Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 12/5/12

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

Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Bill Belichick: Brandon Weeden 'can make all the throws'

Chip Kelly: Eagles coaching staff to blame for slow start

Tom Brady: I don't care about Greg Hardy's personal feelings

Report: Odell Beckham Jr. fined for punching Bills safety

Tannehill admits to beefing with practice squad players

Arian Foster to have increased workload against Colts


Rob Gronkowski will go off if Sean Lee can’t play

Roddy White backs off criticism of role in Falcons offense

David Blatt: Kevin Love to fully practice for first time Saturday

Woodson: Manning interception 'has eluded me for 18 years'

Johnny Manziel's grandfather's lake house burns down

Report: CC Sabathia already at Connecticut rehab facility

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.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Warriors take next step in effort to build San Francisco arena

Greg Hardy: Ready to come out ‘guns blazing’ post-suspension

Report: CC Sabathia already at Connecticut rehab facility

NHL hockey is back and that’s awesome

Jake Arrieta's sweet ... sinker?

10 matchups to watch during NFL Week 5

Top 10 storylines for Week 6 of the college football season

Astros pitch their way to 3-0 win in WC game

Arrieta-Cole, objectively one of best playoff matchups ever

The controversy and numbers behind the 'CONCACAF Cup'

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker