So this is it, huh?
The NBA world is going to label a two-time MVP, a six-time All-Star and a four-time All-NBA First Team selection a choker, a failure, and an arrogant sore-loser after one pathetically bad postseason game?
While there is certainly no sense arguing whether LeBron James had a bad game or not in Game 5, it is justifiable to ask people to sit back, relax and see how the rest of the Cavs -Celtics series unfolds.
Although James’ Game Five performance was appallingly dismal, it was just one game. Albeit perhaps the most important game his Cleveland Cavaliers have played all season, it still counts as one game.
The 32-point defeat at the hands of the Boston Celtics is simply a loss. The sports cliché that a loss is a loss, no matter if its by one or 50, holds true here. Sure the Cavaliers got their asses handed to them, but it goes down on paper and in the record books as a single “L.”
And even though James was most likely handed his rear-end with his head squarely located “you know where” because it surely was not in the game, he and the Cavaliers have a chance to redeem themselves in Game 6.
Sure, right now in the series, all signs point to a Cleveland loss and yet another playoff disappointment for the franchise and the city as a whole. They have been blown-out twice at home and now find themselves in a 3-2 hole going back to Boston. To make matters worse, the Celtics are 31-1 all-time having a 3-2 lead in a seven-game series.
But before everyone writes off the Cavaliers—calls James “LeChoke ”—says he can’t win in the postseason—and in terms of his future with Cleveland, says he is as good as gone, let’s wait and see what happens tonight, possibly the most significant game in the history of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
At some point or another all the great ones are faced with adversity. The thing that separates them from the rest is their ability to deal with it and pull through. I challenge someone to give me an example of a great player or a Hall-of-Famer in any sport who never faced an ounce of adversity.
Here’s James opportunity to face adversity head-on.
It’s easy to go out, look good and perform at your highest level when everything is going right. Few players and people in general, are able to succeed when everything is going south and it seems as if the entire world is against you.
Right now, that’s how things must feel for James. The world is against him and the city of Cleveland is about to turn its back on him before he has the chance to turn his back on it, leaving this summer.
As it stands now, even if James leaves Cleveland as a free-agent this summer, his time with the Cavaliers is not over, he still has at least one game to play. With that said, let’s give him the chance to overcome tremendous adversity and become great right before our eyes. His statistics in his first seven years in the league and his loyalty to the city of Cleveland, thus far, has earned him the chance.
Who knows, perhaps 10 years from now, and multiple Cleveland championships later, the sports world will look back at this particular playoff series as the exact moment LeBron James, the boy from Akron, became a man in Cleveland.