Friday, 21 June 2013
By TIM DAVID HARVEY
(The Sequel to last years 'The King Takes His Throne' and the conclusion of our 'Thrones' trilogy.)
This NBA 'Game Of Thrones' belongs to LeBron James, as in this series the king takes his throne again. Congratulations to the 2012/2013 NBA Champions, the Miami Heat, back-to-back winners as LBJ looks to his own dynasty, chasing down Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan for rings, legend and legacy. The already wrote off critics won't have any more ink for their tainting judgement now. Anyone who said Lebron couldn't do it in the closing minutes are now clutching at straws...short ones at that. LeBron's drawn the best, shot down all notions and the Wild West Spurs and the cameras are now clicking at the man holding both Larry O'Brien and the Finals MVP award. He.Is.The.Man.
Just look at that face...point proven? Just look at the bowtie, cigar chomping Bob MCAdoo behind him...legend approved. Championship certified...once again. Not one and likely not two...so how many more? The three kings of James, Wade and Bosh are ruling the record books like R&B supergroup TGT (Tyrese, Ginuwine and Tank) are about to own the charts and it all sounds so, so good. It's never felt better. 'Bron and his boys even managed to say so long to the legendary Tim Duncan led San Antonio Spurs who have been hanging around the Finals for decades now and have never lost in the NBA's biggest stage...until the hot Heat cooled them off with homecourt advantage, set, match and series. LeBron served it up like Sampras on a dish of revenge for the critics best served white hot. ACE! As cold as dry ice, those looking to see veterans have their day better watch 'Space Cowboys'. It's this young mans game now...he's out of this world.
All due respect to the great San Antonio Spurs however, who almost deserved their rings as much as the talents of South Beach, but at the end of the day the deciding factor was LeBron James. Tim Duncan may have furthered cemented his iron-will, robot prototype player at the greatest Power Forward of all time, Manu may have made everyone man up and Tony Parker may have almost ran everyone off the court, but nothing could keep up with the King once he straightened up his crown, loosened up his tie and stepped into the booth and got his Man Of Steel on like Shaq back in Miami. Superman is alive and kingdom came for the royal appointed and all his men. Knighted by royal decree once more despite the rocks that where thrown at the throne again. Like the big shots taken by Danny Green who almost made this his series and MVP. He made bigger moves than Jay-Z at halftime in this Finals, but when it was all said and done the 'Magna Carta Holy Grail' belonged to LeBron and his holy trinity. 'Yeezus' Christ, everyone will be watching the throne now...this is the sequel.
The championship cap fits like a crown...everyone else is wearing tiaras. Still, LeBron couldn't do it on his own and the kings men didn't just end with Dwyane and Chris. Jesus Shuttlesworth how about the clutch of Ray Allen? The dogged defence of Shane Battier? Or the epic enthusaism of Chris Anderson? You hear the birds calling? The once haters tweeting love again. From Mike Miller to James Jones shots and Chalmers to Cole, or dependable vets like Rashard Lewis, Juwan Howard and Miami champion survivor Udonis Haslem everyone deserves their t-shirt soaked in champagne. It's a celebration and 1 through 15 deserve their toast on their road to glory. What a team, what a leader, what a season, what a legacy. He is legend. Pass the cigar, hold the talk, LBJ has smoked them all. he had more in the barrell then you thought against the clicking Spurs. I guess everyone else was shooting fish.
When this series switched games and winners nobody in their right mind knew what would happen but this is what makes the against the odds win by LeBron James and his Miami Heat that much sweeter and that much more deserved. Second rounds on you LeBron, joining Shaq, Kobe and Hakeem as the only back-to-back Finals MVP's. That's elite company, that Lebron's always deserved an invite to join. He's kicking the door in now with his notorious and B.I.G. play, more championships, no problem. It was all a dream, from his pivotal, Game 6 change of the scales play to now, tip of the cap to the man of the moment. The only team in this series to win back-to-back games became back-to-back champs. Spo' must be so proud, even Pat Riley's slick hair stood on end like goosebumps. He doesnt even have to promise another one next year...James will guarantee it, while the towel will be in the doubters mouths. He is worthy. It's his showtime now.
The Jordan chaser, Kobe replacer proved his game was Magic like Earvin in one of the most epic and legendary Game 7 in salivating NBA Finals history. A career high percentile from downtown Miami (40.3) complete with an M.J. shrug, LeBron beat it all like Jackson, Phil couldn't have dry-erased it better. The Finals chapter belonged to LeBron James as he rewrote his own story shooting jumpers that no one thought he could, accepting San Antonio's dare and showing he was the truth with piercing play. Getting his Robert Horry on big shot 'Bron made history and engraved his name into more NBA hardware and torched it into the history books...now whose burned? LeBron chipped away at the Spurs as his teams name was being done the same into Larry O'Brien for a gold coronation that shined brighter than a diamond and tasted better than champagne.
