Lebron shines brightest on every stage
By Frank Pingue
(Reuters) - LeBron James finally captured an elusive National Basketball Association title to cap a year where he silenced his critics and shared the spotlight with some unlikely players.
"Linsanity" became one of the new buzzwords in the NBA while a collegiate player took a sledgehammer to the record books and the Los Angeles Lakers made a blockbuster trade that rekindled memories of the team's "Showtime" era.
James, long considered the NBA's heir apparent to Hall of Famer Michael Jordan, finally delivered a performance worthy of that status with a championship in his ninth season, followed by a gold medal with the United States at the London Olympics.
A dominant force on the court, James had already earned the NBA's scoring title, Most Valuable Player honors and All-Star nods, but it took an elusive title, MVP honors for the regular season and NBA Finals to prove his detractors wrong.
The self proclaimed 'King James' became a player many NBA fans love to hate after going on national television in 2010 to announce his much-publicized move to Miami, but there is no denying his status as one of the game's greatest players.
"It was the hardest thing I've ever done as a basketball player," James said after winning the NBA title in June, beating Oklahoma City in the finals. "You just put a lot of hard work into it and you hope that one day it will pay off for you."
Basketball's marquee names were forced to share the limelight with undrafted Taiwanese-American Jeremy Lin, who went from an unknown to an overnight sensation after being thrust into the New York Knicks' starting lineup in February. Continued...