Legacy, schmlegacy

Posted by Steve Aschburner

ORLANDO – Ever since Tuesday, when Cleveland began its hello-we-must-be-going from the 2010 postseason with an enigmatic performance from MVP LeBron James, the Cavaliers superstar has had his “legacy” bandied about.

Failing in his seventh season to win a title, when his team had the best record in the NBA two years running, was seen by some as a milestone regardless. Something to write into James’ permanent record.

So will Dwight Howard be next? Howard is just one year behind James in age and experience. Like his Cleveland counterpart, the 6-foot-11 Magic center has been to The Finals once already and has been his franchise’s center tent pole since his arrival. Like James, Howard has heard some chirping for smallish failures so far. But could the volume get cranked up if Orlando falls short of a title or, in particular, fails to return to The Finals?

Magic coach Stan Van Gundy thinks he might. “It’s unfair in either event,” Van Gundy said. “LeBron’s 25, Dwight’s 24. … I mean, a title is not that easy. It’s not like those guys’ teams are underachieving and not playing well.

“We build people up, not just in sports but in everything,  to tear them down. If people want to jump on people, I guess that’s their business. But I don’t think that anybody realistic can doubt LeBron’s credentials as a player or a winner and the same thing with Dwight. But I know people will. So what’re you gonna do?”

Ignore it, maybe? That’s how Howard reacted when I asked him Saturday about facing an LBJ-like rush to legacy.

“It’s only my sixth year in the league,” Howard said. “I have a long way to go. I’m going to build a legacy regardless of what happens this season or next season. And for me, it’s not always about building stuff on the court. I think you build a legacy off the court.

“Guys that are remembered the most are the ones who do things that go beyond basketball. So it’s not always about basketball and winning 50 championships, because you could win 50 championships and still not be happy.”

You would, however, have your body donated to science – maybe even before you were done with it – to examine how you managed to play in the NBA at age 74.

23 Comments

  1. KG says:

    lol. James is not even comparable to Jordan.
    he is nothing if he couldn’t even land a single ring.
    leave Cleveland, find a better team, just like KG.

  2. LAKESHOW says:

    phil jackson would never leave the lakers for QUEEN JAMES

  3. Malik Jonez says:

    KOBE WAS A THREE TIME CHAMP AT THE AGE OF 25 BUT HE DID HAVE SHAQ AND PHIL JACKSON ASWELL \

    KOBE IS THE MAN HANDS DOWN YA” REMENBER THAT 2006 SEASON HE WAS ROBBED OF THE MVP AWARD FROM STEVE NASH CUZ HE COULDNT PASS THE 1ST ROUND

  4. benwalton says:

    lebron has “the chosen one” tattooed in huge letters across his back, seven years and no rings I would say that he’s not exactly living up to his expectations either. Lebron is an awesome player, a two time mvp, but greatness is measured in one thing and one thing only, and that is rings.

  5. harry says:

    lebron shud go to chicago play with with derrick rose get another max signing and maybe phil jackdon wud come back to his old team. and then lebron wud e the best ever

  6. KB24 says:

    steve ur a dumb mather fffer…if u consider being valuable is being the best then you should go back and live under a rock…

  7. c-brown says:

    the answer is replace !!!! replace mike brown!!!replace mike brown!!!replace mike brown!!!replace mike brown!!!replace mike brown!!!replace mike brown!!!replace mike brown!!!replace mike brown!!!

    that’s it ! Look for a better coach…… i hope the cavs will eye on the head coach of the hawks!
    his a dame great coach!!! hawks just fell short!

  8. Victor Manoel says:

    Well, LeBron is too good and too young and I love his game… He deserves some criticism, but Cavs’ last failure really won’t maculate all the things he done/is doing/will do for Cleveland. The TEAM fell, not only LeBron. If he had some help (just Varejão and James, in my opinion, played a consistent series against the Celtics), maybe he could get his ring this year. Mike Brown didn’t help, too.

