It was 90 degrees, hot and humid, and the Spurs went on to win game one of the NBA Finals. When LeBron first went out, my first thought was something along the lines of (seriously) "God no!". I thought it was something serious, something that might take LeBron out for the playoffs.
It was cramps.
In the minds of many, it was "just cramps??". Just search for LeBron cramp meme, and you'll get a feeling for what I mean.
LeBron will have six more games to come back and beat the San Antonio Spurs, and if the Heat fail to do so, then the Spurs will have earned their fifth NBA title by going through the best rather than by the unfortunate turnings of fate for the Miami Heat.
Like most of the world, and I'm sure most Bulls fans, I'm avidly rooting for the Spurs to win. My two favorite teams? The Bulls and whomever is playing the Miami Heat, but I want to see LeBron lose. Not get hurt. Not have an excuse at the end of the day.
I love to root against LeBron, but let's not get crazy questioning his legacy, his toughness, or anything else because his body seized up with cramps. Do you think LeBron could have played through this at that point? I don't.
This wasn't a time for a Willis Reed moment where he could simply stand on the court and knock down a jumper to inspire people. This was a moment that would have needed LeBron at his best on the court. It wasn't going to happen.
I had thought all the LeBron hate had died down over the years, but apparently, it was brewing underneath when all this discussion comes out. The reaction, even by sportswriters, was crazy. Posts questioning his legacy, questioning everything about him. It was just so over the top.
Maybe Derrick Rose is a wuss for tearing his ACL. There were nine other guys on the court who didn't tear their ACL at that time. That seems to be the logic taken here. Hey, Ray Allen didn't get cramps, so what the hell is LeBron's problem?
You don't choose to get an injury, be it cramps or an acl tear. That's what happened to LeBron. He won't be debilitated for a year like Rose, probably just 10-30 minutes, but long enough to end any hope of a game one come back.
What LeBron's injury highlights more is how utterly reliant the Heat are on James. There's been a lot of talk about how James took the easy way out to win titles. How he teamed up with a bunch of stars. All of it valid. However, now? The Heat are a great team, but they aren't a team of superstars anymore.
Dwyane Wade was probably a top five player when he joined up with LeBron, not anymore. Chris Bosh has been turned into the worlds best role playing big man and while he may have more ability than he gets to regularly show, four years of not showing it has at least made us question. Miami falls apart without LeBron.
Yes, LeBron's still got a great cast, but the Heat without him aren't anything special and certainly have no shot to win in the finals. My personal belief is that the Heat will come back and win this NBA Finals. LeBron will come through and dominate again. Some will find ways to poke holes in his greatness regardless, but it's a hilarious effort.
LeBron James is the second best player to ever play in the NBA. If his career ends with eight rings, five rings, or two rings, I'll still believe that.
As for the Spurs, they need three more wins. Three more wins for their own redemption. They can't afford to think or care about what's going on with LeBron. It'd be easy to get distracted now, but they're three wins away from glory. Three wins from champagne.
Three wins from making all the haters, including myself, happy. Personally, I'm glad it was just cramps. If LeBron goes down, I want him going down on the court, not going down with an injury.
Filed under: Uncategorized