LeBron James and the Miami Heat are but one more win from grabbing an NBA Championship and removing one of the biggest sports albatrosses from the back of one of basketballs biggest stars. But, in the likely case of the Heat getting that win, does the NBA as a whole lose?
In every great story there is a great villain. For the NBA the past two seasons, that role has been filled by no other than James and the Heat. Since shocking the world with his utter lack of sensitivity with the ill-timed 'Decision,' and following it up with the now infamous introductory party where 'not one, not two, not three, not four…etc.' was given voice, LeBron James has been the bullseye for basketball fans contempt everywhere outside of Florida.
On the flip side of that contempt, the NBA has reached a level of popularity that it hasn't seen since Michael Jordan was throwing down game winning shots over Craig Ehlo. The ever growing momentum of popularity for the sport was so strong that it even survived a lockout shortened season with no harm to it's product or seeming loss of fans.
So, that being said, what happens if James and his band of 'villains' win it all?
If James gets his ring, and admittedly, the guy deserves it, the balloon of enmity that is carried for him and his team will surely pop, thus creating a sort of vacuum of interest heading into next season. People like watching train wrecks and implosions, and with each year James went ring-less, it was that much more fascinating to watch the next season to see it happen again.
If…when..James gets his ring, he will be trading in his ten-gallon black hat when he receives it because frankly, what's the interest in rooting against a guy who actually achieves his goal?
With the next Heat win, and that's the path that is most likely, the NBA will lose it's most tantalizing and polarizing storyline it's had in decades, and with it, possibly a good chunk of general interest in the sport.
It will mean the true measure of this renewed popularity will be put to the test.
And somehow, without James and his gang on the run from the media, I doubt it will be quite as captivating.
James LeBeau is a sports contributor for CraveOnline Sports and you can follow him on Twitter @JleBeau76 or subscribe on Facebook.com/CraveOnlineSports.
Photo Credit: AP