Mark Thompson

A pre-emptive obiturary for LeBron, the last King of Cleveland

Now that we know the Cavaliers will face the Warriors in the NBA Finals, we know that LeBron’s magic run is about to be halted. Shame. 

 

 

Pardon the cynicism, but goody-goody gumdrops, the Golden State Warriors will play with Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals. Yes, we’ve arrived at a destination that we all knew we would be arriving at, and we’re disappointed that we weren’t surprised. The LeBronland Cavaliers are going to get rolled. Whoop-de-do, Basil.

Admittedly, it was more exciting than we envisioned six months yonder, with GM LeBron deciding to blow up the then Cavs, a Potemkin collection of the washed (IT, Derrick Rose and D-Wade), the useless (Iman Shumpert) and the borderline meh (Channing Frye and Jae Crowder), to inject the club with the hungry youth and the passably decent. Welcome to the land, Rodney Hood, George Hill, Jordan Clarkson and the man who can jump really high, Larry Nance Jr.

At the time, Bron Bron loudly proclaimed to the shirtless wonder: ‘We’ve Got A F–king Squad Now’.

Well, yes. Inasfar as they were paid to bounce the ball, but they were stuck in the same bell-curve of the useless, the latter 2018 Cavs looked like the slightly earlier model, and save for a Terminator level of performance where LeBron out LeBron-ed himself, literally playing every minute of the last two games to overcome the Boston Celtics, they wouldn’t have got this far. But, they did, and we no longer care.

In fact, there’s a great image of the man himself that echoes our own fatigue:

 

 

Somehow, there are seven (or four) more games to play. To see him carry eleven other uniformed ballast (and the front office) up Everest numerous times has been ridiculous to watch. In fact, I’ve not seen a solo performance so grand against forces so unmatched since Michael Jordan sided with Bill Murray and Lola Bunny to best the Monstars.

And LBJ didn’t resort to tricking the rest of the roster into thinking they’ve taken steroids.

 

 

LeBron did as every terrible middle manager has done before him, and did it himself. Which is admirable, and enough to turn the most embittered hater into a fanboy. I castigated his move to Miami, I scoffed at his return, I chortled when his gravity pushed the flat-earth truther Kyrie Irving out the door. No longer, LeBron is doing what we’ve all pretended was the case in our driveways. He’s living our tween fantasies, as the dude, besting the best of our fictional enemies. He works as fiction because he’s yet to fall. He’s like the cartoon coyote, plunging himself off the edge off the cliff powered by his own hungry brilliance. He’s yet to let gravity claim him, but we know that he can’t keep running forever.

Just don’t look down, LeBron!

 

 

Frankly, I don’t want to see him get beat. The vibe is similar to watching an overmatched Muhammad Ali beaten into a pulp by Larry Holmes, all while Ali is still convincing us that it’s all part of the plan. That was tough to watch, and this will be similar. Stop. Stop. He’s already dead.

The problem is, of course, who he is facing. It’s not going to be a fair fight. Ne’er was there a greater collective of preening douchebags that has ever stepped a basketball court. The Warriors are exactly the guy who you think is really nice, but turns out to be a complete dipshit. They’re lead by perhaps that greatest shooter of all, who marginalises his greatness through juvenile hubris. His pre-game cockwafflery is enough to return your lunch to your lap. Ohhhh, you’re pretending to play a different sport. Cool. Off his hip is Kevin Durant, who let’s not forget, broke the fucking league, Klay Thompson who owns both an enchanted toaster and the greatest goatee this side of David Brent, and they’re all kept together by a cocksnot who looks like Donkey, but plays like an arse.

They all need to be cast into the San Francisco Bay and scuttled. As does every bandwagon fan that sails upon them.

Sadly, it’ll be a procession. It’ll be a joyless grind until the obvious becomes fact. LeBron can’t stop Curry, Klay and Durant. Those three can easily outscore The King, and no amount of lone-hand heroics can change that.

It’s a feeling akin to wanting a bicycle for Christmas, but knowing that Mum didn’t make bail. A thin layer of hope crushed by many bricks of awful reality.

The problem is that the NBA playoffs have been excellent. The Jazz (including the rise of tre-lord Joe Ingles), The Pelicans and the Process made it fun; as the Pacers almost upsetting the Cavs, and the rise of the Rockets in the West dared us to believe that our unfortunate assumptions might just be dashed.

But, no.

With the both Conference Finals going all the way to seven games, the average fan would have taken either of those as the Finals, and we would have been happy with that.

 

 

Sadly, all that’s left is serious, laboured disappointment. We’ve already reached climax, but they’re still wanting us to keep going. Frankly, we don’t want to see how it ends, as it will be hard to watch. Consider us the confused, conflicted mob that has to sit through William Wallace’s execution in Braveheart. The best we can hope for is a quick end, as he will not beg for mercy, and none will be shown and there will be no help forthcoming.

 

 

 

 

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