LeBron James is fantastic for the way he plays basketball season long. It has a lot to do with work, decision making, size, efficiency, defense, conditioning, selflessness and everything else.
He was my pick for MVP this year, and is a strong candidate for the MVP of these playoffs, too, as we've been discussing on TrueHoop TV.
Yet, of course, his story this year has been about doubters and haters. Many who questioned his worth became believers in the closing minutes of the Heat's elimination game against the mighty Celtics. That's when, most memorably, he rose and fired a dagger 3 in Paul Pierce's face, apparently exhibiting, in that moment, what he is said to have long lacked.
In the way we normally judge sports, in that moment, James was at his absolute best.
To me, that was James conforming to silly ideas of how manhood ought to be proved. To me, that was James letting the doubters get to him. To me, that was James -- the 33 percent 3-point shooter -- not at his best, but at his luckiest.