LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers capped off a historic comeback with their 93-89 win in Game 7 after trailing 3-1 in the NBA Finals to the reigning champion Golden State Warriors. With the franchise winning their first Larry O’Brien Trophy, it ended a championship-less drought that has spanned over five decades for Cleveland. Bleacher Report NBA senior writer Howard Beck joined The Jim Rome Show today and talked about the franchise’s most important piece, the NBA Finals’ Most Valuable Player.
“LeBron James, not just accomplished kind of a life goal and a goal that was shared by an entire region, [but] delivered on a promise that so many, so many great athletes over the years in various sports could not deliver on, that’s huge,” Beck said. “He just lifted a 52-year drought, curse, whatever people want to call it.”
Beck noted how James rallied his team from their 3-1 series deficit was something special and had the Cavaliers even lost Game 7, his brilliance should have still been recognized.
“Back-to-back 41 point games, his performance last night,” Beck said. “Everything he did in this series, he was so dominant that, if the Cavaliers had lost last night, at least for me on my ballot, I still had him as the MVP, even if they had lost.”
No one can ever question the caliber of a player James is according to Beck.
“The best players, the elite players playing at an elite level to win a championship is what you want in sports, and I know that everybody is always going to say that about LeBron and he could have done more and that he should have won other championships in other years. [It] doesn’t matter, the guy just certified it for sure,” Beck said. “That debate should absolutely be over. We need to stop debating whether LeBron’s truly great or not or worthy of that, being talked about in the same sentence with Jordan or other greats of the past. He’s right up there with the best there’s ever been, last night certified it. That’s what we should remember.”
Beck also believes Golden State’s failure to secure back-to-back titles after winning the most regular season games in the history of the sport is going to weigh on one person more than others.
“A large part of this is on Draymond Green,” Beck said because of the forward’s Game 5 suspension for hitting James in the groin. “In some ways, he’s now Scott Norwood, he’s Bill Buckner, he’s one of these postseason ghosts, and those guys were at least on the field of play when they made their gaffs that they’re always remembered for. Draymond Green got himself suspended from the most important game of the season. He believes they would have won Game 5, everybody, everybody besides some Cavaliers fans, and maybe even some of them, everybody else believes if Draymond Green is not suspended, this thing is over a week ago and the Warriors win it in five and we’re having a much much different conversation. And things can turn on a couple of small events and this was a major event, they lost momentum there, the Cavaliers got their confidence, LeBron got rolling and never stopped, and it was as simple as that.
“I mean you expect they were going to lose a game along the way, so when they were at 2-1 and even though it was a strange split between routing the Cavs and being routed, they were still in absolute command of the series. They were up 3-1, everything changes when they lose Draymond Green. And to his credit, he said it again last night. He said I blame myself and I thought he was very earnest about it. I think he’s been thoughtful about it, and I think he’s going to be haunted by it for a long time.”