Blame of Thrones
There's no such thing as a sure thing in sports because the game still has to be played. Whether you assemble the best team or happen to play against the worst team, you still have to PLAY. Which brings me to this: stop blaming LeBron for the Eastern Conference's shortcomings.
This year makes 6 straight seasons of LeBron James in the NBA Finals and I've never seen so many people shrug and say "oh that's whatsup". Instead of appreciating this feat, people rather highlight the defeat he's suffered in his finals career. Granted, you shouldn't overlook losses, but in that same breath it's foolish to dismiss the wins and the fact that he's there consistently. There are some great players who will never sniff a cup of NBA Finals Gatorade, but this accomplishment just goes under the rug? "The East is weak, he's suppose to do that", right?
If the Eastern Conference is so weak and it's so easy to just run through it, why hasn't any other player made that happen? LeBron, some would argue, is still the best player in the league but we can't blame him for that. How does that even sound? "You're too good, it's not fair that these guys aren't on your level, so it doesn't mean as much when you win."
My beloved Chicago Bulls couldn't get over the hump against either of his teams, and I can't blame HIM for that. We had the best record, the MVP, several chances...couldn't get it done. The Indiana Pacers were crowned as the team who would surely take them out, and came up short. The Hawks were called "the Eastern Conference Spurs" and ended up being the next contestant on that Summer Jam screen. It's not "easy" to win the East, no matter who you are.
We want the star player on our favorite sports teams to be the best, period, why are we talent shaming in Bron's case? True indeed, he went to Miami and formed his own "Big 3", but they lost that first year in the Finals. The narrative after that loss was "nothing's guaranteed"..."you tried to take the easy way and still lost"..."you could've stayed in Cleveland for this, you're still losing". The second they won the title, it shifted to "wow you had to go team up with Wade and Bosh to get a ring"..."OF COURSE y'all won, it's a super team".
See where I'm perplexed? Is it "Oochie Wally Wally" or is it "One Mic", man?
The problem is, the greater you become, the less people care about anything but the final score. Nobody cares how long you stay in the gym to become the best or maintain it. Nobody cares if you dropped 50 and your team only lost by 1 point, they ask why didn't you drop 52. It's a team sport and "no one man can win it all by himself" until you become so great that doing it by yourself is the only way you'll get credit.
Imagine being named employee of the month 6 times in a row and nobody seems to look at the plaque wall; but the moment someone else gets it, it's water cooler talk every day.
What people say about you in a loss speaks louder than the praises when you win. We've probably all been guilty of brushing off huge accomplishments in sports because we "expected" it to happen, but it needs to stop here.