:

      I don’t think herll-time is ae I’m demonizing him for how he went about the decision here, although I didn’t like the way he did it. You’re right, he is free to do as he wishes and if you look way back to my article right after the decision I wrote an article that said “Suck it Up Cleveland.” With that being said, in this article I’m saying that his choice was wrong if he wanted to leave a legacy as the greatest of all I’m saying and he can’t do it playing with the Miami Heat. If you’re tired of people ragging on Lebron that’s fine too but I don’t think I ever will be 🙂

  5. evanvogel says:

    Great post, Chris. “His Quitness” was a great way to look at how things were done. He did ok in the 4th tonight, but still nothing like a HoF player. I don’t think it is wrong to demonize a player. Players create an image and when Bron Bron used his merchandising and “creativity” by putting on a spectacle in Connecticut last summer, it rubbed too many people the wrong way. I doubt Miami is concerned financially with the choice to have these three players because they sold out every home game. The fans and organization need to hope that LeBron changes his game, dedicates himself to the title, and truly generates passion for the game again. His passive style was outrageous. I know he isn’t Michael Jordan, you can’t compare anyone to him, but he wasn’t even LeBron James – unless this IS LeBron James.

  6. Hi Chris, It was a tough game and both teams played hard, Nowitzki was playing while sick I hope he feels better soon. The problem with LeBron is he needs to learn just 2 things, i is he is LeBron James and not Michael Jordan and it takes extremely hard work to win minus the attitude. I think he might have learned his lesson.

    You have a great blog site and I shall return. I will also follow you on Twitter and Plase follow Me~ lol

    Hugs and Thanks
    De De Tillman
    Actress – Scriptwriter – Celebrity Blogger

  7. LeBron did what he thought he had to do to win a ring. I am not mad at that. The show where he stated he was taking his talents to South Beach. Was over the top but everyone seems to leave out over 1 million dollars went to the Boys & Girls club. He went to Miami because he needed to have team that didnt have to have score all the points.

    That is what he got in Miami but he seemed to forget that he did need to score. He was not a spectator. That all being said. I do not like James. I do not Kobe. I to not like Wade. They are all full of hype. The team is what wins rings. Not 1 player. Even MJ #23 passed to Paxon and BJ Armstrong to win a few rings.
    Check out my tech blog where sometimes I talk sports. http://RubenSaintel.com

  8. Troy Ballard says:

    I disagree with this. For one reason: There are plenty of NBA, NFL, and MLB players that left their respective teams to win a Championship, Super Bowl, or World Series respectively.

    To pull a player from the recent, Shaq.

    He didn’t stay in Orlando. He went to Los Angeles and the Lakers to win. And that he did.

    LeBron is no different. It is just a much bigger deal, because it is King James. He has been treated like a HoF Super Star from his junior year in high school. Everyone knows the name, LeBron James. He left Cleveland and it was a big deal, because he is an easy target to hate.

    There won’t be an asterisk next to a NBA title that James wins, just a lot of unhappy Cleveland fans.


  9. Andrew Miller says:

    I like what I see here, Chris. A lot of strong points. Your blog looks like it is really good. Thanks for commenting on mine. I’m gonna follow you on twitter.

    I agree with you about the Heat looking like the better overall team in the first half of the series, but definitely in games 5 and 6 the Mavs looked like an even better team. Even with Wade playing well the Heat couldn’t win with LeBron playing poorly, but the Mavs could win when Dirk was playing poorly. I agree with you on the point about LeBron being second fiddle on a semi-regular basis and still being considered one of the all-time greats. His joining up with Wade and Bosh hurts him more than anything else he could’ve said or done legacy-wise.

  10. Pablo Chiste says:

    Magic Johnson didn’t have an asterisk by his name for playing with Kareem Abdul-Jabaar. Neither did Bird for playing with McHale, nor Kobe for playing with Shaq and Gasol. If LeBron wins a couple and has more moments along the way like he did in Game 5 comeback against the Bulls these will be seen as lessons from the school of hard knocks just as Jordan’s failures against the Pistons were, But I don’t understand why LBron was so tentative. Maybe he needs a top coach like Jackson was for Jordan.
    Thanks for checking out my post on the Heat. If any of your readers want to check it out the link is below…

  11. sox68 says:

    If he gave up the number twenty-three because Jordan’s shadow was too much a of burden, his selection of the number six, in tribure to the great Bill Russell, might really crush him. That’s Bill Russell of eleven NBA championships. Oops, he did it again 😉

  12. sox68 says:

    Tribute, that is……

  13. CG says:

    Very solid post, man. Good looking blog. LeBron James is just one of those guys that seems to have everyone’s hearts — even though he has done very, very little to deserve the love.

    With as little as he’s done to polish his game in recent years, it’s scary to think how deep this thing might sink if/when he loses some of his natural athleticism.

  14. Randy Johnson says:

    You make some telling points in your post. Lebron will never be considered with the likes of a Jordan or Russell. Even Magic with his five(he had Jabbar of course). I think one can safely say Miami’s “Big Three” will never win the seven promised in in that ill-fated pep rally.

    I never was one who objected to Lebron going to Miami. it’s what he does for a living and I wouldn’t like people telling me where to work. My problem came with the manner in which he announced it to the world. That was a sign of immaturity more than anything. The athlete that had never been denied any wish. One of his sycophants should have stood up and told him that was not the way things are done. Cleveland certainly deserved better than that.

    Can Wade, Bosh, and James figure it out? All three were the main men, the got-to guys on their teams, with everyone else standing around. None of them knew how to react when someone else was taking charge. Wade tried in the fourth quarter last night, but one telling stat I heard was that Dirk had the same number of fourth quarter points in the sixth games as Lebron and Wade combined.

