If there is one thing we've learned about LeBron James over the course of his career, it's that those who doubt him do so at their own risk. Whether screaming that LeBron was making a mistake coming to the Miami Heat or giving the Cleveland Cavaliers no chance at coming back from a 3-1 deficit in the 2016 NBA Finals, sports columnists have left behind an enormous graveyard of freezing-cold takes while trying to trash King James.
In fact, there are almost zero promises LeBron has failed to keep during his career. But there is one very famous prediction he made in Miami that he hasn't seen through. Most laughed at and mocked LeBron from the moment it left his lips, but it doesn't seem so far-fetched these days.
We're talking about the instantly infamous "Not one, not two, not three, not four, not five, not six, not seven..." half-joking prediction LBJ made at the Big Three welcome party the Heat threw for fans in July 2010. Yeah, that one. Seeing what LeBron has been able to do with an assortment of NBA journeymen in Cleveland, we wonder what he would have done in Miami with a competent front office that provided him a talented supporting cast.
Sure, that prediction seemed far-fetched at the time, but was it all that crazy of a goal? After eight years, we can now say the answer is an emphatic no. LeBron might not have won seven titles in eight seasons with the Heat, but if he had stayed, he certainly would've had a better chance at surpassing the three championships notched between Miami and Cleveland.
One thing is for sure: The Heat couldn't have possibly done a worse job of surrounding LeBron with talent than the Cavaliers have. The Heat would have been able to rebuild around LeBron on the fly, use all of those picks and dollars the team has thrown away at an attempt to recover since he left, and put him in a much better position to succeed.
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At the very least, LeBron would have had more help in Miami than he's had in Cleveland. Whether that would have translated to a fourth or fifth title is anyone's guess. What's funny seven years later, though, is realizing that LeBron wasn't off base by saying the Heat expected to compete for seven (or more) titles over the next seven-plus years of his career. LeBron knew what he was capable of with an elite cast in Miami, but even he couldn't have predicted what he could accomplish in Cleveland with the likes of J.R. Smith, Kyle Korver, and Rodney Hood playing big minutes in the NBA Finals.
In 2010, it would have been crazy to suggest LeBron would make it to eight straight NBA Finals, but here he is, dragging a subpar roster to the very end once again. Anyone who doesn't believe LeBron and Pat Riley could have put their heads together to create better teams than the Cavaliers have created over the past four years didn't pay attention to the discounted deals guys such as Mike Miller, Shane Battier, and Ray Allen took in Miami. Outside of Kyrie Irving, whom the Cavs practically gave away in the last off-season, there isn't any talent on the Cavs that the Heat couldn't have matched.
Would LeBron have won seven straight titles in Miami? Definitely not. The Golden State Warriors are a juggernaut. But in light of the fact that LeBron has made it to eight straight NBA Finals, the goal he set in 2010 wasn't that outrageous. If anything, it was dead-on.