How does one score his team’s last twenty-five points?[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJahvw2ZI1o]
Better yet how does one score his team’s last twenty-five points running the same pick-and-roll play for almost every possession?
Wait, how does one score his team’s last twenty-five points running the same pick-and-roll play for almost every possession, and everyone in the gym knows that you are going to shoot the ball because none of your teammates can be ‘counted on’ to score?
Or how does one score his team’s last twenty-five points running the same pick-and-roll play for almost every possession, and everyone in the gym knows that you are going to shoot the ball because none of your teammates can be counted on to score, and you are playing against arguably the best defense in the league?
How does this happen?
His performance was so superior that few people have seen this highlight. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bh3R8v5f6TQ]
What LeBron James did Thursday night is the stuff legends are made of. Where does King James’ performance against the Detroit Pistons in game five of the Eastern Conference finals rank in the annals of all-time sports achievements?
How does this rank with Phil Simms’ performance in Super Bowl XXI when he completed 22 of 25 passes to lead the New York Giants to victory?
How does this compare to Christian Laettner’s showing in the 1992 Eastern Regional Final? Laettner was perfect from the field including his tenth shot at the buzzer in triple overtime to send the Duke Blue Devils to the Final Four. He also was a perfect ten-for-ten from the line that night.
And MJ’s 63 against the Celtics in the ’86 playoffs? How does LeBron’s deluge compare?
Can we compare LeBron’s game to Wilt Chamberlain’s 100 point eye-popper against the Knicks in 1962?
Or consider tennis for a moment. In the 1984 Wimbledon final John McEnroe committed ZERO double faults and had a mere four unforced errors while dispensing three-time champion Jimmy Connors in straight sets 6-1, 6-1, 6-2. McEnroe’s showing has a striking comparison to LeBron’s. The Pistons might be the best defensive squad in the NBA, and Jimmy Connors was the best return man in tennis. Yet Mac, playing as if Harry Callahan was whispering in his ear: “A man’s got to know his limitations”[youtube=http://youtube.com/watch?v=FbGqQmBtdTo], deftly combined a wide slice serve with punches up the middle to keep Connors off-balance on that July afternoon.
Let’s not forget Jack Givens. The ‘Goose’ scored 41 points in the 1978 National Final game to lead Kentucky to victory over Duke – this before the acceptance of the three point line.
Dare I forget Joe Montana’s performance in the 1979 Cotton Bowl. Suffering from hypothermia, Montana led the Fightin’ Irish back from a 34-12 deficit to win 35-34 in what has become known as the ‘Chicken Soup Game’.[youtube=http://youtube.com/watch?v=1dPt5LHg6Dw]
Can we compare LeBron’s Thursday night accomplishment with other achievements?
How about Bob Gibson’s ERA of 1.12 during the ’68 season?[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i12_9wNKHkE]
Or the year before, during what is known as the pitcher’s era, Carl Yastrzemski hit for the Triple Crown while batting .326, hitting 44 round-trippers, and knocking in 121. Can we cast LeBron next to Yaz?[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGhcavwAzaE]
Why stop there? How about Oscar Robertson’s 1961-62 season?[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ecgwZVnvPIc] The Big O averaged a triple-double for the ENTIRE season! How does LeBron stack up?
Let’s consider Bobby Orr’s 1969-1970 season. As a defenseman he led the league in scoring, won the Hart Trophy(MVP Regular Season), won the Norris Trophy(league’s best defenseman), won the Conn Smythe (MVP Playoffs), and led his team to the Stanley Cup.[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXrswWuDjTI] How does LeBron compare to the ‘Golden Boy’ from Parry Sound?
How does LeBron compare to DiMaggio’s 56? To Teddy Ballgame’s .406? Or to Teddy’s 84 consecutive games reaching base safely?[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JwogLVGtDa8]
To Don Drysdale’s 58-consecutive-scoreless-innings-pitched?
Taking it a little further – how does LeBron’s accomplishment compare to Bill Russell? Between his time playing for the University of San Francisco and Boston Celtics, Russell played on teams that won twelve chan’ships! That’s twelve chan’ships in fifteen years![youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ab6Tex4H1Y]
What have I omitted? Where should we place LeBron’s Thursday night performance?