Now with two titles, LeBron sets another goal

Now with two titles, LeBron sets another goal
June 21, 2013, 11:00 am
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MIAMI — LeBron James has never been shy or coy about letting his intentions for greatness be known.

And while it may appear as though he has accomplished all that there is to accomplish in the NBA, there is one goal looming out there that he clearly has his sights set on achieving.

"I want to be, if not the greatest, one of the greatest to ever play this game," James said after picking up his second Bill Russell NBA Finals MVP award, presented to him by Russell himself. "And I will continue to work for that, and continue to put on this uniform and be the best I can be every night."

He certainly is doing his part to enter the discussion with performances such as the 37-point, 12-rebound game he had in Thursday night's title-clinching victory.

For such lofty goals comes a heightened level of expectations and to some degree, pressure.

James, a high school phenom who has been just as dominant in the NBA, is well versed on handling himself and the lofty goals he wants to achieve.

As talented as James is, his teammates and coaches are even more impressed with his work ethic.

"We all know his work ethic," said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra. "It's probably unique for a guy who has been the best in the game since he was in seventh grade; usually you wouldn't have the type of work ethic that would match that type of talent."

And part of that talent is understanding how and when to utilize it in the most efficient and effective manner.

James took his share of criticism early in the series with a few subpar performances - subpar by James standards, which is often a career-high kind of game for most NBA players.

"He always rises to the occasion when it matters the most," Spoelstra said, adding, "when the competition is fiercest."

NBA fans saw that in Game 6 when James had 32 points, 23 of which came in the second half and overtime.

"He's the best player on the planet," said Miami forward Shane Battier who had 19 points in Game 7. "And hopefully now with two titles, he'll get more the benefit of the doubt. But you know, he's the best. He's the best right now."

It seems just about every knock against James - he doesn't shoot well enough from the field; he doesn't post smaller players up enough - has been an area in which James has made significant improvement upon.

But Wade, who has had a steady dose of criticism levied his way for years, knows the praise for James will be pouring in for a while now, only to most likely change going into next season.

"It's the ebb and flow, the highs and lows of life," Wade said. "He's been in a championship what, four times, and he's won two of them. That's a great percentage when you can make it to The Finals.

Wade added, "so the story is still yet to be seen what he's going to end up with, but right now he's going to enjoy number two. He's a special player. We enjoy having him here. What he brings every night is unbelievable."