LeBron return carries hint of quiet amazing
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Very, very good news out of Cleveland. Yes, LeBron's back--but even better, so's more evidence of his savvy. From ESPN.com.
James checked in with 5:59 left in the first quarter and the Cavs leading 15-11. He entered with Hughes and forward Anderson Varejao, who was making his season debut after ending a contract holdout last week by signing a three-year, $17 million contract.Shelving the cynicism, credit the 22-year-old--who has every right to be angry over Varejao's holdout--with yet another veteran move. And while Dwight Howard's getting all the love (and features) this week, LeBron's having the stronger individual season, both on- and off-the-court. Helping broker peace between angry fans and a holdout Brazilian isn't Nobel-worthy, but a far more graceful act than a young Michael Jordan's notorious teammate freeze-outs. Perhaps guesting on the Simpsons helped LeBron sympathize with Sideshow Bob?
James said he requested that coach Mike Brown bring him in off the bench to offset any negative reaction toward Varejao, who during messy on-and-off negotiations said he didn't want to play for Cleveland again.
"I thought it would raise the intensity of the fans, having me, Larry and Andy come in at the same time -- and it worked," James said. "I thought by coming in with Andy it might stop some of the boos Andy might get, just protecting my teammates."
In fact, LeBron's splendiferous season is a resurgent masterwork, as he continues to rebound from last year's downer. Face it: LBJ's playoff performance may be one for the ages, but the King royally coasted through 2006-07 on his talent; then in the off-season, there was the Yankees cap-flap that set Cleveland afire and the SNL appearance that made bloggers' eyes' bleed.
But...all is forgiven and forgotten, when you show up for work the way that LeBron has. With new focus, he's leading the league in PER, playing much-improved D, and collecting a triple-double every fourth game. And thanks to the Nash-Barbosa corollary, the Cavs' six straight losses before tonight position LBJ as a formidable MVP candidate when it's time to collect the ballots.
(Not to mention, LeBron's never mailed it in with the endorsement game, becoming the top-earning star under 25. The guy just can't miss, except when Brett Edwards is watching).
Scream about Howard all you want--and rightfully so, as greatness is being magically realized in Orlando. But back in Cleveland, as we increasingly take the King's majesty for granted, note this special royal favor. In a league Where Amazing Happens, there's little more surprising than superstars realizing the nuance of a moment. And the 10-12 Cavs, made physically and psychically whole again, will be the better for it.
posted by Doctor Dribbles @ 00:10,
- At December 12, 2007 at 2:43 AM, Crucifictorious said...
You shouldn't have shelved the cynicism; now your fawning prose can't compete with the hard reality of ESPN's Brian Windhorst.
- At December 12, 2007 at 5:01 PM, truthaboutit said...
The artwork of LBJ is very cool. A product of the We Rite Good staff?
- At December 12, 2007 at 6:53 PM, Doctor Dribbles said...
This is what happens when you write before the news cycle--maybe We should stick to the long essays as opposed to the game recaps, eh? But you can't deny the ring of truthiness, even if Hoarse Windbag (I kid; I love) tells me I'm wrong.
Speaking of truth, your answer, too: The Goode team just piggybacked the work of Greg Horn. If you dig his stuff, just google search for him and LeBron--there's a whole trove of treasure.