    His legacy is the happiness and the hope he brought to the Cavs fans. During seven years, every fan of the Cavaliers were happy and proud. I think it’s grossly unfair that same people who called him “The King” doubt him now. His legacy exists. He can take his fame and his importance to the league to another level specially if he wins a ring. Maybe in Cleveland, maybe elsewhere.

    I’m from Brazil, and because Anderson Varejão is LeBron’s teammate, the number of NBA fans here is improving year-after-year. The impact that LeBron have in foreign countries can’t be underrated. This is just a part of his legacy.

    Thank you. Sorry if my English is bad.

  9. Christine says:

    Lebron is just 25… Others are old enough or in their retirement stage when recognized. He has a long way. MJ has Pippen & Rodman and has not failed him. How about Lebron, who does he have? Its not a one man team. I still believe in him. But please Lebron, do not get out of NBA. It is your life.

  10. TyMaNKobeFaN says:

    I Agree….

    • TyMaNKobeFaN says:

      Yea I Agree Wit Allen……..Kobe Will have It…….Wade or Melo’s Next…………..Den Dwight……….Possibly Durant Afterward’s………..Hell Maybe even Rondo………..I Just Dont see LeBron gettin one……..He’s 2 Hyped Up………….Ballls are sucked constantly………..Da Bubble gon Explode………den you’ll Lebron lovers Will be laid flat!…………

  11. Steve says:

    I do not comprehend how people tend to distort reality with opinion. It is so upsetting reading headlines and blogs filled with people who apparently tend to enjoy writting nonsense about people who are constantly persevering to greatness. How can you not acknowled Lebron as the best or atleast one of the best players? I mean do we actually consider MVP awards flyers that are distributed with no importance? So according to people whom I quote “Lebubble= looser ” , the MVP award has no weight of signifance or does it have any correlation with being the best player or one of the best players. Even worse, how does the NBA even dare give the award twice to the same athetle. It is safe to say that the organization distributes the award and honors them my emphazing the fact that they are the ” MOST VALUABLE PLAYER”. So why hate on someone who is constantly prooving that he is great. Is he flawless? Obviously not, but who is? So stop hating.

  12. MJLEbron says:

    What Lebron has done in the first 6 years is near unbelievable. He has MJ type numbers and acheivements (including MVP’s and NBA defensive teams). How we all forget that MJ had the same problem for his first 6 years and then he worked even hardrd, stuck with the same team and from the 7th year on , the rest is history. James has the talent (even better than MJ on assists), skill and experience to win from this point, but does he have the mental toughness to stay with an excellent team and work to get many championships?

    • c-brown says:

      i think the problem is not all about Lebron’s Performance or cavs weren’t playing as if they were the promising team in the NBA.. i just remember what Danny ferry said right after the All star game and after the biggest trade of the the year.. He said i think this team has it all …with the addition of shaq and jamison..he said i’ve done my part , now it is for Mike Brown to finish it…My point to be straight is that … maybe the cavs could reflect about on mike browns performance or simply retain LBJ then look for a better coach to control and motivate the team. I just made these statements because i knew they could do it! but even me was not able to feel the hungry of a title .This is something what doc rivers does on and of the court and maintained the composure all through out the series that i never saw on mike browns time…

      ..(Hawks coach could land in Cleaveland) ..

  13. Pete says:

    Lebron for the past few years has really (imo) lacked the maturity and attitude of a champion – but seeing him at and after the end of game 6 this year, I have a gut feeling that this is going to be the turn around time for him.

    Unlike last year, he went out and shook hands, congratulated the Celtics – in the press conferences after the game, he looked focussed, quietly respectful, and possibly even a little humbled.

    This is I think the first time I’ve seen Lebron this way, and to me what I was was a hint of him (for a change) actually letting his ego go for a little for an hour or so – and that is (imo) part of what it takes to be a champion. The ability to let go of your ego, focus, and want to be teammate, rather then a team.

