JT’s take on LeBron James’ legacy

OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 12: (EDITORS NOTE: Image has been converted to black and white.) LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers warms-up before taking on the Golden State Warriors in Game 5 of the 2017 NBA Finals at ORACLE Arena on June 12, 2017 in Oakland, California (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

The greatest team of all time, according to some basketball experts, now enjoys the spoils of earning a second Larry O’ Brien trophy.

It’s a cool trophy, sleek and shiny. Can’t guzzle pints of beer or bubbly out of it like perhaps, the Stanley Cup, but it’s cool. You probably posed with it last year.

On Father’s Day in 2016, the Cavs went into Oracle Arena and stunned the defending champs to win a title for the Cleveland ages. But Golden State upped the ante, bringing to the Bay Area the potential heir to the throne, held by King James, as the best player in the world.

Over 5 games, the Warriors demonstrated they are the better team, but LeBron James served notice that his dominance as an individual talent isn’t over. Even as Kevin Durant won Series MVP, and deservedly so, James confirmed his status as “Best on the Planet” with a series triple double. No one in history had ever done that.

But the window in Cleveland to get the benefit of his immense talents is a finite one.

It’s always been this way. From his senior year at Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary until this very day, we have always wondered What Will James Do?

He has kept his options close, like a cagey poker player, and all along millions are left to wonder what his next move will be.

We wondered where he might land right out of high school. In Cavs Part One, we wondered how long he would stay as he signed shorter deals to give himself options, tightening the vice of pressure on the Cavs to assemble a championship-level team.
No doubt after a year or so in Miami, fans there fretted about his next move.

Fast forward to today. Fresh off the magnificent Finals performance he remains open on his long range goals. He will play for the Cavs next year and all along …we…will..wonder.

It all comes back around to that word again.

Through his LeBron James Family Foundation he has set up countless opportunities to help kids wonder.

Go ahead and wonder what life could be like if college were an option for you. Many young Akron kids now have taken the wonder and turned it into reality. I could name other things the civic-minded hoops star has done. They are numerous and laudable.

My point being: Enjoy having a game-changing, community-changing force in your midst. Marvel at his physical skills, his basketball IQ. It’s like having Warren Buffet choosing your stocks, or Frank Lloyd Wright designing your new home.

James’ commitment to changing the world for the better will be his greatest legacy. He represents the best we have in Northeast Ohio. He is a great role model.

I favor the quote: “Paradise is where you are.” I choose to live for today and try not to get caught up in ” What ifs” or ” What could have been.”

That’s why I have enjoyed somewhat of a front row seat to witness this greatness. From when Fox 8 interviewed the 9th grade promising star in Akron to today’s 32-year-old worldwide sports icon.

James is singularly the greatest athlete I have covered in my 38 years as a sports television reporter in Cleveland.

James has delivered. And there is a chance he can help deliver again.

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