    Liked your post and bookmarked your blog. Will be stopping in now and again.

  15. Back already. In listening to Sportsradio this morning, I heard Lebron’s remarks at the press conference after the game. Another thing he’s going to have to learn if he ever wants to be taken seriously is humility and some grace in losing. Again, it’s likely immaturity. Listening, he came off more as a spoiled child and, though I don’t think it’s how he meant it, he came off sounding, “I’m rich and you’re not!” That certainly won’t endear him to the fans that pay outrageous ticket prices and tune in to the games on TV. Quite sure, he will get a talking to about that attitude. Whether he will listen is another matter entirely.

  16. nicnameks says:

    I get it, but comparing a hypothetical James championship to Russell’s or anyone else’s and saying his should have an asterisk is a bit hyperbole. Every team that has won championships has had multiple great players.

    Russell’s teams were loaded with hall of fame talent. MJ had Pippen and Ho Grant, and later Rodman. Kobe never won anything without Shaq or Pau and neither of those Laker squads were short on talent across the board.

    I agree though it was the way James went about it all that is so irritating to purists. I mean, usually if a player is willing to take less money to win a championship, it is something to be applauded.

    With James’ we have seen a continual pattern of behavior. From the “King James,” self-monicker, to “the Decision,” and at many points in between. He is an otherworld talent, and is supremely skilled, but he just doesn’t have that killer drive, that almost compulsive drive to win that you see in guys like Jordan, Kobe, and Tiger Woods. I really think it is because he has never had too.

    It has always been easy for Lebron. Miami was supposed to be easy, but as we saw in the finals, and as we have seen so many times before when it gets hard, that is when Lebron is at his worst. Don’t get me wrong he is still really good even at his worst but he has never shown what it takes to be the leader of a championship team.

    Cool blog. I think I’m going to keep reading this one.

  17. Chris it was a pleasure reading your blog and thank you for stopping by to take a look at mine. We are both on the same page with this issue. I like how your posts flow and how the overall cadence of it is smooth. In regards to LeBron to quote a legendary wrestler “To be the man you’ve got to beat the man.” clearly he does not have that make up.

  18. lynch says:

    like your website!
    I liked the post on types of sports that you apply!

  19. Chris,
    Lebron James needs to step up when the pressure is on him. Since high school, he has been compared to Jordan and other high caliber players. The truth is that the pressure got to him in the finals. Going to south beach may be a good move in the long run , but the fact is he will never be the same as when he was on the Cavs. He is truly a star in the league with much potential. I think tagging up with Wade and Bosh was a mistake on his end. Now imagine Dwight Howard and James. The dominate center and elite scorer in James. The Finals were won this year with a team effort. The little guys stepped up in Barea and company. Spreading out the floor and having the Bench win the games. The Heat will have a busy off-season and make sure to keep Wade and Wade County happy.

  20. PZS0012 says:

    I think it’s a case of LeBron still not reaching his mental potential yet. This may be the kast year Wade will be the better player because Wade is becoming inconsistent as he loses athleticism. Wade’s focus is not as great as a Kobe or Jordan.

  21. Yes i think Lebron set himself up for everything that has, is, and will be coming his way. The “all-star” teams are always suppose to win, especially if their going to talk smack about it. Since that didn’t occur it just leaves the door open for critics, fans, and others to bash him. I think former greats were great because they made their team better and as stated before he left his team to join a group of better players and still came up short. No question Miami is a great team but they still have a ways to go before they start talking about a “Dynasty”….. Check our blog for our article on the NBA FInals. http://www.getitdoneblog.net Peace!

  22. When LeBron made his decision, his fate was set. He wouldn’t be in the same breath as MJ. And now, I’m not sure where he ranks. His inability to make plays, to score, to THINK, to move, to do anything, really, cost him. The Heat played better without LeBron late in the second quarter when he was on THE BENCH. On a side note, congrats to Dirk Nowitzki for winning his first title. He deserved it. Dallas played much better than the Heat as a team, Jason Terry AKA “The Jet” was great in Game 5 and Game 6, JJ Barea showed up in the last two games, Shawn Marion played well throughout, and wait for it… Brian Cardinal actually played decently. Same goes for Ian Mahinmi. Speaking of benchwarmers, this is pretty funny.

  23. David Casarez says:

    Nice post bro!

  24. Good read man. Enjoyed it very much.

  25. i almost wanted to feel sorry for him, then he opened his mouth at the post game press conference… that was the perfect opportunity to take all the blame for all the wrong he has done in within the last year

  26. seventhman says:

    Chris Ross,

    Thank you for posting on my website and linking me to your blog. I have read this post and I like what you have written. Your take is very thought provoking. Let me tell you what I think. No player will ever be able to live up to the comparison with Michael Jordan. There may come a player that challenges Jordan as the greatest basketball player of all time, but that challenger is not within view. LeBron James is not Michael Jordan. “King” James knows that. That’s why he has opted to take his own path. In doing so, he will define himself in a unique manner. He will be able to shed the Jordan comparisons which would have persisted his entire career had he stayed in Cleveland. He now has an opportunity to build something special in Miami, and the Heat have an outsider’s chance at defining an era. LeBron James will never be Michael Jordan. He can’t match that. No one can. But LeBron James can be LeBron James. He’s doing pretty well at that so far. I bet he’ll do better going forward. Love him or hate him, you can’t take your eyes off him. And is that such a bad thing?

    Again, thank you for posting on my site at TakeDatWitchu.wordpress.com. It is fledgling, but some folks might enjoy the NBA analysis, commentary, and what-have-you.

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