He was confused.
This team, HIS team, had dominated the competition throughout the tournament. He was ready to make a true ascension to the throne. His marketing team had peppered the country with advertisement all but declaring his greatness, a campaign that he rode to the doorstep of decadence.
And then, the unthinkable happened. An unnoticed trio of magicians (Dwight Howard, Rashard Lewis, Hedo Turkoglu) pulled the throne out from under the young king. An entire state watched in disbelief as the prince’s quest for NBA kingship was wrecked by this legion of raiders.
And he was stunned.
That night in June, Lebron James walked off the court without exchanging pleasantries. He changed into his civilian clothes, gave the media short shrift, and departed for the offseason.And on that night, the King’s quest for transcendence had ended. For the moment.
This year, the self-proclaimed king has returned with a vengeance. Once again, Lebron’s team holds the best record in the league. Once again, Lebron’s cemented his status as the best player in the game. Once again, he’s expected to carry his loaded but flawed cast of characters to the red carpet. And as always, comparisons to “His Airness” (Michael Jordan) loom large in the background.
No matter how creative Scott Brooks becomes with Oklahoma City or how impressive Rajon Rondo is as the playoffs roll along, one subplot will remain paramount as the NBA playoffs move into the summer months. Heck, it’s actually become THE plot.
Lebron James: King or Prince?
There’s great expectations piled on the shoulders of this young superstar. And so far, he’s silenced the critics. In Game 4 of his opening round Bulls series, he more than answered the bell, putting together a vintage playoff performance we hadn’t seen since his Malice at the Palace (2007) or his Game 7 semis duel with Paul Pierce (2008).
Yawn. We've seen this movie before.
But in order for the virtuoso masterpiece to reach its alternate ending, in order to Lebron to separate himself from the Karl Malone’s and Adrian Dantley’s of NBA history…he’s got to finish what he started. The signet ring’s got to be on his finger. It’s time for the King to issue his decree to the NBA.
I. AM. LEGEND.
Then, and only then, will King James begin his authoritative rule.