In 1984 the Chicago Bulls chose Michael Jordan in the draft and North Carolina's star began his NBA career taking the first steps to become one of the greatest players this game has had. It took Jordan seven years to reach the NBA finals and become a champion. Seven years of hard work, patience, trust and faithfulness towards the Chicago organization.
His first years at the professional level were hard, no discounts or short cuts were given for this great player. In his rookie season he was voted to the All – Star game but was boycotted by the older players who felt a rookie does not deserve that much attention. In the 1986 – 87 season Jordan already won the MVP award though his Bulls were once again swept by the great Boston Celtics. After that, came three consecutive losses to the Detroit Pistons in the Eastern Conference Finals. Until 1990 – 91, when Jordan's Bulls took revenge and swept the Pistons, reaching the NBA finals for their first time and winning the title against Magic Johnson's L.A. Lakers. Once the title door was open Jordan did not stop winning again and again with great season and playoff performances, transforming the Chicago Bulls into the best team in the 90s.
Jordan's greatness does not come only from the titles he won, the points he scored and the incredible stats he achieved during his career. His greatness comes from his winning personality, from his game vision and performance. Jordan never choked and never let his ego lose a game. He had the ability of making his teammates play better and had the ability to see the open man for the killer shot, as it was with Paxon in 1993 or Steve Kerr against the Utah Jazz in 1997 (Just watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S2BlOTeoZVE).
Since Jordan retired from the game, the NBA desperately searched for the new super hero and in the process the media created false prophets who made the NBA's game super athletic, extreme showtime swagger, but little basketball. However, basketball remained a team game and the Spurs, the Pistons and the Celtics demonstrated that defense and team basketball leads to titles, despite the lack of showtime. Even Kobe and Shaquille's Lakers needed team effort to win the title, despite these two great individuals.
Nevertheless, show business is sometimes more important than the game. And in came Lebron, directly from high school basketball to the NBA in the number one draft pick in 2003 for the Cleveland Cavaliers. He quickly demonstrated that he was a fantastic athlete and basketball player with incredible stats and outstanding moves. He did not suffer any old player boycotts in his All Star appearance, rather the opposite. He was spoiled by everyone and in short time everyone was talking about the new Jordan and sentences such as "the best player ever" or "King James" were heard worldwide.
In sports however, like in life, short cuts are generally dangerous and do not bring positive results. Contrary to Jordan, Lebron showed no patience and above all no fidelity. As soon as he got the chance he ran out from Cleveland in order to quickly win a title which Dwayne Wade's Miami was offering. Cleveland's fans whose idolatry towards James had no limits and forgave him for continuing losses in playoffs, choking once and again, saw how their false king was moving away, pursuing a title instead of working hard for it.
Everything was prepared to crown "King James" in Miami and nothing seemed easier than playing the Dallas Mavericks in the finals. An old school team with a 38 year old guard, 32 year old star Dirk Nowitzki, and a great coach who played great defense and made this team believe that group effort pays off. Jordan's hard work took seven years, and in the meantime eight years have gone by for Lebron and still no title.
I have no doubt that Lebron James will win his title and there is no doubt he is a fantastic athlete and basketball player, but he's no Jordan and King James' kingdom is still empty. No matter how many titles he'll win or points he'll score, he'll never be Michael Jordan. So, congratulations Dallas in teaching one more lesson in sports and to Cleveland fans: continue celebrating.