LeBron James is defying all conventional wisdom about Father Time to the point where he’s breaking Skip Bayless’ brain. In the first-ever NBA In-Season Tournament, LeBron has turned back the clock — if you can even say that? — and won MVP honors with a truly sensational performance throughout.
That included 24 points, 11 boards, four assists and two steals in LA’s 123-109 win over the Pacers in Saturday’s tourney final.
Is it like, OK? Nowadays? To ACKNOWLEDGE GREATNESS in real time? So many folks are already on to the next shiny new distracting thing. LeBron has been so great for so long that I think people are just sick of him. Try to poke holes in him any way they can. Michael Jordan GOAT stans are puking their guts out tonight over what just transpired.
The best part is, in spite of how well LeBron played throughout the tournament, we’ll still have people saying, “WELL WELL WELL Anthony Davis went for 41 and 20 against the Pacers!”
Although I do credit Davis for dominating, it wasn’t without some LeBron coaching tips:
No matter to the haters. They’ll try to somehow discredit this exotic addition to LeBron’s legacy by saying AD carried him. Screw that. The King is The King. We are all witnesses. ACKNOWLEDGE HIM.
Or not. Whatever. If you don’t want to admit how amazing LeBron is at basketball and that he’s pretty much beyond a shadow of a doubt the best to ever do it, maybe you can appreciate his generosity of spirit.
Listen to him explain why he tried so hard in a tournament that otherwise wouldn’t have a pulse without him moving the needle.
“My rookies, my second-year guys, some of them haven’t experienced playoff basketball. Some of their paychecks are not as equipped as some of the older guys on our team. And then, some of our fans, during the December and January months, they kind of stall out a little bit.
So, I felt like it’s my obligation, and it’s my responsibility, to keep everybody engaged, including my teammates, including our fans for our beautiful sport. So that’s why I was locked in from Day 1.”
Can you get any classier than that? That’s a rhetorical question. I’m sure some losers out there will say LeBron is dumping on his teammates for being so much poorer than him. Let’s preemptively disengage from that ignorant take. How about the Lakers’ three benchwarmers who just got a lot richer with literal life-changing money on Saturday night?
I saw so many people making fun of LeBron playing for an extra $500K. Never did it occur to these morons that it wasn’t actually about him. We’re talking about the NBA’s all-time leading scorer who isn’t even a shoot-first style of player. What more do you need to know about what a good teammate LeBron is? I’m sure MJ and even the late, great Laker Kobe Bryant would get their competitive juices flowing at full stream for an in-season tournament, but you can’t tell me they’d think conscientiously of their teammates’ financial well-being while doing so. They were just out to destroy anyone in their path, all for themselves and their own personal glory.
Don’t get me wrong. LeBron has personal goals. This tournament was a way to get a slight leg up on MJ in the record books. That’s not lost on him at all. I’m saying, you’d never catch MJ or Kobe talking like The King just did here.
I think that’s worth appreciating maybe just a little bit before we turn the page 24 hours from now, and have to hear exhausting TV clips of talking-head take artists volleying back and forth over trivial issues. Like clockwork. Just watch. They dare not linger too long on this stunning Year 21 achievement for LeBron.
Alas. I guess it really will take at least one more actual championship to shut the pro-MJ crowd up. If LeBron can play like he did to seize the NBA Cup, there’s no team the Lakers can’t beat in the playoffs, or the NBA Finals for that matter.