Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 6/29/12

LeBron James couldn’t have asked for a better scenario to win his first NBA title. Not only was he finally able to silence the critics who said he is incapable of winning big games, but he also put the Heat on his back and carried them most of the way. LeBron capped off an MVP regular season with an incredible postseason where he averaged more than 30 points and nearly 10 rebounds per game. Highlighted by a crucial Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals where he dropped 45 points, there is no arguing that LeBron was “the guy” during the playoffs.

For Dwyane Wade, that was a tough pill to swallow. Miami has been D-Wade’s team, but with a banged up knee and a teammate who was on another planet he had no choice but to step aside and let LeBron do his thing.

“It was hard for me to do it,” Wade admitted according to Sports Illustrated’s Lee Jenkins, “but it was easy for me to do it for the team.”

James said Wade made it clear that he needed LeBron to be the guy in the postseason if the Heat were going to win a championship.

“He basically looked at me one day and told me, ‘I need you to lead this team now,’” James explained. “And then he did it during games. He’d say, ‘I need you to lead us right here.’”

Wade was criticized this year more than ever for giving up on plays and packing it in when things weren’t going his way. You can say what you want about LeBron as a person, but that was never the case with him on the court. If all the new commercials and late-night talk show interviews bother you, turn off the TV. Sports may have been more fun when LeBron couldn’t get over the hump, but he certainly answered the call this year.

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.

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