LeBron James was unstoppable in 2009, Stan Van Gundy just couldn’t have been any luckier
LeBron James in 2008-09 was the best player – his playoff run till the conference final was legendary.
LeBron James in 2009 was on a mission – the only team that could stop his bullish run was Orlando Magic. Coached by Stan Van Gundy and led by Dwight Howard, the Magic went on to lose against Kobe Bryant and the eventual champion Los Angeles Lakers. If LeBron and their team had won that series, the world would have seen a legendary finals battle between Kobe and Bron.
But it was not to be, but Bron was not by any means accountable. He was the best player of the season, and the playoffs, finals included. Leading a Cavaliers squad that boasted the likes of Delonte West and Daniel Gibson, Bron was other-worldly. If this Cavaliers squad went 61-21, it is because of one man. They are credited with 2 sweeps in the playoffs, but the broom was held by a man who would leave for Miami soon.
In the first game of the finals, LeBron James nearly dropped a 50-point double, hitting the Magic for a home run. Coach Gundy in the presser afterwards said he had no clue how to stop James. And that he did not, because in the 6 game series, Bron averaged a whopping 38.5 points. The only time he dropped below 30, was when he scored 25.
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LeBron James could have been in the 2009 finals against Kobe Bryant – if he had teammates who supported him better
The world was robbed by a poor roster construction, depriving the fans of a Kobe-Bron matchup. The whole season was a massive tease of what was to come at the end, and it did not happen. Dwight v Kobe was great, but it could have been so much better. That man deserved it, more than anybody else.
If that moment did happen, maybe the move to Miami would not happen. But knowing how poor the Cavaliers front office was, he would have gone anyway. People always berate Bron for leaving, but can you blame him though? He spent 7 years of his life giving everything he had, yet the office was doing nothing to help him out.
When Chicago Bulls saw how much Michael Jordan was doing, they drafted well and constructed a good roster. His successor in number did not have that luxury. So he took matters into his own hands, moving to Miami with his friends. He had instant success there, cementing his legacy as a winner from then on. LeBron James deserved titles, be it in Cleveland or somewhere else.
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