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When You’re King, Every Game Is Armageddon 

After getting a good five-game look at this seesaw NBA Finals, it’s obvious that it should have been played in a back alley with bassoons that spit bullets.

After getting a good five-game look at this seesaw NBA Finals, it’s obvious that it should have been played in a back alley with bassoons that spit bullets. In other words, both teams are playing a game of point and counterpoint. Every game of this '13 NBA Finals is all or nothing.   

In one game Tony Parker is the best point guard in the NBA, Danny Green becomes Danny Ainge with athleticism and Dwyane Wade is washed up. The next game LBJ is the new Jordan and the Heat’s Big Three are a dynasty in the making again.

Miami’s Big Three showed up in a crucial Game 4 actually resembling the M.I.A. core that led the Heat to a crazy 27-game regular-season winning streak.

But as Game Five has shown, you can’t predict anything.


As San Antonio has shown ever since the butt-whipping they gave Miami in Game 1, this series is one with great players on both sides and no clear-cut favorite. Sorry to disappoint angle-starved media cats and those ready for the premature coronation of David Stern’s new king, but the series is a dogfight. Despite the hype, the Spurs' Big Three aren’t laying down for anybody. Not even “The Chosen One.”


In a pivotal Game 6, Miami got blitzed by a 15-2 run in the first quarter, and once again, were unable to get into an offensive flow. Miami went on some runs of their own, but the attempt was feeble, much like a midget trying to snuff Andre The Giant.

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With all this talk about LeBron’s legacy, a lot of people are missing the fact that there’s a heck of an NBA Finals going down.

News alert: Greatness doesn’t come quickly or easily, but it can be lost in that manner. The “grind” that Miami coach Erik Spoelstra constantly refers to, is the everyday battle to sustain greatness with a bullseye on their backs. The "lights, camera, action" lifestyle of his team, and the pressures of potential failure since most people assumed this Finals win, was a foregone conclusion.


Another newsflash: Nobody is perfect. Just as quickly as LBJ affirms his praise as an all-time great, the chinks in his armor show and his mortality is illuminated. But that’s the beauty and the realness of competition. We don’t decide which cellist gets to play in Carnegie Hall. The sound of the music does.

It seems that each game of this series is a back-and-forth analysis of King James’ legacy. If he wins, he came up clutch and everybody knew he would because popular theory is that he’s a mountain among pebbles. When he loses, it’s either “the other” cats’ fault, or the next game becomes the biggest game of his life. Everyone’s just sitting, waiting for LBJ to grab the wheel and steer Miami through the EZ-Pass lane onto victory road.


Maybe we should stop asking, "What’s wrong with LeBron?" and call it like it is. The Spurs were underestimated by everyone, including Miami.

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James, who scored a low-impact 25 points, seems to have a problem completing his execution unless the victim is already tied up, half-done with a blindfold on.

What’s wrong with Miami? Nothing. They are pros playing in an NBA Finals trying to drop science on descendants of Albert Einstein. Game 6 will be much of the same. With backs pressed firmly against the wall, LBJ and Co. will fight for their championship lives, down 3-2 and facing total disappointment. Game 6 is another “most important,” “career-defining,” game for King James.  It’s time for him to use that automatic switch they say Miami can just flip on at will, even though, it’s looking more like a blown fuse lately. If he can’t, it’s lights out for a Heat Dynasty.

JR Gamble joined The Shadow League in 2012. The Deputy Editor and Senior Writer is in his 23rd year of covering sports and culture professionally. He has covered a wide variety of major sports and entertainment topics across different mediums, including radio, magazines and national TV.

His passion is baseball, the culturing of baseball and preserving and documenting the historically-impactful accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans in baseball.