sportstapas
A little dishing on sports

All Hail the King

All Hail the King

On the last possession of the third quarter of Thursday’s Celtics-Cavs game, LeBron James effortlessly shed one defender and bore down on the basket for a buzzer beating layup.  There was one minor impediment to the success of LeBron’s apparent plan.  Rasheed Wallace had rotated to the box and was now in perfect position to take the charge.  If you’re a basketball fan, you may be familiar with Rasheed Wallace.  He goes about 6’11”, 250 pounds, has a propensity for yelling at officials, seems a little crazy.  Crazy, yes, but not stupid.  As The LeBron Express approached, Rasheed wisely sidestepped the contact like Eddie Murphy’s Black Secret Service Agent avoiding John Hinckley bullets intended for Ronald Reagan.  Wallace then fouled James to avoid the layup and forced him to shoot free throws.  The announcers made little note of the fact that Wallace could have taken the charge.  It was almost like that wasn’t an option.  During that same game, Marv Albert alluded to a “mismatch” that Kendrick Perkins had with LeBron down low and I was thinking, “Has Marv’s hair gotten down into his eyes?”  There’s no such thing as a mismatch on the basketball court that works to the disadvantage of LeBron James.  He’s the biggest freak of nature ever to play in the league.

The first thing I notice when I look at LeBron is how naturally large he is.  By that I mean, yes, he’s 6’9”, probably about 265 pounds, but he’s not puffed up at all.  His body type dictates that he should be that big.  I haven’t looked closely at his hair, but I’m pretty sure LeBron’s body fat percentage is 0.0.  He makes Karl Malone look like Eddy Curry.  If you’re an opponent, that’s bad.  But then you see him in the open court and he runs like Usain Bolt, covering the court in the time it takes me to reach for the DVR remote to hit pause so I can capture the terrified reaction of the unlucky defender nearest to him.  Then, he jumps like Jordan.  Oh, and by the way, he has Magic Johnson’s court vision.

I know I’m not writing anything that’s not common knowledge, but it’s still remarkable to me that people talk about who the best player in the NBA is like there’s any debate.  If you still believe Kobe Bryant is better than LeBron at this point, may I suggest you look into outpatient treatment, at least as a first step?  The 25 year old James, who according to all available evidence is indestructible, is averaging 30 points, 7 rebounds 8 assists and 50% shooting.  He’s even hitting 35% of his threes.  No one else is capable of anything remotely approaching this, and yet he can do it easily.

For the last three years, he’s been burdened by a supporting cast of retreads and never-beens that wouldn’t fetch 40 cents at a garage sale.  But now, he’s got talent around him.  This is frightening.  The Cavaliers are winning the NBA championship.  Period.  LeBron almost carried an overmatched team to the title last year.  This year, there’s no stopping him.  I’m going to enjoy the ride.

Obviously, as a Knick fan, I would love to see LeBron come here, and I hope it happens.  But as a basketball fan, it feels right to have him establish a dynasty in Cleveland and fend off the new jacks who are trying to take his crown.  For now, though, I’m happy just to appreciate this very special player who came into the league impossibly overhyped as an 18 year old and his already surpassed all expectations.

All hail the King!

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2 Responses to “All Hail the King”

  1. […] whiffed on my 2010 Cleveland Cavaliers NBA Champs prediction, while simultaneously overestimating how good Antawn Jamison was and how much Shaq had left in the […]

  2. […] I whiffed on my 2010 Cleveland Cavaliers NBA Champs prediction, while simultaneously overestimating how good Antawn Jamison was and how much Shaq had left in the tank; I made the case for why Jason Bay would be a better Met than George Foster; and I ridiculed Frank Isola for arguing that Kobe Bryant was still by far the best player in the NBA last year .  Actually, I’ll stick with that one. […]


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