LeBron James is facing the questions that come every time he suffers defeat in the NBA Finals. People are doubting whether he can ever make a claim to being the greatest of all-time, or if he can win another championship in the city he calls home. Most are avoiding coming to his defense, still basking in the glory of a Golden State Warriors redemption ride. At least one local athlete is coming to his defense, though: former Cleveland Browns safety Donte Whitner.

Whitner boosts LeBron James

When James needed some defending, Whitner came to the rescue. The safety played in Cleveland as recently as 2015.

He was also born in the city and went to Ohio State for college. In other words, the city is near and dear to his heart and he doesn't want to hear anybody disparaging its biggest icon. So he came to his defense with an Instagram post that had been widely circulating around social media in the previous few days.

The post mockingly congratulates the Warriors for their victory over the Cavaliers in the NBA Finals. It cites just how many people were needed to topple a LeBron James seemingly on the precipice of seeing his prime fade away. Undeniably, it took a whole lot of star players to beat Cleveland.

The post, however, does ignore the fact that there are plenty of All-Stars and Olympians on the Cavs as well, not to mention James himself.

Defending LeBron's legacy

Even if Whitner missed the marks slightly with his defense, the sentiment makes sense. People are quick to pull up James' 3-5 record in the NBA Finals as a sign of his diminishing legacy.

Those detractors don't realize how hard it is to even make it to seven consecutive championship rounds, eight in total. Without him, the Cleveland Cavaliers likely would not have made any of the past three NBA Finals and may not even have Kevin Love or J.R. Smith on the roster.

Besides, his legacy can't be defined until his NBA career comes to an end.

He didn't miss a step last season, finding ways to contribute at a higher level in terms of passing and rebounding while handing a majority of the scoring load to Kyrie Irving. His off-the-court legacy also continues to grow as he becomes more involved in fighting for social equality and other causes. There is plenty of more time for James to lead Cleveland to the promised land again...and again...and again. He shouldn't need anybody to come to his defense at this stage of his ongoing and prosperous career.

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