LeBron James: The NBA's Greatest Closer!

Paul PeszkoSenior Writer IJune 1, 2009

ORLANDO, FL - MAY 30:  LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers reacts after a play against the Orlando Magic in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2009 Playoffs at Amway Arena on May 30, 2009 in Orlando, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Last week I got criticized—no crucified—when I merely suggested that LeBron James was not only the NBA’s greatest player, but its greatest closer.

I merely suggested it based on what Jerry West had said. I did not state it emphatically.

But now I can.

After Saturday’s closeout game at Orlando’s Amway Arena, LeBron James is the best closer in the NBA today.

He proved it Saturday.

I have never seen a player anywhere in any sport closeout a series quicker than LeBron closed out the Eastern Conference Finals in Orlando.

He closed it out in 1.6 seconds.

That’s all it took for LeBron to hustle off the court and into the tunnel.

But he didn’t stop there.

No, sir.

He continued to close out.

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He closed out his locker and out of the locker room in less than five minutes. I’m not sure if that was with or without a shower. I believe it was without a shower. But maybe someone else can verify that.

He closed out his press conference in 0.00 seconds by being a no show.

He closed himself out of the arena in less time than it takes to say, "M-V-P."

He closed himself out of the hearts of many fans, especially in Orlando, but also in Cleveland and across the NBA.

Fans who have considered him someone extra special.

And guess what?

He didn’t stop there. He continued to closeout even today.

That’s right.

At his press conference in Cleveland today, he closed the door on an apology. An apology to the Orlando Magic, an apology to his fans in Cleveland and across the NBA, and especially to the NBA—the players and owners who helped make him what he is today.

That’s right.

He closed them all out and felt an apology wasn’t necessary. It wasn’t necessary for a supremely wonderful competitor like himself to shake hands with the players who beat him.

Oh, but maybe he has closed the thought out of his mind that he was beaten. It was his team that was beaten.

Not him.

You know, those other guys in the Cavaliers jerseys who hung around to shake hands with the Magic and answer questions from the press.

Yeah, those guys.

They were the ones who were beaten.

Not LeBron.

They were the ones who couldn’t play well enough to match up with Orlando. They were the ones who were beaten.

Not LeBron.

LeBron actually won the series. Look at the box scores. He had more points than anyone over the six games.

And finally with today’s refusal to apologize, he closed the book on sportsmanship.

Thank you, LeBron.

Now I feel vilified at last. You have proven me right afterall. You are the NBA’s greatest closer of all time.