LeBron Goes Beasman on Boston

Former UK coach Joe B. Hall has always been forthright about that ’77-’78 NCAA championship season.

It wasn’t fun, he’s admitted. Carrying the 200 lb + carcass of Adolph Rupp on his back, and having to fend off forays from that upstart Denny Crum down the road, the ever irascible Hall needed to win the big one before he could breathe.

He finally exhaled when cutting down the nets in the Checkerdome, eventually becoming BFF with his former rival Crum.

Until then Hall wore a game face at all times.

LeBron James still can’t breathe. But he came closer last night with a performance for the ages as his Heat faced elimination in Beantown. Instead of packing it in, and pulling out the old excuses from his trickbag, James went Beasman on Boston. He never emoted. He never appeared to be having fun, even when it became obvious the game was won. LBJ had his game face on all night.

It obviously worked. Forty Five points on 19/26 shooting from the field. Just to make sure the Celtics knew he was serious, James hit 12 of his first 13 field goal attempts. He grabbed 15 rebounds and had 5 assists. It was obvious from the opening tip he didn’t intend to lose the game. He didn’t.

Good for him.

Now he needs to do it again in Game 7. Then again and again and again and again against OKC.

Then he can exhale. Then Paul Pierce and he can become BFFs, perhaps go fishing together and start their own radio show on ESPN.

In this age of celebrity, LeBron’s fate is so sealed, and has been since Sports Illustrated anointed him. It’s probably not fair. Then again, had he the sense to say no to his sycophants and simply sign with Miami instead of turning the abdication from Cleveland into some sort of tectonic plate shifting event, he wouldn’t have such a long and rock-filled row to hoe.

Just so he understands the consequences of Game 7 against the faltering Celtics, he needs to realize I’m not the only scribe who stocked up on brickbats. Our arms are loose and we’re ready to come out firing, should the Heat falter.

– Seedy K

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