LeBron James didnt win the opening round Eastern Conference playoff series against the Pacers with his game-winning, buzzer-beater from the top of the circle on Wednesday night, but he sure did switch the momentum of the series in Clevelands favor and King James became the center of the basketball world again in a season in which his team has been anything but regal.
KING. JAMES. https://t.co/at3WfXuzWU
Bron’s jumper was eerily similar to Jordans shot in appearance, but there are some key differences. If Jordan misses the Bulls, who were trailing at the time, go home. If LeBron misses theres still overtime and after that possibly two more games left so the pressure isnt comparable.
His Airness x The King https://t.co/8MqXtnfRfP
Jordan also had to double pump on his shot to get it off which made the shot way more difficult, but I get the excitement and the comparisons.
In addition, Jordans shot was a series clincher which is much different from the impact of LeBrons shot, but everyone, including LeBron, realized that it was a moment that would add nicely to his growing resume and his constant comparisons to the unduplicatable MJ. James also treated fans to 44-points, 10-rebounds, and eight-assist, which would probably make Game 5 on Wednesday night one of Brons all-time playoff performances.
The Jordanesque shot was James’ fourth game-winning field goal of his postseason career. The first was against the Orlando Magic in 2009, a fadeaway three-pointer that knotted the series up at one game apiece. Four years later as a member of the Miami Heat, he hit a game-winning layup to stun the Pacers. In his most recent buzzer-beater, James sank a corner three-pointer against Derrick Rose’s Bulls to tie the 2015 playoff series at 2-2.
Twitter went crazy and so did LeBron and his teammates as they celebrated the buzzer-beater like they won the championship, even showering him cups of water during his postgame interview. We haven’t seen this Cleveland squad this excited all season.
A shower fit for a king. https://t.co/J7YfxdF7tl
If Lebron is going to eventually pass Jordan as analysts and experts like to say, then moments such as these have to be promoted and discussed until we forget that he has lost five of the eight NBA Finals series hes participated in.
ESPN has created more stats for LeBron than it ever has for any other player. The latest stat of note is that LBJ is the only player in the last 20 postseasons with a blocked shot and go-ahead field goal in the last five seconds of a game.
Geesh. Thats a lot of numbers to remember. They left out the temperature and shot angle but we get the drift. Brons greatness and his superiority over other players is so substantial and evident that numbers only begin to explain the method of his hoop madness.
I just hope he can close out the series so that the shot really means something more than a fleeting moment of euphoria. His last great moment in Cleveland. If Cleveland doesnt close out, this version of The Shot will eventually be forgotten.
LeBron James nailed a game-winning buzzer beater to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers over the Indiana Pacers in Game 5. Find more exclusive sports coverage: http://bleacherreport.com/ Subscribe: https://www.youtube.com/user/BleacherReport?sub_confirmation=1 Follow us on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/bleacherreport Like us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/bleacherreport
What will I personally remember about this game and what folks are now calling The Shot Part Deux?
The way Bron released his inhibitions like a kid hitting the winning shot in an AAU game. The way he shared in the jubilation with his teammates and then hopped up on the table with his arms stretched as if in a Nike Ad.
After all of these years — all of the criticism and playoff heartache and incomparable success combined with the pressure hes felt since entering the league straight out of high school with expectations as a high as a New York skyscraper — Bron still loves the game like a fat kid loves cake. That’s the secret to his resilience.
Like a fine wine.
For those who truly believe that LeBron James has done enough in his career to be considered better than MJ, these moments keep hope alive that when James finally hangs up his cleats he will not only be known as the greatest player of his generation but of all-time.