What. Just. Happened.??

Eduardo Monk Jr

 

What kind of balderdash are you trying to pull on us NBA? We were promised one of the most competitive Finals in recent memory but we were given this. Two straight blowouts with a combined score of 41 points and then a blown lead in Game 3? NBA, what you doing to us? The Finals were supposed to be the reward for sitting through your terrible playoffs but we were given basketball so bad even Charles Barkley skipped town to the NHL.

Almost every organization of experts were completely split on these Finals. LeBron vs. KD, Steph vs. Kyrie, Love vs. Draymond. This was supposed to be awesome. But turns out we were in store for the Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry Show starring Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry.

As fun as it has been to watch Golden State surgically dismantle the Cavaliers limb for limb, it’s just not worth anyone’s time besides the two minute highlight reel on Twitter and Instagram the next day. This Finals, and the entire playoffs as a whole, is bluntly one of the worst things to have happened to sport of basketball, up there with flopping and Donald Sterling.

This isn’t to bash Curry or Durant in any way, they’re simply trying to win and that can be respected. Plus it’s not even their fault the NBA sucks. It’s everyone else.

And the reason for these Finals specifically is simple. You can tell just by  watching the games. It’s plain as day to see why Cleveland is getting blasted. And his name is…

Wait. Promise you won’t get triggered? Cross your heart and hope to die? Swear an oath you won’t be triggered. Swearing? Ok good.

The reason Cleveland is losing and will not win the Finals is LeBron James.

Hey. You said you wouldn’t get triggered.

Ok, Ok, I know, I can already hear the comments section on this one. Ohhh, “LeBron is the only reason Cleveland is good”, Ohhhh, “LeBron is the greatest player of all time and he will come back because he is so great”.

Please. Stop making yourself look stupid.

Right now LeBron is facing his greatest challenge. There’s no question this is the greatest team he has ever faced and he’s going in by himself. Kyrie has done jack diddly at really everywhere except Game 3 and Kevin Love isn’t the superstar LeBron is used to playing with.

And I know, it’s simple to lob the blame at the biggest name on the team, especially a name as big as LeBron. But here, he deserves it. LeBron has had one of the greatest if not the greatest career of all time. There’s nothing stopping him from winding up near the top at every major statistical category by the end of his career, something even MJ can’t say he has done.

But LeBron is not great. His career is but he isn’t. The reason behind that is he has had no ability to change the game, he simply can not bend entire playoffs to his will to make it easier for his team like great players can. Michael Jordan changed the game. Magic Johnson changed the game. Larry Bird changed the game. LeBron? He can’t even win the Finals without superstar teammates.

On top of this, LeBron has no ability to make his team better. He simply will increase his team’s stats. But his mere presence can not make a team be great enough to win the Finals. In his cheap Heat days, he could only win twice in four tries on a team with Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade. There’s no greatness in that.

He comes back to Cleveland only because they have Kyrie Irving and he couldn’t win in Miami anymore. And he could only win in Cleveland when Curry is playing hurt and Draymond Green is suspended. He was still down 3-1 in that series.

And now he finds himself smack dab in the middle of a probable sweep to one of the greatest teams of all time. And in all honesty, a great player would find a way. A great player would pick his team up, not carry on his shoulders but find a way to make his team better. A great player wouldn’t need to rely on Ray Allen or Kyrie Irving to win for him.

And yeah, you really can’t blame anyone else on the Cavaliers as in the end, they’re still fighting against a 73-9 team who added Kevin Durant. But you can blame LeBron James.

He has always needed great teammates to win because he can not make his teammates great. He went to Miami because the greats Wade and Bosh were already there. He left because they were aging veterans and a shell of their former self. He didn’t come to Cleveland because he was doing it for the fans. If he was, he would have never left in the first place. Greatness would have found a way to win even in Cleveland without waiting for them to add great players for you.

Now LeBron is being exposed. The Warriors are showing that the mighty King is not the King because he is great. He is the King because he has had an incredible career topped with a eye-catching highlight reel.

But in the end, that’s all he is. LeBron is simply one big highlight reel of his own great plays. Sparkley and impressive, but is nothing more than that. His dunks have no ability to make his team great. Whether it’s catching a lob from Wade or a beautiful pass to Kyrie, he has always needed someone else great to succeed.

We’re seeing that crystal-clear now. These Finals is terrible because it’s a culmination of every single one of LeBron’s demons and shortcomings coming back to bite him. And to him, being down 0-3 “is just basketball, man.” Greatness would not accept this. But LeBron isn’t great enough to feel this way.

 

Let’s not be surprised to see him in a Lakers jersey next season where he can win.

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