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He went to Miami and became a champion.

He went back to Cleveland and won another title.

He went to Los Angeles and now the Lakers are back atop the basketball world.

LeBron James is in his own category now. He has led three franchises to NBA titles, something nobody has ever done. His legacy was complete long before Sunday night, when the Lakers became NBA champions for the 17th time by beating the Miami Heat and winning the title to cap a season like none other, in a bubble in Florida like none other.

But that legacy is just a bit brighter now.

“I guess, as Frank Sinatra would say, I did it my way,” James said earlier in these playoffs.

That’s not up for debate.

He has four titles. He’s a four-time NBA Finals MVP, the second man to win that many. He has done it all with the NBA’s biggest target on his back, with every action and every word scrutinized and often criticized.

James has become the epitome of the independent superstar athlete, something many try to be but few even have a chance of pulling off. He does whatever he wants, whenever he wants, however he wants and makes it work. Bill Russell will forever have more rings and Michael Jordan will forever be the choice of many as the NBA’s greatest player. And that’s OK with James, who has forged his own path.

“The game of basketball will pass me by,” James said as the title loomed. “There will be a new group of young kids and vets and rookies throughout the course of this game. So, I can’t worry about that as far as on the floor. How I move, how I walk, what I preach, what I talk about, how I inspire the next generation is what matters to me the most.”

He hasn’t forgotten that he was once a broke kid from Akron, Ohio. He’s on a Wheaties box now, saying its unveiling last week was…

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By Kelley Wheeler

Kelley Wheeler is a Metro reporter covering political issues and general assignments. A second-generation journalist, worked with all major news outlet, she holds a vast expeirience. Kelley is a graduate of USC with degrees in journalism and English literature. She is a recipient of Yale’s Poynter Fellowship in Journalism.

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