By Lamar Battle
Now we get to see just how great he really is. Am I talking about Stephen Curry or Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors who defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers in game one of the 2017-18 NBA Finals ?
I am speaking of Cleveland Cavalier and future Hall Of Famer LeBron James. After delivering one of the all time great Finals performances where he scored 51 points his teammates seemingly no, actually let him down. With the score tied and four seconds left in the game Cavalier guard George Hill missed the second of two free throws and teammate J.R. Smith grabbed the rebound and instead of taking the potential game winning shot or passing to LeBron James standing alone and waiting to shoot ?
J.R. elected to keep the ball and run out the clock. Countless T.V. replays and internet memes have shown LeBron’s incredulous response and frustration over the way the game went to overtime ultimately resulting in a Warrior victory.
Let’s get one thing straight,
LeBron James is a bad man! Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun Times ( A great newspaper that has fallen on hard times.) Said that just before LeBron left the Cavaliers the first time to join the Miami Heat the CAVS had just won 61 games. The season after LeBron left the team won 19 games.
In comparison when Chicago Bulls great and G.O.A.T ( in the eyes of some) Micheal Jordan retired for the first time and left the Bulls the team had just won 57 games. The next season with teammate Scottie Pippin at the helm they won 55 games.
While judging all time greats most should consider that Kareem Abdul Jabbar had the most unstoppable shot, Bill Russell was the best at sacrifice and leadership, Micheal Jordan was the most spectacular and LeBron James is the best all around player (hands down) and quite possibly the smartest ( just ask Celtics coach Brad Stevens ) player in the history of the game.
The Golden State Warriors are the better team in the Finals (with quite possibly the best shooter ever in Steph Curry) but if LeBron James is to have any chance to beat them it will flow directly from how he handles the events as they unfolded in game one.
Will LeBron remind his teammates of just how much they let him down or….will he find a way to re-assure them that there are no hard feelings and the team will find a way to overcome together? Can he inspire limited players to rise to the occasion?
Can he control the pace of the game again like he did in game one, (a tactic used with some success by the Houston Rockets.) Better yet, can LeBron drop another 50 or 60 points?
The answer to these scenarios will go a long ways toward revealing the make-up of a player who could very well be the best ever to lace them up.
If anyone can pull it off he can.