This commercial, released yesterday by Nike Basketball, is not the impressive showstopper you've come to expect from Lebron. Especially when some of his past commercials involved jumping into pool or vehemently defending his Decision. (Good luck finding the original version of that commercial.) But finally, after his fourth NBA Finals appearance, second NBA title, fourth MVP and two gold medals, I think we're finally starting to see the real him. And not the persona that we tried to make him into, or the one that even Lebron dreamed he would become. Lebron is not dreaming of being like this guy anymore, he's just comfortable in his own skin. Unequivocal winning does that to a person.
There are a lot of detractors out there. The Brooklyn Nets, for the first time in NBA history, are trotting out a team where each of the starting five that are each making over $10 mil. a year. Derrick Rose is making his return to a team after a year of absence and built up hunger. The Houston Rockets joined together the biggest baby (Dwight) with the bearded face of an old-timer (Harden). And we haven't even mentioned the Spurs or the Thunder feeling disrespected that they were conjoined in this sentence.
A lot of things can go wrong in Lebron's race for a three-peat. Injuries, mileage, competition, Chris Bosh (ha) and mental fatigue all play a factor. But he forced his way into the conversation of the all-time greats, and is now knocking on the door of the greatest of all time. Three-peats? The realm of Mikan and Russell, Kobe-Shaq, MJ-Pippen. Five MVP awards? Kareem has six. Jordan and Russell have five. Lebron is tied with Wilt at four. Someone's at the door knocking. And for the first time in a long time, we've put out a welcome mat for him.