Briggs: 'Lebron deserves the respect he has earned'

If there is one thing that LeBron James and company need, it is positive feedback from the public. Since James announced that he was "taking his talents to South Beach" before the start of the 2010 season, he has been slammed with negativity and crude remarks from millions of people across the world.
But did he do anything wrong? In my opinion, I have to say no. He did what anyone in his position would do. He had to leave Cleveland. Both the team and the city did not have enough to offer him with money being the main factor. He is the best basketball player in the game at the moment and he did what he had to do to continue that legacy; get to a team that can win a championship.
While James is by far no Michael Jordan yet, he is well on his way to his first of "not four, not five, not six" titles of his career. While he should already have two under his belt, James and the Heat are having deja vu as they find themselves in the NBA Finals with a series lead once again.
This year is a little different, though. The Heat are clicking on all cylinders and they look nearly better than ever. Last year, the Heat lost in six games to the Dallas Mavericks after taking a 2-1 series lead. So far this year, the Heat have dominated on both ends of the court and are on the brink of winning the 2012 title over the Oklahoma City Thunder.
But the big question still remains; will the fans of basketball welcome James and the title better than they have since he left Cleveland?
I don't see it happening and I am not quite sure why. The man has done nothing but give his heart and soul to the game of basketball since joining the league in 2003. He has been named League MVP three times, an All-Star eight times, a scoring champion in 2008 and also helped lead the United States to two Olympic medals, one being the gold in 2008. I feel that after James and the Heat complete the feat of the Finals and become champions, the fans will still rag on him.
It is kind of hard to argue the fact that he is a champion after he wins, so that is off of the table. What I am afraid of is that the excuses of "the Thunder are so young" or "well, they have an All-Star team down there in Miami." Give me a break. Youth, experience or team members are no argument when it comes to the finals. No, the Golden State Warriors aren't going to being making the playoffs any time soon but the Thunder are one of the best teams in the game, unless they lose and the fans start jumping off the bandwagon and start making excuses.
I never heard Jordan make an excuse when he couldn't win early in his career. I also think that guy won a few titles later in life. I could be wrong.
But, James is not one for excuse making. He takes what happens and tries to make it better the next time out. Take last season's Finals for example. Since the final buzzer rang and the Heat settled for second, James has said nothing other than he let his team down and he has to make bigger, better and smarter plays. That is exactly what he is doing this year. I have been a James fan since he was in high school. He is what the game of basketball strives to be. He is the NBA and he deserves the respect he has earned. While most players would probably fuel the fire after they win the title just to throw it back in the faces of the people that talked all of the crap while they were losing, I don't see that happening with James. I figure he will go into his interviews and conferences and give every bit of the praise and glory to his team, his coaches and his FANS. Because that is just the type of guy he is.