After the Cavs were blown off the floor in game four, I along with the rest of the country had pronounced them dead. I had begun to write LeBron’s eulogy, complete with a bevy of excuses and narcissistic one-liners that he would have loved. I popped “The Godfather” in the DVD player and was prepared to watch it six times in succession as a tribute to LBJ’s willpower and mental fortitude. I even sent flowers to LeBron’s mom and step-dad, Delonte West.
The series was all but over. You could see it in the body language of every Cavs player. They were ready to throw in the towel and fire up the old LeBron excuse train. But then, the King finally lived up to his name. Kyrie got the party started with a tremendous individual performance in game five, and LeBron finally woke up and remembered that he is the single most unguardable player in the history of basketball.
No one, not even Air Jordan himself, has ever had a performance quite like King James had in these finals. I mean the guy led both teams in points, assists, rebounds, steals, and blocks for the series for christ’s sake.
He carried the Cavs and the city of Cleveland to their first title in 52 years, and he did it against a team that was destined to be one of, if not thee greatest team of all-time. Of course, the epic comeback would not have been possible without one of the biggest collapses in the history of modern athletics. The Warriors were completely out of sync down the stretch last night, hoisting up horrible shots and hoping that Steph or Klay (The Trash Bros) would bail them out with a late prayer. Their third best player in Draymond Green outplayed both Steph and Klay for most of the series, and that can’t be the case if you want to beat a player of Bron Bron’s caliber on the big stage.
As much as I hate to say it, if LeBron cracked under pressure like Steph did in this series, the media would be absolutely DESTROYING him right now. That’s the price you pay when you build yourself up as one of the biggest front runners of all-time. When you lose, the blame falls squarely on your broad, freakishly muscular shoulders. But when you win, and dominate the way that LeBron did in this series, then all of the praise and credit if yours and yours alone.
Whatever narrative you want to write about LeBron and his career is now open for debate. The comparisons between he and Jordan that seemed all but dead just a few short months ago are now back on the table. That’s how impressive LBJ’s finals were.
So where does LeBron go from here? He did what he set out to do and won a championship for his city, and he did so as the best player on the floor by wide, wide margin. Why stay? Cleveland is a dump to begin with and I’ve got to imagine that it’s burned to the ground after last night’s celebrations. Whatever he does, his legacy is now set in stone.
I hate you LeBron James, and I always will. Your pompous, self-absorbed demeanor will never allow me to truly respect your greatness. But finally, I can say without sarcasm, that I truly, truly respect you.
PS- Someone check on J.R. Smith. Like right now.
Tags: Draymond Green, klay thompson, kyrie irving, LeBron James, NBA, NBA Finals, Steph Curry