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Even before the championship game, ESPN's Michael Wilbon argued that the Miami Heat player wasn't a villain and should be respected.

Can we call off this silly LeBron Hating now? He's not only about to win an NBA championship, which would be all the proof required in most cases, but in leading his team to that title, LeBron James over the course of the Finals has played as brilliantly and as boldly as any of the universally praised champs of the past 30 years, … as boldly as Kobe or Shaq, Duncan or Dirk, Jordan or Olajuwon, Magic or Bird.

And en route to the top of the mountain, LeBron didn't brag or trash-talk anybody, didn't pop his jersey, didn't engage in self-absorbed end zone celebrations or otherwise annoy the hell out of us by unnecessarily calling attention to himself. He wasn't guilty, that I'm aware, of a single moment of boorish behavior or rudeness.

The most noticeable thing LeBron's done so far, besides average nearly 30 points and drag Oklahoma City to the brink of elimination, is turn his locker stall into a library cubicle. This is related to his performance on the basketball court, trust me.


Read Michael Wilbon's entire piece at ESPN.

The Root aims to foster and advance conversations about issues relevant to the black Diaspora by presenting a variety of opinions from all perspectives, whether or not those opinions are shared by our editorial staff.

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