For the second straight year, the Miami Heat will take on the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA Finals. This year's NBA Finals marks the fourth straight season the Heat are representing the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals, as LeBron James and the Heat attempt to win their third straight NBA title.
The Spurs are no stranger to the NBA Finals, either. The 2014 NBA Finals marks the sixth time since 1999 that San Antonio will compete for the NBA title.
Most of the world outside of Miami will likely root for the Spurs -- and why wouldn't they? The Spurs are perceived as a classy organization that develops stars rather than buying them through free agency, like the Heat did with LeBron James, Chris Bosh and the Super Friends in Miami.
It's not even the fact that the Super Friends were formed years ago, it's how. LeBron ripped the heart out of the city of Cleveland on television when he announced to the world that he was "taking his talents to South Beach."
LeBron's made-for-television decision was indefensible -- but it's been a long time since then. Like most sports fans with a soul, I hated LeBron. Watching the Heat lose to the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA Finals in 2011 was unbelievably satisfying. Not only did LeBron lose in the finals (again), but the Heat lost to the Mavericks, who had never won an NBA title before.
Fast forward three years, and I find myself rooting for LeBron. Did I lose my soul? Possibly.
But maybe not.
LeBron is by far the best player in the league, and will go down as an all-time great. He's already won two titles and has led his team to four consecutive NBA Finals appearances, so the choking argument will never hold weight -- even if he loses another three.
As good as he is, I ultimately don't particularly care if he wins or loses. I want to see LeBron win in 2014 -- and then I want to see him opt out of his contract with Miami, which he can do after this season. The Heat aren't getting any younger with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, and it would likely serve LeBron well to go out on top with a threepeat.
Where could LeBron go?
Well, he could go back to Cleveland, and help right the wrong he did four years ago. The Cavaliers won the draft lottery for the third time in four years, and are poised to take off. If the Cavs can somehow add LeBron back to the mix with the No. 1 overall pick this year, they'll instantly become one of the favorites in the Eastern Conference.
Will it happen? Doubtful if the Heat lose -- I can't imagine LeBron would want to leave Miami on a sour note. But if the Heat win? Well, what's left to prove in Miami? Not much -- and he can cement his legacy as one of the two best, if not the best, player of all-time if he returns to Cleveland and wins another championship or two.
No matter who you root for, these are the best two teams in the league -- and they have been for the last two seasons. Last year's series was highly entertaining, and it should be more of the same this year.
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