Remember that scene in “The Wire” when “D” was trying to explain the rules of the game of Chess to Wallace and Bodie? The youngins wanted to know what happens to the pieces that survive the game. Will they become the King? D explained to them that the King will always be the King. Period. Well, that was the message that Lebron James sent to the Boston Celtics and the rest of the league last night. “The King will always be the King.”
Love him or hate him, you have to respect what Lebron James means to the game of basketball. I’m old enough to remember Michael Jordan’s greatness. I’m old enough to remember Kobe Bryant’s greatness. I’m even old enough to remember Dr. J’s greatness. (Just the Philly years) I’m old enough to say what I’m about to say with full confidence because I have witnessed different eras of basketball with my own two eyes, and not by YouTube videos and Google searches. “We are witnessing greatness firsthand.” This statement is not to take anything away from the Kobe’s, MJ’s, Doc’s, Magic’s, Bird’s, Shaq’s, and Hardaway’s (Penny and Tim sr.), of NBA history, but Lebron James’ greatness stands out above all for one reason. I have never seen an NBA player take a group of absolute trash so far in my life! This is not the first time Lebron James has taken a can full of trash this far in his career either. This man put this Cavs team on his back and carried them to the NBA Finals. MJ had Pippen. MJ’s role players were not great, they also were not that shit Lebron James played with in these playoffs either. Kobe got his with Shaq and others with Paul Gasol. His role players were not great, they also were not that shit Lebron James carried on his back throughout these 2018 NBA playoffs either. Argue, agree, love him, or hate him. If we’re being 100% genuine, we can all agree that what we are witnessing in 2018 as we watch a 34-year old Lebron James out there battling 20-something’s every night, is nothing short of greatness.
For maybe only the second time since I’ve seen the Celtics in these playoffs, their age and lack of playoff experience were on full display. And that didn’t really kick in until it became painfully obvious that Bron was having “one of those nights.” The Celtics began to look unsure of themselves all of a sudden, and “the little engine that could” finally broke down, on the way to a low scoring 87-79 game-7 “L” to the visiting Cleveland Cavs. Rookie, Jason Tatum led the way for the Celtics with 24 points. Al Horford had 17 and Marcus Morris had 14. The game was played tightly. By “tightly”, I mean that everyone seemed to be on edge. The Celtics did not come out and play like they had nothing to lose, which has been their usual. Last night they played like they had everything to lose. The difference in approaches to the game showed too. Lebron dropped 35, 15, and 9. He came up one assist shy of another playoff triple-double. Jeff Green showed up big in his second game replacing Kevin Love, who is out and in the concussion protocol. Green had 19 pts. and 8 boards. J.R. Smith had 12 and Tristan Thompson added 10 points to go along with 9 rebounds. Bron didn’t have much help last night, but at times it seemed like he wasn’t looking for any. HE was determined to beat the Celtics last night. F*ck what everyone else was doing. Beat the Celtics he did. Cleveland is on their way to another NBA Finals, where they will face the winner of game-7 between the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets. A game that will be played in Houston.