In the postgame presser, he mentioned being happy it played out the way it did, that he needed to "hit rock-bottom" before he could become the player he needed to be. I don't believe this for two reasons.
As LeBron admitted last night, it just wasn't him. He wasn't meant to be someone who dunked on opponents and stared defiantly into the stands like a wrestling heel.
So what actually changed? For one thing, Dwyane Wade injured his knee and became 70 Percent Of Dwyane Wade, inadvertently solving the "dueling banjos" dilemma. The Heat tried to thwart six decades of NBA history by teaming two alpha dogs together, making them equals and assuming their overwhelming talent would overcome any resulting bumpiness.
And that's only scratching the surface. Imagine you're Wade. Imagine you talk Bosh and LeBron into joining YOUR team and living in YOUR city. Imagine that first year going to hell.
Just know the situation was resolved organically, much like it was during the 2008 Olympics, when Spain was closing in and Kobe said I got this, followed by everyone else letting him have it. That's just how basketball works. You can't have two guys saying "I got this."
The other twist of fate: Derrick Rose wrecked his knee in Round 1, propelling the Celtics into the Conference Finals …
In retrospect, they pushed him too far. The Celtics regarded LeBron with a surprising amount of disdain — that's why Rondo angrily yelped, "Let's go!" before defending LeBron's final drive of regulation in Game 2. LeBron ended up settling for a 21-footer against someone seven inches shorter than him, followed by Rondo strutting back to the huddle and probably telling his teammates, "I knew he didn't have the balls to come at me." They spent that whole series challenging his manhood; by the end of Game 5, they thought they had broken him. Was that what turned him into a serial killer in Game 6? Not entirely … but it definitely helped. I just don't think LeBron makes LeLeap without the bullies from Boston.