Originally written on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 11/18/14

It goes without saying that Miami Heat team president Pat Riley thinks very highly of LeBron James. He brought LeBron to South Beach and was rewarded with an NBA championship a year later. Now that the monkey is off King James’ back and the Heat have won a ring with him, the possibilities are endless. But even before LeBron captured his first Larry O’Brien Trophy, Riley had already given him the ultimate compliment. From Lee Jenkins Sports Illustrated story naming LeBron the 2012 Sportsman of the Year: Pat Riley stood in the mouth of the tunnel at Boston’s TD Garden (before Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals), between the court and the locker room, and waited for the Boat. That’s what he calls LeBron James — “You know,” Riley explains, “best of all time” — an acronym he conjured to remind the planet’s preeminent basketball player of frontiers still to be conquered. “Hey, Boat,” Riley will say. “How is the Boat doing today?” James will reflexively laugh and shake his head because he is not the Boat, at least not yet. Whether he agrees with Riley or not, it would seem evident that LeBron enjoys having his ego stroked. He dropped 45 points and grabbed 15 rebounds in Game 6, all on a night where the Heat were facing elimination and the prospect of LeBron’s critics growing by an infinite amount was staring him right in the face. LeBron may be the most talented player in the NBA, but until he wins multiple championships he will never be considered the best of all time. As Kobe Bryant so courteously reminded him, one is hardly enough. Two won’t be, either, given how many Kobe and Michael Jordan have. As we mentioned before, James proved last season that he should no longer be criticized for not being clutch. That doesn’t mean he’s anywhere close to being the “Boat” just yet. Photo credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao close to deal for fight

TJ Lang: Suh wanted to fight me after stepping on Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Hernandez jurors allowed to watch Super Bowl

Tiger misses cut: ‘I’m only doing this so I won’t get fined’

Roger Goodell grilled on Deflategate during presser

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Rex Ryan: Seahawks need to ‘take the air out of the football’

J.J. Watt buys cabin in the middle of nowhere to train

Six teams have done background work on Peterson

NBA set to earn $700M through streaming deal in China

Wade Phillips is the best coordinator hire this offseason

Bill Belichick gives understated scouting report of Tom Brady

Report: Missy Elliott joining Katy Perry for halftime show

WATCH: Jimmy Butler throws down half-court alley-oop

President Obama zings Patriots over Deflate-gate

Each major conference's Player Of The Year candidates

Super Bowl XLIX preview and predictions: Patriots-Seahawks

49 Stops to Super Bowl XLIX

Most unexpected MLB free agent signings of past 10 years

Five most villainous Super Bowls of all time

Super Bowl ad focuses on acceptance of gay athletes

Foster says UT boosters paid him $40-50K while in college

Ranking the repeat Super Bowl champions

Eric Decker to Sherman: Time your conception a little better

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Missy Elliott to join Katy Perry at SB?

Obama zings Pats over Deflate-gate

Each major conference's POY candidates

Super Bowl XLIX preview and predictions: Patriots vs. Seahawks

The 13 things we want to see in Super Bowl XLIX

49 Stops to Super Bowl XLIX

Tiger Woods, misses cut: ‘I’m only doing this so I won’t get fined’

Ranking the repeat SB champions

Roger Goodell grilled on Deflategate

Katy Perry, Russell Wilson dating?

Rex Ryan has advice for Seahawks

Super Bowl: Things you can't control

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.