LeBron James is still the reigning king of the NBA. Period. We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again, LeBron is getting better with age. If you love sports, like I do, and you practically loathed LeBron, like I did, after seeing yet another virtuoso performance from LeBron James, you have to at least consider changing your vote for the G.O.A.T.
Some said that he was the best ever at 20. Now he’s 33 and he’s arguably better than ever. Some say that James has been equally mystical and egotistical, and shall we say downright cavalier? But he has also earned the right to brag and to boast, especially after his performance in the playoffs this year with multiple 40 point performances. But for now we’ll focus on yet another Game 7 masterpiece.
LeBron single handedly willed his team to a 87-79 Game 7 victory over the Boston Celtics ON THE ROAD in front of a harsh and hostile Boston Garden crowd (ok TD Garden, but for us old heads, it’s still Boston Garden). James played in his 100th game of the season and logged a full 48 minutes. He finished with 35 points on 12-of-24 shooting with 15 rebounds and 9 assists, another near triple double. And it seemed like an “off” night because of tiredness that certainly led to uncharacteristic turnovers and missed free frows. But James also had timely blocks that help bolster the Cavs “D” which stifled the Celtics down the stretch.
LeBron James snatched victory from the jaws of defeat as the “C”s showed that they just didn’t have quite enough to dethrone a destined and determined James who finally got some help from his supporting cast. Jeff Green, a Cleveland reserve, nearly stole the show from LeBron by scoring 19 points and grabbing 9 rebounds to give the Cavaliers a stunning Game 7 win when Boston had gone undefeated at home in the playoffs. This is the same Jeff Green that had open heart surgery a few years ago. Open Heart Surgery! And the win was even the more memorable and remarkable because James did it by winning twice after Kevin Love — maybe the most capable of his otherwise underwhelming supporting cast — was lost to a concussion early in Game 6.
Do I still love Michael? Of course. And Kobe won five championships. Five. Magic and Bird were phenomes, but what we are seeing from the reigning king is nothing short of legendary. He’s going to the NBA Finals for the eighth season in a row. Eight in a row? Who’s done that before? Nobody. Yes I keep going back to Michael’s six-for-six Finals victories, accomplished via two three-peats, but eight Finals appearances in a row? Even his harshest critics, myself included, can’t argue with that.
AND . . . the Cavs went down 3-2 in the series, with Boston playing great ball and their rookie sensation Jayson Tatum having the best playoff’s by a rookie since Magic 38 years ago. But LeBron found a way to win, again. It remains to be seen what will happen in the Finals, but we may well see the Warriors and the Cavaliers competing for the crown one more time.
And so the lesson is crystal clear. Once again, LeBron James proved the doubters wrong and proved that patience works experience, and experience breads hope. Because of our experience, we know what God can do. We know that our Lord is still the King. He still rules and reigns. And because our Lord is still the King, you may not be favored, and you may not have the best team, and you may not play pretty, but you can still find a way to win.
You absolutely can.