It was perhaps a tad overly dramatic, with the Boston Celtics finally slayed, LeBron James got down on one knee in front of the whole world, and bowed his head in a moment that told so much, but represented this above all: relief.
LeBron and the Miami Heat have conquered their long-time tormentors from Beantown, and according to James and teammate Dwyane Wade, the Celtics should get the credit for inspiring them to join forces in South Beach.
Both superstars knew this was the only way to take down the Green and White.
James scored 33 points and the final 10 for the Heat in their 97-87 Game 5 victory over the Celtics, beating his nemesis for the first time in three playoff tries over the past four years. At the end, he fell to one knee to consider the moment.
“Everything went through my mind,” James said. “Finally getting over this hump against this team. Everything I went through this summer with the decision and deciding to come down here and be a part of this team. … All the backlash I got from it. The talks me and D-Wade had. I was very emotional at that point.”
He apologized for leaving Cleveland and explained why he felt he had to do it. “I knew deep down in my heart, as much as I loved my teammates back in Cleveland and as much as I loved home, I knew it couldn’t do it by myself against that team,” James said. “The way it panned out with all the friends and family and the fans back home, I apologize for the way it happened. I knew this opportunity was once in a lifetime. To be able to come down here and pair with two guys and this organization — in order for me to move on with my career, that team that we just defeated, we had to go through them.”
Oh, right. The apology to Cleveland Cavaliers fans for the way the infamous “Decision” was handled last summer. It’s out there now. Can we all move on? No? Very well, then.
The road to the title doesn’t get any easier for Miami, as they’ll likely meet the Chicago Bulls in the Eastern Conference Finals, in what promises to be a battle for the ages.
For now, though, they can take time to soak in and celebrate a major victory.