Right now LeBron is platinum status. Millions watched, over a billion critics served with the words out their mouth tasting worse than junk food. Now hows that for sustenance? Hows that for substance? Beyond the style have you had your fill? LeBron's making everyone eat their words like Ali. He's the greatest, going round after round in his own 'Rumble in The Jungle' with a thriller like Manilla. He.Is.the.Champ From the concrete to the hardwood, with a winners heart pounding the rock, with a bigger ring on his finger. The courts have decided it...right now he's the greatest on the hardwood. The buzzer has rang, the belt is his, as is the game ball and victory cigar. 37 points, 12 rebounds one more ring and no more talk. Done and dusted like the chalk he tosses in the air. Game over. Season won. Critics gone. Here's to LeBron once again.
Wednesday, 5 June 2013
By TIM DAVID HARVEY
What does early June mean to you? That last exam? The end of school or college maybe? A couple of weeks from that holiday you've been working towards all year? It could be anything but what does early June mean to an NBA player?
It means the final destination of the year for two NBA teams out of sixteen who endured the tough, long season and a play hard or go home playoff campaign. It means that one of these two teams will write their names in the NBA history books where the other team will merely remain an afterthought. It's about the NBA Finals and it will end with the champion team reaping all the glory and the success that every team worked hard for but that only one team can obtain.
It means more than the commercials, no matter how hot they are. It's truly amazing. It means more than the sneakers, no matter how nice those hyperdunks may be. It means more than all the big trades and news stories that dominate the 82 game long season instead of just being a sidebar. It means more than the state of the art, awe inspiring arenas, coupled with the money made off merchandise and the concessions, although there's not much that beats a Friday night big game with a brew and your closest. It means more than the emphatic player introductions, fireworks and in game entertainment, although that does get you fired up. It means more then the cheerleaders, although they do look real nice. It means more than the celebrities in the Jack Nicholson seats, dominating the first rows, although there's not much cooler than seeing Larry David sitting next to Spike Lee.
It means more than the expensive suits, and grown up, dress code envelope pushing fashions of the players arriving to the game. It even means more than the multi-million dollar endorsement deals and recession defying bidding wars for advertising space between timeouts. It even means more than any single player gracing the court that night. With all respect to the elite superstars of the league. It means more than almost every home fan wearing the same players jersey, this is all about every player on the floor and on the bench giving their all-as one-for a common goal. This is because what all it comes down too is the game itself, which for the majority of players, coaches and personnel will be the biggest game of their lives.
It's deeper then the midseason grind of a 10 game road trip. Its more vivid then the dream of a kid emulating a Jordan buzzer beater on the streets, his friend by his side assuming the role of the commentator, line for line like it was an infamous quote from a movie. For the two teams that make it you may have come close and tasted it before, but now you have first class reservations. It doesn't matter how long you've dreamed and waited for this moment you better be ready, because its here now.
No matter what happened this season, no matter how many games previously you won or lost it doesn't matter. No matter which journalist wrote you off or which pundit championed you it doesn’t matter as its all about now. It's all about the next four to seven games. It's about every second from the tip to the buzzer. It's about every loose ball, every hustle, steal, charge, foul, free throw and every point whether made on the scoreboard or on the tone of the series. It's about the game as strategic as chess and as unpredictable and free as Jazz (word to Utah). It's about your heart, your enthusiasm your drive. It's all about how much you really want to win, because if your desires not as strong as your opponents then you simply wont win.
It's all about your chance to go down in history, it's all about those 'amazing' moments. It's all about Magic's junior sky-hook or his playing centre and leading his team to the 'chip in the absence of Kareem Abdul Jabbar. Its all about “Who caught it?”, “Havlicek”! It's about warriors of the game like Willis Reed carrying his team on one leg. It's all about playing hard and prevailing over Bill Laimbeer and the rest of the Detroit Pistons who fight so tough. It's all about balloons falling on your floor with no one there to celebrate because you tempted fate to much in the face of Celtic pride.
It's about defying expectations, breaking rules, going against the grain. It's about not caring that no team has come back from a deficit of so many games, because your not going home tonight. It's about being wrote off completely and ignoring all put downs. It's when a strong team and unit defeats and almost sweeps a team with four Hall of Famer's on it. It's about every game counting. It's all about David beating Goliath at least once, draining it from deep whilst stepping over Tyronn Lue. It's about after a decade of never touching glory crying tears of joy one year to not one year later sitting in a suit and watching your team being eliminated. It's all about worst to first, best to least.
It's about Larry O'Brien, its about those fingers on your hands waiting for those rings. It's all about the same dream you had as a kid. It's all about working on your dream all day long and then bouncing your worn out Spalding against a poster of Larry Bird when it got too dark and cold to play outside. It's that dream that you would of spent all day as a kid chasing if it wasn't for knowing if you didn't respond to the next time your mum called you inside there would be hell to pay. It's about what means the world to you, what gets you out the bed, to the gym, to the court or just even what gets you to subscribe to the NBA League pass. Then again this is just basketball right? After all this is just the NBA Finals, just what you've been waiting all year to watch and just what the two teams have been waiting their whole lives for to play.