Sunday, January 25

LeBron James: A New Era

Corey Magette relaxed quietly on one knee waiting for the inevitable decision from the officials.

The rest of the Warriors team, scattered amongst the court, watched the replay board for any hope that their efforts and hard work had not been crushed with one fading LeBron James jumper.

Moments earlier, Mo Williams met James with a chest bump before the rest of the Cavaliers mobbed him not far from the place he released his shot over Ronny Turiaf.
Lost amid the confusion was the impending rite of passage for LeBron James. Officialy, LeBron's buzzer beater against the Golden State Warriors Friday night was the first of his career.

Unofficialy, LeBron James has had many game winning shots. From all of the driving layups, every single game against the Wizards, and who could ever forget about the shot where Michael Reghi yelled "Boom! Boom! Boom!"?

This time was different.

With the Cavs trailing by one point, Lebron calmly dribbled out the clock before releasing the final shot of the game with 0.1 seconds remaining. There were no second chances. No overtime if the shot rattled out. This time it was for keeps.

Throughout his career, LeBron James has been criticized for his last second heroics. Pundits have claimed that he did not possess the killer instict or rapist's wit of Kobe. He did not have the cool collectedness of Jordan. Despite his ridiculous 4th quarter numbers, LeBron James was simply not a finisher.

The most significant moment of the night was not Mo Williams's three-pointers, or Ben Wallace's late-game shot clock beating jumper. The most significant moment wasn't even LeBron hitting the game-winner over Turiaf.

The brief amount of time after the shot sank, and before Mo Williams met James with the patented chest bump saw five years of criticism erased.

If this had been a Hollywood movie, we may have seen flashbacks to all of the significant misses and sound bytes as the ball floated toward the basket in slow motion. With cameras flickering, Lebron, still holding his arm up, took a brief second to exercise the ghosts of past games.

With his first career buzzer-beater and one more notch in the 'W' column in the books, LeBron then did something very different from Kobe and Jordan. He ran straight to his teammates.

1 comment:

Andy said...

Somewhere, Skip Bayless is sobbing quiety.