I am not a sports journalist right now. I am a LeBron groupie coming out of the closet. And I am speaking on behalf of a nation of King James’ apologists.
Please, sir, get it done.
We don’t care that Oklahoma City is a better team and has home-court advantage. We don’t care that one of your key players, Chris Bosh, still isn’t 100 percent. We need you to come through for us.
We’re so tired of getting ‘The Decision’ thrown in our face every time we come across a hater. It no longer works to run off a list of Hall of Famers with no ring in defense of your bare knuckles. Your all-around greatness is no longer a sufficient rebuttal to attacks on your killer instinct. It’s time for you to come through. No excuses.
This is your third trip to the NBA Finals. Sure, that time with Cleveland, you had no help against the dominant Spurs. OK, last year was the first trip with The Heatles. You guys needed to learn how to win, something the resilient Mavericks had developed through years of disappointment. But what’s our fall back if you don’t win it this time? Which closet is big enough to hide all of us if you disappear down the stretch of a critical game?
Do you know how easy it would be to jump the platform and get on the Kevin Durant train? But we don’t want to be that husband in the mall with his wife sneaking peeks at the teeny-boppers who think life is an A&F commercial. We want to be proud of our favorite player, like the Kobe Bryant fans we envy (who can end any debate by pointing out his 5 championships). Do you know how silly we sound trying to diminish Kobe’s rings with the “but-he-had-Shaq-and-Gasol” whining? Ridiculous.
You see why it is imperative you get it done this time?
So, please, limit the step back jumpers and don’t settle for the pull-up when a switch leads to Kendrick Perkins guarding you. Stop walking the ball up so much and let the freight train loose. If Oklahoma City goes zone, force Erik Spoelstra to put you in the middle instead of Udonis Haslem. Stay off the refs’ back (and Mario Chalmers, too, for that matter) and focus on getting to your money spots on the floor. (As a personal favor, please dunk on Serge Ibaka so hard my wife will stop talking about how gorgeous he is.)
And for the love of Rick Barry … Make. Your. Free throws. Seriously.
Millions of your fans are on edge right now — Lions on their shirts, LBJ on their shoes, screaming at people to stop touching their lemonade. The odds are against you, no doubt. Bu that will only make it even sweeter. So, please. Be a beast this series. We need the King James Version to show up. Keep that Not Instinctively Villainous dude in the locker room.
Take over in the fourth quarter like you did against Detroit that year. Hit a game-winner like you did against Orlando. Put on one of them spectacular performances to change the tide of the series, like you did against Boston last round. We know you have it in you. We just need you to do it now. We don’t know how long we can fight off the Kobe lovers, if we can continue to force your name into the GOAT conversation, if we can continue getting our fix by ogling your stat line.
Yeah, we know you have the stats to summon the late Wilt Chamberlain. We know you’re capable of making plays spectacular enough to coax an expletive out of Ned Flanders. We know you are unselfish. We know you can play great defense. We know you do so many of the little things that make Hubie Brown tingle. Yes, you’re a first-ballot Hall of Famer. But right now, your die-hard supporters don’t need a basketball clinic. We need you to win a championship.