LeBron James is an eraser of sorts. Just like MJ was. On the court, plays break down, passes go errant, a coverage doesn’t work, so back in the day, the Chicago Bulls turned to Michael, and he made up for it.
Now, LeBron does that in Cleveland. He erases his own mistakes. He erases his Coach’s miscues. Cavs Coach Blatt was trying to call a time out and his team didn’t have any, and an assistant coach reeled him back to the sideline. James, is called for an offensive foul in the closing seconds of a the game, and Chicago gets the ball back. You’d think the world might stop, or the ref’s might take back the call.
But a foul is a foul. Derrick Rose, who also played heroically, scored just by LeBron to tie the game. Fans at the United Center go bonkers. It looks like OT for sure with about 10 seconds in the game. But a play went awry near the Cavs basket, putting .7 sec back on the clock. There’s 1.5 seconds left. LeBron’s play almost didn’t happen. He overruled his coach, and said, “Give me the ball and I’ll win it or we go to OT.”
LeBron made a beautiful shot from the corner over Jimmy Butler who had played James brilliantly in the game. The crowd gave a stunned “Oh!!” and the Cavs mobbed James near the scorer’s table. The Bulls players looked crestfallen for a moment and then sauntered off the court.
This was a playoff classic. Great defending, players making contested shots all game, hard fouls. It reminded me of the Larry Bird Celtics playing the LA Lakers. Back then they played for keeps.
It’s an event when a great player such as LeBron James plays vs. a team you’ve followed for most of your life. Even when he breaks your heart a little, you get it.