Former Heat Teammate Laments on LeBron James’ Struggles During the 2011 NBA Finals

Published 09/22/2021, 3:00 PM EDT


When you talk about the greatest NBA title victories in the league’s history, Dirk Nowitzki’s championship run comes to mind, simply because there were no other superstars on the team. He and Jason Kidd were the two major players on the team. On the other hand, James arrived in Miami to form a ‘Big Three’ with Wade and Bosh. Despite the culmination of these three superstars, they were not able to take home the title. Why?

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Mario Chalmers seems to have the answers!

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LeBron James did not settle yet

Although the big three formed together, with Erik Spoelstra at the helm, it took time for the team to gel. Spoelstra was a part of the 2006 title-winning Miami team while he was their assistant coach. But, this was a novel experience as point guard Mario Chalmers spoke about the matter. In a Twitter post from Scoop B Radio, Chalmers spoke about James taking time to adjust to his new surroundings.

“Bron really not being in a position like that where he sees zones & stuff like that, he struggled.”

14 March 2012: Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (6) talks to Miami Heat shooting guard Dwyane Wade (3) during the Chicago Bulls 106-102 victory over the Miami Heat at the United Center, Chicago, Illinois, USA. (Photo by Mark Halmas/Icon SMI/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

With Lionel Messi struggling at Paris Saint Germain, all the best players take time to settle in with their new time. There was a lot of inexperience apart from the ‘Big Three’ as Dallas took the title with inspiring performances by Nowitzki. Despite Wade putting up good performances too, their first hurdle was hard.

Some players, though, just come back. LeBron is that sort of player; determined to his core.

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Did James struggle in his first season?

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A young man back then, James expressed his wish to leave Cleveland to win his first NBA title. Hence, his move to Miami was criticized by a lot of fans, suggesting he took the easy route. The loss to Dallas in the finals was surprising, with many players underperforming within the franchise. James itself averaged 23.7 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 5.9 assists during the playoffs. The loss shook him badly.

Yet King James returned grandly and won his first title in the following season. He averaged 30.3 points and 9.7 assists in what turned out to be an incredible game by Bron. The title loss to Mavericks strengthened him to cement his legacy amongst the greats, the following season.

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MIAMI, FL – JUNE 25: Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and LeBron James participate in the Miami Heat 2012 NBA Championship Celebration at AmericanAirlines Arena on June 25, 2012 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Alexander Tamargo/WireImage)

James’ ability regarding basketball is often misunderstood. Being efficient on the court is something he thrives on and strives for. Even though that loss was hard, the small forward stepped up to provide a resounding victory for him and the franchise.

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Jacob Gijy

481 articles

Jacob Gijy is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Gijy finished his Masters in Counselling Psychology and worked in a hospital for 2 years before his passion for sports compelled him to find his way to sports journalism. A fan of the great Tim Duncan, he is always ready to pick up a debate with anyone who does not offer the centre the respect he deserves.

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