Lebron James has become a legend by turning the Miami Heat into a dynasty over such a short period of time. After four years, four consecutive finals and two championships, James has decided to pack his bags and head back to much colder climes in his hometown of Cleveland.
Whether or not the Heat continue their dominance remains to be seen. While they still have a team capable of making the playoffs year after year for the foreseeable future, they have lost an icon.
Of course James is a great player, but it doesn't just stop there. He's the face of the franchise. Even more, he's the face of the Miami area.
His presence and success in Miami created excitement that hasn't been seen since the days of, you guessed it, Don Shula. He created a fanbase that thrived off winning. The younger generation began playing basketball instead of football as their sport of choice. The stadium was bustling with celebrities from every corner of the globe.
Whichever way you look at it, Lebron James has left a vacuum in the Miami sporting world, and the Miami Dolphins must fill that void.
For that to happen, many things have to change. Ryan Tannehill has to step up this year and become the leader of this franchise, and a player everyone can look up to. The Miami Dolphins themselves have to find a way to win and make the playoffs. The team need to make sure they stay out of trouble after the bullying scandal and Wells report, followed by unfortunate twitter comments from center Mike Pouncey and safety Don Jones. Joe Philbin needs to become more approachable to the media and fanbase. And above all, our defense need to strike fear into every offense that steps foot onto that football field.
Lets go Dolphins, it's your time to shine.
Alex Parish is an Associate Editor at The Phinsider. Be sure to follow me on Twitter @AlexParish89.