MIAMI -- Are we taking LeBron James for granted?
Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra is making sure he doesn't. Just the other day, Spoelstra was strolling around the offices at the Heat's AmericanAirlines Arena and noticed a highlight being played on one of the televisions hanging from the ceiling. It was a play from the Heat's miserable 15-win season back in 2007-08.
The pre-LeBron days in Miami.
And the coach got an idea.
"We should probably just play that on loop in our office," Spoelstra said at Thursday's Heat practice. "I don't think anybody here is taking it for granted, that talent. We know what it's like to be on the other side."
Spoelstra, like many of us, might need a little reminder from time to time. Just a little nudge not to take James for granted, to realize that an NBA player like him comes around only once in a generation, if that.
Currently James is playing some of the best ball of his 10-year career, a decorated one with three MVP trophies, two Olympic gold medals and a championship ring. And historical marks are already popping up. Consider that he has already scored more points than Scottie Pippen, Magic Johnson and Isiah Thomas did in their entire careers. Not only that, James ranks in the top 10 in assists per game among active players, ahead of Hall of Fame candidate point guards Tony Parker and Chauncey Billups.
And James just celebrated his 28th birthday last Saturday.
Are we simply bored by his greatness? Has the fact that he was so good so fast, now a full 10 seasons ago, diminished where he is now? When he won his first title, we couldn't even stop to appreciate his accomplishments before he reached age 28. Instead, our impulse was to shift the conversation immediately to, How many can he win? And when he joked about winning more, the sound bite further pushed that conversation forward.
James' remarkable consistency and endurance -- he hasn't missed a game in 2012-13 and has played in a staggering 137 games since the start of last season, including Olympic play -- have driven us into LeBron Boredom.
At this point, it seems we're almost making up reasons not to consider him the favorite for MVP.