Lebron shines brightest on every stage

Thu Dec 20, 2012 9:35pm EST
 
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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."

'LINSANITY' CRAZE

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...

 
Miami Heat's LeBron James dunks against the Washington Wizards in the first half of their NBA basketball game in Miami, Florida December 15, 2012. REUTERS/Andrew Innerarity