The great players have legendary games, like Jordan's flu game, or Bird's concussion game. James' legacy could take a hit after his cramp game. Especially if the Heat lost the Finals. If they win, this won't even mater. This Finals was huge for James. He would have joined Jordan and Kobe as players who pulled off 3-peat's.
He would tie Bird for three titles. This Finals would mean a lot to James' legacy, and the game 1 loss, with the cramps in the mix, has many of us questing James. I already touch on this a bit, but James is a product of the media making him better than what he is. There is no question that James is a top 20 player of All-Time, and a likely top 10 player of All-Time. James can still reach the top 5 club, but I always question LeBron's mental toughness.
"LeBron’s the second-greatest player ability-wise of all time next to Jordan," says Tanguay, "but there’s no question this hurts his legacy.
"To me, the greatest effort was Michael Jordan [in 1997] against the Utah Jazz.
Leading up to Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals, Jordan was hit hard by the flu and many questioned whether he would even be able to play. Also battling dehydration and exhaustion, Jordan had to lean on his teammates to get off the court, but still managed to drop 38 points on the Jazz.
"LeBron’s not soft," says Minihane. "He’s a tough guy, but in this moment, he came up short in a situation where other guys wouldn’t come up short. I don’t think that’s even disputable.
"This isn’t a referendum on his greatness. His greatness is already established, but we’re trying to figure out where this guy ranks, and to me, you have to look at this.”