Who has the most to gain from winning an NBA championship?
June 12, 2012 Leave a comment
With winning an NBA championship, a whole players career can be defined. We look back at Michael Jordan and remember his championships the same way that we look down on LeBron James for his lack of a championship. A championship can change our perception of a player, and that’s no different this year.
On both sides, the way that we look at the players on the Heat and Thunder can change a lot with a championship. Many players have a lot to gain, but who has the most to gain from an NBA championship?
The only players on the Heat roster who have an NBA championship to their name is Dwayne Wade and Udonis Haslem, who were there in 2006 when the Heat won the title. At this point in his career an NBA championship is nice for Udonis Haslem but it isn’t going to change any perception of him or impact his “legacy” in the NBA. D-Wade, on the other hand, could help cement a very good career with a second NBA championship. He could also make everybody forget the poor postseason he has had if he comes out and plays like the Dwayne Wade that won the ’06 championship.
The Thunder also have two players with NBA championships in Derek Fisher and Kendrick Perkins. Kendrick Perkins won his in 2008 with the Boston Celtics while Derek Fisher of course was a part of the Lakers dynasty who won 5 championships. At this point another championship would also be nice for Fisher, but nobody is going to remember his role coming off the bench for this team when we look back at his career. Russell Westbrook and James Harden will probably be back here at another time in their career, but at this point we aren’t going to look at them differently with the exception of Russell Westbrook officially becoming one of the “elite” point guards in the NBA.
After all of those players and the role players, we come to the two players that everybody is talking about; LeBron James and Kevin Durant.
In his first NBA Championship appearance, Kevin Durant can gain a lot from winning this year. Even though people want to say he is the anti LeBron, Kevin Durant is making his first Finals appearance in his 4th year, just like LeBron did. With a championship win over LeBron though, Durant will become the best player in the league in the minds of many fans and analysts around the NBA. Whether that is right or not is debatable, but there is no doubting that it will happen especially with the hate that people have for LeBron.
While Kevin Durant is pretty much in a win-win situation, it’s almost the opposite for LeBron. He needs this championship if the choke artists and not clutch comments are going to stop. Even if he wins, they probably will say how he should have more championships by now, but that’s not the point. The point is that even though Durant could become the best player in the league in the minds of many, LeBron James needs this championship more than anybody.