Friday, December 3, 2010

Darth James Comes Alive

LeBron James finally became Darth James last night. Or maybe he just morphed into him for one night to mask for a fact of not being able to do it more often. It was beautiful revenge - THIS is the LeBron I want to see. A guy who plays with anger, a chip on his shoulder and a killer instinct to rise to the moment and carry his team.

Darth James entered Cleveland the hated villain. The hometown hero once removed. Booed from the jump by angry fans who showed up to boo him instead of cheer their team to victory. Nevermind the fact that Cleveland is back to playing terrible basketball, let's rise as an Empire scorned to hate our prodigal son.

For the recap, Darth James is a killer. A killer who cares about ripping hearts and dominating the court at will. It's LeBron James as Super Saiyan 2, an unstoppable force who knows his power and uses it with no fear. He's also oblivious to hatred and has no desire to be loved. Sound familiar? It's Larry Bird, Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant's trump card. Cold-blooded arrogance matched with rising to the occasion.

The Heat became the Evil Empire and Darth took the first blow - an easy jumper to score the Empire's first points. 14 points in the first half to share the lead with Flash Wade. But the true damage would come after halftime.

I sat during the third quarter watching Darth shoot from all over the court with almost nobody in his face. A three pointer here, a mid-range jumper there. An alley-oop layup for an And-1. And all I heard was silence. An arena watching the life sucked out of it with no mercy. Their deficit grew to 20 and then 30. All those folks coming to boo instead of cheer their team were silenced.

And then the kill shot. LBJ - i mean Lord Vader - hit a tough jumper in the face of two defenders. Nothing but net and then ran down the court staring down and barking at the Cleveland bench. I laughed out loud - Cleveland was letting him do this without daring to respond. Nobody wanted to be Luke Skywalker - they were all scared pawns in his wake once again, proving why LeBron deserved to leave them.

24 points in the quarter. Reminded me of the 25 straight he scored against the Pistons in the 2007 Eastern Conference Finals. He transformed into the villain who didn't care about anything but the bottom line. And I loved it!

He did whatever he wanted. Talked trash. Joked in their huddles during/after timeouts. Nobody dared to rise against him because they knew he owned them. They were beaten from the jump. Whenever your fans have more heart than you, its over.

Even better was taking shots at Dan Gilbert - oh how I loved this story. Hey Danny, instead of being pissed and doing stupid things like investigating if the Heat tampered with LeBron, how about you realize LeBron was right and your team isn't good enough without him.

All respect to Daniel Gibson for speaking his mind AFTER the fact. At least somebody said something but what good is that when you don't handle it during the game. Who was gonna step to him with a cheap foul? Who was gonna say "Not in our house, chump." Byron Scott was sitting there perplexed, thinking about how in the 80's/90's, this never would've happened. Cleveland has no heart and taking a butt-whipping like that confirmed LeBron made the right call.

Of course, now LeBron has to understand that this can't be a one-night focus. He has to bring out Darth James every night because the Heat are everyone's favorite villains. Be a killer every night. LBJ hasn't shown that he has it in him and that's the next level - learn to kill every night and have everyone rise with you. Pick your spots, tag-team with Flash Wade and build with him, not feel the need to do it without him.

And don't have your boy Maverick Carter speak anonymously. Erik Spolestra is your coach. He'll make you better, not baby you. Learn from him because bringing Pat Riley down will show you what a cold-blooded killer looks like and you won't grow from that.

But for one night, it was good to see the Darth James finally come out instead of watching him play with rabbit ears. Cleveland fans got their wish and will get their wish every year until he retires. Focus on your team now and together we'll watch if Darth James can actually uphold a label he's been given in a game that matters.


  1. Excellent and all so true.
    It was fun to watch him take out that sorry city's heart- again.
    Great read homey.

  2. Props fam - your post was just as brilliant. If Cleveland's mad at anyone, should be themselves getting embarrassed with slushies for hearts.