The ring is finally his. And with the 2012 NBA Finals win on his resume, LeBron James officially moves squarely into the conversation for best players of all time in NBA history.
While LeBron already had staked a claim among the elite players among NBA greats, the elusive ring was always going to be an issue. No longer is James listed alongside Steve Nash, Karl Malone and Patrick Ewing. He now joins names like Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant -- players who not only obviously elite in their production on court but also those who have tasted what it's like to be at the top.
Last night's dominant win over the Oklahoma City Thunder gave the Miami Heat the NBA title in just five games when most believed it would be a long, drawn out series. The reason? LeBron's performance. There's no doubt who the best player was on the court for the entire course of the NBA playoffs. Others rose to help him from time to time, but LeBron was the consistent force for the Heat in their title quest.
The role players were the story of game four, establishing a new record for three-pointers in a Finals game with 14. Mike Miller and Norris Cole both had their moments. In previous games, Dwyane Wade would step up as a co-star with LeBron. In game three, it was Mario Chalmers' 25 points that helped seal the win. The one thing holding this team together through it all was a dominating effort by LeBron each and every time.
Last night, the case was no different. A triple double from LeBron with 26 points, 11 rebounds and 13 assists ended the series. It was a beautiful all-around performance in a series with many of them and a sign that LeBron truly is the best player in the game today.
The Thunder will likely have their own day, too, but LeBron has been due for some time. He earned this moment and he has the right to enjoy it.
For more on the 2012 NBA Finals, check out SB Nation's NBA page. For Thunder news, go to Welcome To Loud City, and for Miami Heat coverage, check out Peninsula Is Mightier.