    I get the feeling he’s going to come back next year with a different attitude, and if so it might be his year.

  14. Priscilla says:

    Peoples wake up! In the NBA people are always gonna get critized especially if your considered the best player in the NBA. LeBron will never live up to the expectations of being the next M,J but he will be remebered as one of the greatest players to play the game of basketball. To me LeBron has never been the best player in the NBA becuase he dosen’t have that killer instinct, and don’t tell me its because his team didn’t support him that they lost, cuz thats is such bs. The simple fact is boston was the better team so they won. And the best player in the NBA is Kobe Bryant cuz even if people say he’s old he’s still on top. Pople are just haters cuz Kobe is a leader, a great player, n a champion n if thats not great than I don’t know wat is. To me Kobe is the closest player to MJ n maybe better, but thats just my opinion. N LeBron is a failure as a leader, cuz wat I saw in the game 6 was that he gave up on his team n thats not really leader-like. When he becomes a true leader n a champion than we can start talking about that hes the greatest player in the NBA and of of all time.

  15. Allan says:

    LeBubble = Loser

    It’s going to be Kobe’s era, then Wade’s gonna get a couple after Kobe retires, then it’s gonna be Howard’s domination for a couple years. Then we’ll have some new guns.

    For LeBubble? He’s going to be the next Tmac, next Allen Iverson, or next Charles Barkley at most.

    How can you call someone “The King” without him winning any champs? The only rationale is: you are blowing this bubble.

    The bubble will explode. Suck on that.

  16. DJ says:

    I think far too much attention is placed on Lebron. He’s still the 2nd-best player in the league (See Kobe Bryant) and the best athlete in the game….period. He can’t win with the bunch of rag-tag players he currently has. During the preseason, I predicted the Celtics would beat Cleveland, so I’m sick and tired of hearing “who would have known?” I knew………..

  17. Pierry Vargas says:

    Lebron became a legend when he won back to back NBA season MVP awards, just because his team fell short does not mean it could never happen again, even Michael Jordan could not win a championship alone, Lebron needs his Scottie Pippen, but for coming this far, I congratulate Lebron, he truly is the best player in the NBA today.

  18. Ton says:

    LeBron James will be the MVP for many years to come. The guy is 25, he still has all the time in the world. Sure, shots didn’t fall for him in Game 5 but that is when other guys on the Cavaliers team needed to step up. You can’t win a series on your own. Same goes for Howard. My prediction is they will beat Boston but lose the Finals to the Lakers. Then the discussion will start again. LeBron and Howard are young and they keep getting better and better with every year. Their time will come, they’re just too good.

  19. Stevanchez says:

    When you’re dubbed “The Guy” and you accept that title(Lebron believes himself to be the “Chosen One”). You have to be able to live up to the REAL guy’s(MJ) accomplishments. When you fall short you have to accept the criticism.
    Bottom line, you can’t accept the attention and praise and then refuse to be criticized for your short comings. I just wonder what his and everyone elses excuse will be when he fails to meet Jordan’s standard before he retires?

    • Travis says:

      Last time I checked, Lebron was living up to MJ’s legacy so far. At 7 years in Jordan didn’t have a championship either.

      And just like Jordan, he has amassed these other accomplishments:

      2× NBA Most Valuable Player: 2009, 2010
      NBA Rookie of the Year: 2004
      NBA Scoring Champion: 2008
      2× NBA All-Star Game MVP: 2006, 2008
      6× NBA All-Star: 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010
      6× All-NBA:
      First Team: 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010
      Second Team: 2005, 2007
      2× NBA All-Defensive:
      First Team: 2009, 2010
      NBA All-Rookie First Team: 2004
      Gold medal with Team USA, 2008

      At 7 years into their careers, the only thing Jordan had done better than Lebron was to be named to more All-NBA Defensive First Teams. Not saying that Lebron in better, by any means, just saying that he is on pace with everything Jordan did in his career.

    • Travis says:

      oh and Jordan had more league scoring titles