Under the L.A. Lights

Ahmed Choudhry, Staff Writer

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Let’s face it- when LeBron James signed with the Los Angeles Lakers in the summer, he did not expect that he would suffer a sideline sentencing injury which would be the determining factor in disqualifying him and the Lakers from playoff consideration, nor did he expect that he would be going into his second season with the Lakers with no guarantee of a complimentary star to help achieve his original intent when he signed his contract- winning his fourth championship.

At this point, some critics have arrived at the conclusion that James not making the playoffs is a good thing for him as even though he has made them the majority of his career, he has also ultimately failed many times in winning championships. His NBA finals record is 3-6, so as you can see, although he has won conference titles many times (albeit in a notoriously weak conference), he has an overall losing record when it comes to the NBA finals. This is why many see him not reaching the postseason altogether, to the point of being beneficial for his legacy because it does not further hinder his record.

What many critics fail to see however, is the level of competition that James has faced through his postseason runs over the years. For the most part, James has lost to tough teams, such as the legendary Boston Celtics, the Hall of Fame concentrated San Antonio Spurs, and of course, the current Golden State Warriors, arguably the greatest team to ever be assembled. He has not succumbed to inferior competition, as some would like to suggest. These teams consisted of multiple superstars, up to four on a single team. It is also important to note that the teams he was on had become riddled with injuries during defining moments, causing them to carry a guaranteed disadvantage.

 

Photo by: Alex Gross.

LeBron James is no stranger to adversity. He has overcome obstacles such as growing up in a fatherless home and becoming victim to a hate crime. Just like he rose out of these problems by empowering kids without fathers, and by becoming a vocal proponent on social issues such as battling discrimination, James will continue to strive likewise to overcome obstacles on the court. Even so, James isn’t who he was 10 years ago. He isn’t desperately in need of proving himself. After all, if LeBron were to not play a single minute of professional basketball ever again, his legacy would still be cemented as arguably the greatest to ever hold a basketball.