Originally posted on Crossover Chronicles  |  Last updated 6/22/12

Every morning, we'll give you five things from the night before in the NBA to start your day.

1:  Miami, and LeBron, is your champion

In the end, it made sense.  It took a season to build a championship chemistry in Miami.

Last year's hesitance and confusion was replaced by utter dominance as the Miami Heat cruised past the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 6 to capture their second title in franchise history, and first for LeBron James... and a few other guys on the team. 

But yeah, LeBron's the story here (sorry, Chris Bosh).  We'll get to more of his performance from last night in a minute.  First, we bury the jokes.  I joked on Twitter that LeBron's title is to us what George W. Bush leaving office was to late-night comedians.  The easy jokes are over.

LeBron has been a victim of unreal expectations and poor decisions (that pun was intended).  At 27, the prime of his playing career, LeBron James finally figured it all out, took over when he had to, deferred to others when necessary, and he led a very good team to a title that it should have won.  Yes, he got plenty of help, but all champions do.  But when it mattered most, LeBron pulled his team from the bring of elimination against Boston and he buried the Thunder with a triple-double to emphatically claim his title.

You don't have to like LeBron personally.  But LeBron James the basketball player has earned respect.

2:  OKC will be back

How do you know a good plumber or mechanic?  Check for the calloused hands of experience.  The Thunder's soft, pink palms are now raw with a Finals flub.  But those blisters will soon heal, and the wrinkles caused by the stress of failure will only serve to distinguish the appearance of these young men as they grow into place atop the NBA's elite.

All but four Thunder (Derek Fisher, Nick Collison, Royal Ivey, Nazr Mohammed) are under 30.  Nine of them are under 25.  Their three best players are 22 or 23 years old. 

Durant will learn to defend better.  Westbrook will learn to be more judicious.  Harden will learn to rise to the moment. 

There are no guarantees in sports.  Plenty of teams seem like they'll be perennial contenders but fade.  But the Thunder are different, from top to bottom.  This wasn't a flash in the pan.  This is a team whose success was built to last.

3:  HIGHLIGHTS!!!

Durant with the vicious dunk off the baseline drive

LeBron's spin move and finish from all angles

Miami celebrates its title

4:  Line of the Night:  LeBron James - 26 points, 11 rebounds, 13 assists

What more can you say about a triple double in a title clinching game?  Epic performance.

5:  You can quote me on that

"it took me to go all the way to the top and then hit rock bottom basically to realize what I needed to do as a professional athlete and as a person.  You know, I'm just happy that I was able to be put back in this position.  I trusted my instincts, I trusted my habits that I built over the years, and I just got back to just being myself, and I didn't care too much about what anyone said about me.  I just kind of made my own path, but did it the right way, and I'm happy I was able to do it the right way and do it for myself and not for anyone else."
     -LeBron James

"It hurts.  It hurts, man.  We're all brothers on this team, and it just hurts to go out like this.  We made it to The Finals, which was cool for us, but we didn't want to just make it there.  Unfortunately we lost, so it's tough.  It's tough, man.  That's the only way I can explain it.  But as a whole, I'm proud of the guys on how we fought all season.  During the lockout we came together as a group and worked hard, and we will continue to work hard.

"I wouldn't want to play with anybody else.  I wouldn't want to play for any other city.  I'm just blessed to be a part of this organization, and hopefully we can get back"
     -Kevin Durant

[follow]

This article first appeared on Crossover Chronicles and was syndicated with permission.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

WATCH: Florida's Chiozza sends Wisconsin home on incredible buzzer-beater

Five teams that may be interested in Blake Griffin this summer

Nigel Hayes slams New York ahead of Sweet 16 game at MSG

Report: Tony Romo ‘believes it’s Texans or retirement’

Clay Matthews Sr. passes away at 88

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

WWE’s Kane is inching toward running for mayor in Tennessee

Jung Ho Kang denied visa for DUI, may miss 2017 MLB season

Jets not ready to say Josh McCown will be starter

Sens owner on Sidney Crosby: He’s 'a whiner' and should be suspended for Methot slash

Report: Griffin could be growing more open to leaving Clippers

Brandon Brooks accepts wedding invite from Eagles fan

Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Breaking down the Naismith Award race

Box Score 3/24: Waiting on West Virginia

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

With Team USA's victory, World Baseball Classic (finally) lived up to its potential

The NFL distraction playbook

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Lingering issues for each 2016 MLB postseason team

Box Score 3/23: Team USA wins their first WBC title

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

Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Breaking down the Naismith Award race

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

The NFL distraction playbook

With Team USA's victory the WBC (finally) lived up to its potential

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Steph Curry pushes OKC's buttons

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker