Minutes before I got a text about going to watch the Cavs game Sunday night, I was watching what I now consider one of the greatest episodes in television history: Season 4, Episode 5 of “Friday Night Lights” - “The Son”. (Spoiler Alert) It’s about a son who recently led his team to a state championship and just lost his father in war. I promise you you can watch it having never seen one episode of that tv show before and come away with deep down inside feelings.
Three hours later I watched a region triumph in what it seems many are conceding the cementation of LeBron’s GOAT status. In the coming weeks, there will be deep down inside feelings had by many irrational sports fans and most will center around something having to do with LeBron James. The Finals (Again!) and where he goes from now. If the Cavs win a title this year, there will be no more questions as to who the consensus greatest basketball player of all time is. But the Cavs aren’t going to win this year. Sorry.
And so the saga continues. Communities in Los Angeles, Houston, Philadelphia, and Cleveland (and i guess New York) are anxiously waiting with bated breath for the days following July 1st when it seems evident LeBron James will announce where he decides to play next year. The Finals are being played right now in Houston. Golden State will win. The Warriors would beat the Cavs in 4 or 5. If this Cleveland team can get to 6 games, mark that as the second greatest accomplishment in the 21st century* after Bobby Bonilla’s New York Mets contract.
*Technically the year 2000 (when Bonilla signed his agreement) is in the 20th century but those same people say the earth is round. Don’t @ me.
I’m not gonna waste your time by trying to convince you Cleveland has a chance. (they do! They always do!) But the story of the year is what LeBron James has done in this, his 15th season. Nothing short of utterly remarkable. As recently as March, disillusioned Cavs fans feared the Cavs may not even make the playoffs. The sudden rush of optimism from the deadline trades had morphed into a palpable sense of dread. The team was not playing up to expectations.
But with the King, you always have hope. Hope is cherished in Northeast Ohio. An area that has seen much better days but will always continue to fight upward. A place that breeds almost equal parts disappointment and pride. LeBron James will always be one of us and we are better for it. Only the haters can hate. Whether he wins or loses, stays or leaves, he will always be the chosen one that delivered a championship and lived up to incredibly unreal expectations.
At the end of the next episode of that aforementioned television show, (Spoiler Alert) Matt Saracen (the qb of that state title run) leaves for what he considers better pastures. Here’s to hoping LeBron James doesn’t do the same.