LeBron James accepted this third MVP trophy in a ceremony in Miami this afternoon on the floor of the American Airlines Arena. A small crowd made up of Heat officials, coaches, the owner, the team, and several of James’ friends and family.
It appeared at first that James was struggling with a cold of sorts but he was quick to identify that it was the emotion that made his voice waver.
Eric Spoelstra began the event, choosing to ignore the stellar play that has seen him reach the pinnacle of NBA basketball, rather focusing in true Spoelstra fashion on what James does behind the scenes and out of the bright lights to ensure he is at his best.
“He’s always the first one here, even at games. It surprises me, I walk past the weight room three and a half hours before the game and he’s doing his routine, he has a routine that takes about 2 hours that nobody gets to see of what the greatest basketball player does to get himself ready for the battle”.
Pat Riley noted that he had had something to do with each of the members of the exclusive three MVP club, and that they all shared a common of undefinable expectation and a level of fearlessness to attack that every night they step onto the court.
James then took the stage and fought back that which reminds us he is human as he thanked his sons, his fiancé, his friends, his mother and his teammates.
“I see my two sons, I do what I do and I try to perform at the highest level every night, and a big part of the reason is those guys. I don’t want to let them down.
My teammates, like I said. The reason I’m up here today is because of those guys. If those guys don’t sacrifice what they sacrifice every single night … I wouldn’t be up here.
These 14 guys right here, they give everything. And they give me everything.”
Critics of LeBron James often point to the falseness of his words and the arrogance of his demeanour, but even his greatest hater would be unable to find fault with the humility he showed in winning the award. It may have been the most exposed LeBron James we have seen before.
Where people call him arrogant and fraudulent, I see him as nothing but guarded, and you can understand his inability to let people in given the horrific upbringing he experienced and the treatment he receives from those who truly do not matter yet are the catalyst for this hate that surrounds him. But on this day he broke down any and all walls that shut in who he is and it was probably the most real we have seen LeBron James in his 9 year career.
As he to conclude each of this three MVP acceptance speeches, James pointed to something bigger.
“I’d give all three of them back for an NBA championship. It’s all I care about. It’s all I know.
“Heat nation, we have a bigger goal. This is very overwhelming to me as an individual award. But this is not the award I want, ultimately. I want that championship. That’s all that matters to me.”