It also had dire consequences for the loser.
The Miami Heat are toast! They may win a championship someday, but it won't be this year.
They made the statement, and it's that they're not good enough, especially against quality competition. The margin of victory may have been only one point, but the magnitude of the loss for the Heat is immeasurable.
The Bulls have been the league's surprise team this year, far exceeding the expectations of the prognosticators. Despite a good record, the Heat have been a disappointment, more so because of how they lose rather than the fact that they lose games.
They are now 0-9 against the top four teams in the league and only 15-18 against teams over .500. They are just 5-13 in games decided by five points or less.
Going into Sunday's game, Heat shooters were 1-14 in end-of-the-game situations where they could either tie or win in regulation or overtime for a 7.1 percentage. Both LeBron and Dwyane Wade added to that total with last-second misses.
Despite the loss, James was okay with it after the game.
"If we lose that game, I can be satisfied with that, because we played our game," he said.
Can you imagine those words coming out of Derrick Rose's mouth? He's a killer.
As he says in his ads for the Chicago Bulls, "I just want to win."
That's all he cares about.
He said the same words in a text to James during the offseason that was mentioned in Sports Illustrated last week, when it was rumored that Rose didn't really want him to come to Chicago.
"I'm just hitting you up to kill all of the rumors that I don't want to play with you. I'd like to play with you. I just want to win," Rose supposedly said in the text.
Are you sensing a pattern here?
But what does James want?
He bragged at the circus they had introducing him together with Chris Bosh and Wade that, "He didn't want to win just one ring, or two, or three, or four, of five, or six, or seven."
It's obvious now that will never be happening. I'm not saying they will never win the title, but as far as becoming the dominating team in the league, I don't think so.
Wade is an old 29, with a lot of wear and tear on his body, and Bosh is really a complementary player and not much more.
And is LeBron the guy you want with the ball at the end of the game?
Wade seemed to be questioning that, saying, "He's not used to this," referring to not having the ball in those game-deciding situations.
It seems like a change might be in order.
Coach Erik Spoelstra even went as far to say that Heat players were crying in the locker room. Whether he was kidding or not, I don't know, but they should be, because their season is over.
He may be crying soon too if Pat Riley decides to come down and try to salvage this season, but I think it might be too late.
They'll be in the playoffs, but don't expect them to get past the second round. In fact, if they play the Knicks in the first round with the 3-6 where they are currently seeded, they might not make it past them.
James is the guy that is always mentioned as the player you would build a team around. After watching LeBron and seeing how Rose plays and overcomes his weaknesses, I think there might be a changing of the guard when that question comes up again.
In the movie Glengarry Glen Ross, Alec Baldwin is a sales trainer who tells a real estate salesman to, "Put the coffee down! Coffee is for closers only."
Fortunately for LeBron, he prefers milk and cookies, because otherwise he would really be craving caffeine right now.
I'm sure you agree. If not, bring on the heat!