Cleveland Bruising, Boston Cruising: Where Is Number 23?

Rahil DevganCorrespondent IMay 12, 2010


When you are a High School junior that has his face plastered on the cover of Sports Illustrated with “The Chosen One” next to it, you could be forgiven for realizing that people would immediately begin to expect too much of you.

And if you actually buy into all this hype surrounding yourself and make every attempt to build it up even more (while also improving your game)?

Well, then you’re Lebron James – The King Of Cleveland and the one we are all supposed to be a witness to.

A witness?


With my eyes barely open in the morning, I was witness to King James not making a single field goal till the third quarter!

I was witness to some insipid defense and a total lack of energy and desire.

And I was witness to the worst play-off loss at home in franchise history.

Yes, I was witness to 120-88 at the Q.

And now, I’ll be witness to a Game 6 in Boston with the season on the line and James’ legacy at stake.

Make no mistake about it.This IS the first call for Lebron James.

Game 6 is his ‘Game of Reckoning’. You can’t join a lottery team and immediately start reeling off championships (Ask Chicago’s Number 23). It’s like a jigsaw puzzle – except that you already have the biggest piece and the clearest picture. All you have to do is find the smaller parts and fit them.

Last year James was forgiven for running into a Magic team whose center and sharpshooting they had no answer too. Nevertheless, he still stuffed the stat box and iced it with a phenomenal buzzer beater at home.

This year? The Cavaliers have made significant acquisitions designed more to improve the quantity of its weaponry rather than its quality. They are supposed to have an answer to everything and if (and when) they don’t, they have the superstar of all superstars to step up and carry them like he’s always done.

Keep the elbow out of this. Jordan played with the flu and willed his team to win. For crying out loud, Nash closed out the Spurs in San Antonio with one eye and Stoudemire! And yes, Kobe has his team in the Conference Finals with a banged up everything.  It’s one of those lessons that you keep hearing in life and it applies to sport as well. If you really want something badly, the whole universe will seem to conspire in your favor.

That’s what has to happen in Boston at the Garden. Lebron has to picture himself in the most hostile of atmospheres.

He has to picture Mo Williams and Anthony Parker missing three pointers from both flanks.

He has to picture Shaq missing easy baskets in the paint and imagine Rajon Rondo creating open looks for Allen and Pierce.

He has to picture Kevin Garnett anchoring the defense and blocking the paint and then, most importantly, he has to picture himself making enough layups and jumpers, dishing enough dimes, grabbing enough rebounds and blocking enough shots so that when the game is over, they will leave Boston with a ‘W’ and a chance to close it out at the Q again.

July’s exalted free agency will have a bitter taste in the mouth if Lebron’s season ends in Boston. If he wants to be known as the best basketball player on the planet, he needs to realize that a 60 win season does not matter if he falls short in the postseason.

He has brought this upon himself.

The Chosen One needs to arrive and he needs to arrive NOW.

Shelve the past and blur the future because at this moment, the present is all that will matter. Nothing less will suffice.

I believe in Lebron and you may too but this is about Lebron believing in himself.

Cleveland doesn’t need another Ehlo.