A new NBA champion was crowned June 12 and the topic of conversation among Salt Lake Community College students is the fact that LeBron James didn’t receive the trophy. The Dallas Mavericks closed out the Miami Heat 105 – 95 in Game 6, winning the NBA Finals four games to two. The win gave the Mavericks their first championship in franchise history.
Students at SLCC were anxious to see how Miami Heat forward Lebron James would respond after his lackluster performance throughout the series.
“I think we’re going to see vintage LeBron and the series will get pushed to a seventh game,” Miami Heat fan and college student Hadley Hintze said before the series concluded.
James did very little to answer his critics, scoring only four points in the fourth quarter and settling for mostly shots from the perimeter. It was a performance that left students questioning James’ greatness.
“I don’t understand how someone can have the nickname ‘King James’ but lose every time he gets to the championship,” NBA fan and SLCC student Drew Watson said.
James himself stated that the Miami Heat would win multiple championships. That has yet to come to fruition. His record in the Finals is a meager zero wins and two losses.
Beyond wins and losses, James’ scoring numbers plummeted significantly when the Finals began. During the regular season James was averaging a league best 8.2 points in the fourth quarter. In the Finals James’ average dropped to a dismal 2.2 points in the last quarter. On the other hand Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks averaged 10.3 points in the fourth quarter, ranking third in NBA Finals history only behind Shaquille O’Neal and Michael Jordan, two future Hall of Famers.
James has been in the league for eight seasons winning almost every individual award in the NBA including the scoring leader, Most Valuable Player and first team All- NBA. The only thing left to win is an NBA title. But the clock is ticking. By this time in their respective careers Larry Bird, Kobe Bryant, and Magic Johnson had already collected two championships each.
“Until LeBron wins a championship he will never be considered one of the greatest of all time,” Watson said. “The only thing that people remember is whether you won or you lost. Right now LeBron is losing.”