LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — He went to Miami and became a champion.
He went back to Cleveland and won another title.
LeBron James, love him or hate him, is in his own category now. He has led three franchises to NBA titles, something nobody has ever done. His legacy was complete long before Sunday night, when the Los Angeles Lakers became NBA champions for the 17th time by beating the Miami Heat and winning the title to cap a season like none other, in a bubble like none other.
But that legacy is just a bit shinier now.
“I guess, as Frank Sinatra would say, I did it my way,” James said earlier in these playoffs.
That’s not up for debate.
He’s got four titles. He’s a four-time NBA Finals MVP, the second to win that many. He’s done it all with the NBA’s biggest target on his back, with every action and every word scrutinized and often criticized.
James has become the epitome of the independent superstar athlete, something many try to be but few even have a chance of pulling off. He does whatever he wants, whenever he wants, however he wants and makes it work. Bill Russell will forever have more rings and Michael Jordan will forever be the choice of many as the NBA’s greatest player. And that’s OK with James, who has forged his own path.