The relative irrelevance of LeBron James' latest buzzer-beater
Think of the crazy sequence at the end of the game between Minnesota Timberwolves and Cleveland Cavaliers this past Wednesday. Just imagine, for a second, if it were Lonzo Ball rejecting Jimmy Butler's potential game-winner and hitting an improbable fadeaway jump shot over his outstretched arms.
Take any other young star of the league; the NBA is filled with them. For any other player on Earth, the buzzer-beater in the face of one of the league's elite defenders would have been a career highlight, let alone the magnificent block on the other end. But for LeBron James, who has made a career out of dismantling Tom Thibodeau's teams, this buzzer-beater meant absolutely nothing and here's why.
The magnificence of being LeBron
LeBron James has been the face of the league for more than a decade and, arguably, still is, despite stiff competition from his fellow All-Star Captain, Stephen Curry. To perform at such a magnificent level as LeBron in his 15th year is a superhuman feat to say the least.
Countering the doubters, the man is averaging a career-high in assists, continues to remain among the top-five in scoring in the league while also grabbing 8.0 stellar rebounds a night. Yet, it would mean little to add further laurels to LeBron's stacked resume. There is a reason they call him 'The King', after all. In fact, he has performed so well and for so long that NBA fans alike have started to take his on-court performance for granted, which is why we are here to marvel at the relative 'irrelevance' of his latest 37-point triple-double performance.
As Jimmy Butler bullied his way through the fragile body of the rookie, Cedi Osman, one man tasked with guarding the weak side noticed from afar. As No. 21 of the Timberwolves rose for his patented fallaway layup, LeBron James lifted off, with the weight of the entire city of Cleveland on his back to reject the Timberwolves last play of the game with 2.3 seconds left on the clock. This play in itself is an epitome of all that is going on in Cleveland, since way back to the 2016 NBA Finals.
In what was widely-agreed as the greatest moment in Cavaliers basketball history, the combined efforts of LeBron James and a cold-blooded Kyrie Irving did the job in delivering Cleveland its first title ever. But after that title run, the first cracks in the Cavaliers' armor started appearing as David Griffin, former GM of the Cavs was let go and Kyrie Irving had enough of LeBron's leadership.
Speaking of the King's reign over Cleveland, he has been heralded as a messiah ever since he stepped into the league, if not before that. He was handed the keys to the team at the young age of eighteen and over the years has cemented himself as the true face of the franchise. But as the old saying goes, 'heavy is the head that wears the crown'.