From Witnessed to witness.
It was a long, hard fall for the man who this year overtook Kobe Bryant as, arguably, the best in the game.
So hard in fact, that he managed to fall right past anyone wanting to know what it felt like the night his team was prematurely ousted from the playoffs.
It would've been nice had King James shown equal aptness in addressing his team's shortcomings as well as its success. Then again, the Cavs' success was so dependent on Lebron that maybe he felt questions about his team were indirect questions about his own inability to carry them further.
That shouldn't be the case. Lebron's less-than-stellar postgame reaction aside, this experience should've given him a little more appreciation for what Kevin Garnett went through for the first 13 years of his career.
A nationally renowned superstar do-it-all surrounded by mediocre-to-subpar role players, Garnett could sympathize in his sleep.
Kobe Bryant's another example. Granted, his years of suffering with a roster full of underachievers and castoffs were brought on by his own desire to be the man. Lebron didn't ask for it, but you know he wants to be the man.
Being the man, though, requires carrying the burden of not just a team, but the entire city upon one's back. Cleveland has to be the King Kong of all monkies.
Maybe that's why Tim Duncan has been so unfazed throughout the years. San Antonio isn't that big of a load to carry.
Lebron's burden is much bigger. He's a home-grown star of Ohio. Ohio could well be nicknamed the "Sports Shame State." The Cavs, Indians, Browns, Buckeyes' football and basketball, all have come tantalizingly close without actually earning the ultimate prize.
Thus, when a man of Lebron's stature, talent and overall unique physical capabilities and personality enters the scene, a championship-starved fanbase see him as even more than the man.
They hail him as a savior, a god, a "right" to all the "wrongs" done to those who've had to endure over the years.
Lebron is always ready to talk about what's going right. But when this season culminated into the ultimate wrong in the face of Clevelanders and marketers of a Kobe/Lebron finals, the King walked away from his throne.
Luckily for Lebron, he's young. He's got time. Time to see if Cleveland can supply a better number-two option instead of masquerading Mo Williams as one, when he should really be the number three or four option on a truly elite team.
If the Cavs aren't able to comply, a third of the league is waiting with cap space and promises to give Lebron the support even Jordan needed. Lebron can take solace knowing even Jordan didn't get that kind of support until his eighth year in the league.
Until that moment comes, he of whom we are witnesses, must content himself with being a witness.
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