These used to be the moments that suffocated LeBron James. End of a game, the world watching, everybody expecting greatness. A TV camera would catch James sitting on the bench, gnawing on his fingernails throughout a rest. He'd take the court, and the ball and the match would find their way into his large hands. The pressure, the accountability to live up to his enormous faculty, was too much for him to shoulder.
No longer is James haunted by his demons. He embraces these moments nowadays, and as the final seconds ticked off the clock late Thursday, James was lastly free of the burden he had carried for so long. Finally, the world could call him a champion.
James always required a challenge to validate his greatness. It most likely won't change everyone's perception of him, but it will help, as will the way in which James has conceded himself this season. He's displayed a level of humility and openness he'd infrequently shown.