It is rare that a mainstream athlete's performance can be compared to that of a lesser-known athlete in a sport of such a vastly different nature.
Although the comparison of athletes in separate sports is always a difficult one, the performance of Paul Rodriguez at the 2012 X Games Skateboarding street event is eerily reminiscent of the NBA Finals performance of the Miami Heat's LeBron James.
Coming into Game 5 of the NBA Finals, James had successfully led his team to three consecutive victories that put rival Oklahoma City Thunder in a position of near impossibility to come back and win an NBA title.
Game 5 was seen by most sports pundits and analysts as a game that the desperation of the reeling Thunder would be enough to force a Game 6 against the comfortable Miami Heat.
Compare LeBron's situation in Game 5 to that of Paul Rodriguez's final run of the X Games skateboard street final.
P-Rod was leading the event comfortably after a near perfect run with only one other competitor having a run left to challenge him for first place. Rodriguez could have accepted his already winning score and allowed the struggling Ryan Sheckler, who sat in last place, to have to put together a perfect run and rely on luck to dethrone the eventual champion.
Back track to Game 5 of the NBA Finals.
With the game close and competitive deep into the third quarter, LeBron took over the game and left no window of opportunity for the young and desperate Thunder to come back. He finished with 26 points, 11 rebounds and 13 assists in a blowout win that left no question as to who the best player was of those finals. He did everything within his power to allow no opportunity for the opposition to determine the outcome.
Back to the skate park.
In P-Rod's last run in this year's X Games, he stepped on his board and left no margin for error. He nailed everything he attempted, including an array of flawless switch tricks and capped it off with an as-clean-as-it-gets switch 360 flip down the park's lone set of stairs.
P-Rod's performance bettered his previous first place score, which was necessary as rival Ryan Sheckler put together a clutch, near-perfect run highlighted with a blunt slide rail transfer and a backside 360 off the kicker as his run time expired.
Much like LeBron James, he did everything within his power to allow no opportunity for the opposition to determine the outcome.
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