LeBron James named MVP after Miami Heat triumph over Oklahoma City Thunder to win NBA finals


LeBron James was named series MVP after guiding the Miami Heat to a 4-1
triumph over the Oklahoma City Thunder - and claimed the accolade was
just reward for two tough years.

James was widely criticised for his much-publicised switch to Miami from hometown team Cleveland - announcing the move on a television show - and was singled out for blame as the Heat lost to the Dallas Mavericks in last year's NBA finals.

However, this year he found redemption.

"It means everything," he told ESPN.

"This is a dream come true for me, I've been through a lot the last two years but this is definitely the way that it pays off.

"Losing in the finals last year put me back in place. It humbled me a lot and I was able to go back to the basics.

"I just looked at myself in the mirror and said 'you need to be better'. Both on and off the floor, and I'm happy I was able to put myself and our team in a position to win it."

Speaking in the post-game presentation, he added: "The only thing that bothered me is that a lot of people said I was a selfish person and a selfish basketball player.

"I strive on being a team player, doing whatever it takes to help this team win - but at the same time, I used it as motivation.

"I never had to prove anything to anybody, and last year I tried to prove something to everybody. I played with a lot of hate and that's not the way I play the game. I play it with a lot of love and passion, and that's what I got back to this year."

James was the star man in game five against the Thunder, racking up 26 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds as he collected the first title of his illustrious career.

The Heat won 121-106 on the night to wrap up the best-of-seven series with two games to spare.

Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade and Mike Miller also scored 20 points or more, with Miller hitting seven of eight three-point attempts on his way to a 23-point tally.

Kevin Durant led the beaten Thunder with 32 points, James Harden and Russell Westbrook adding 19 apiece, but the home side were always in control in Florida.

They led 31-26 after the first quarter and pulled out to 59-49 by half-time.

They were more dominant still after half-time, a 16-0 run in the third quarter taking them 25 points ahead at 88-63. It was 95-71 by the end of the quarter and the fourth was almost a lap of honour for Miami, with James leading the celebrations on the sidelines as the Heat second string played out the closing seconds.

It was a second title for both Wade, series MVP in the 2006 win as a 20-year-old, and coach Erik Spoelstra, who was an assistant coach on that occasion and stepped up tonight to win his first as head coach.

"There's a lot more pressure, more grey hairs, but this one was so gratifying," Spoelstra said.

"We remember last year, we wanted to make up for it.

"We had confidence in what we could do but (we knew) it would be a tough road to get back here and finally get those four wins."

Wade added: "Winning the championship in 2006 was amazing but I hadn't been through anything yet. Now, six years after that, I've been through a lot in my personal life and my professional life and this means so much more.

"We made a decision two years ago to become a team. LeBron, Chris (Bosh) and myself, and the other guys, decided to come together.

"I had a role to play, it might have changed a little bit, but at the end of the day we all had one common goal, and that was to become the champions."

Thunder coach Scott Brooks was proud of his team's efforts and is confident of further improvement over the off-season.

"When you play against the best, you learn," he said.

"You get here because you're good but we definitely have room to improve. That's what the summers are for."


Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before