Taking His Talents to South Beach

Dallas 112, Miami 103.

Lebron’s final line, in a game that he called “the most important of my career”: 17 points, 8-19 shooting, 10 assists, 10 rebounds, -9 +/-.  That’s a decent enough line, but it ain’t Jordan.  It ain’t Magic.  It ain’t even Kobe.

It will be interesting to see how the Powers That Be at ESPN spin this one.

UPDATE:  You can’t make this up.  Here’s the ESPN rapid reaction:

All the pressure in the world was on James’ shoulders. LeBron didn’t respond with a scoring explosion; he responded by showing why he’s one of the most complete players ever to play the game. His shot was off early, but he actively looked to put pressure on Dallas’ defense, had a triple-double, and had four assists in the fourth quarter for the Heat, many of them leading to layups. Unfortunately, LeBron had a back-breaking charge and missed three in crunch time, and his first fourth-quarter points in two games came in what was essentially garbage time.

I ought to tell ESPN that someone is hacking their site, and posting parodies of the network’s infatuation with LeBron.  His failure to take control showed why James is the “one of the most complete players ever to play the game”?  And “unfortunately” he disappeared in the fourth quarter?  The mind reels.

Author: Jonathan Zasloff

Jonathan Zasloff teaches Torts, Land Use, Environmental Law, Comparative Urban Planning Law, Legal History, and Public Policy Clinic - Land Use, the Environment and Local Government. He grew up and still lives in the San Fernando Valley, about which he remains immensely proud (to the mystification of his friends and colleagues). After graduating from Yale Law School, and while clerking for a federal appeals court judge in Boston, he decided to return to Los Angeles shortly after the January 1994 Northridge earthquake, reasoning that he would gladly risk tremors in order to avoid the average New England wind chill temperature of negative 55 degrees. Professor Zasloff has a keen interest in world politics; he holds a PhD in the history of American foreign policy from Harvard and an M.Phil. in International Relations from Cambridge University. Much of his recent work concerns the influence of lawyers and legalism in US external relations, and has published articles on these subjects in the New York University Law Review and the Yale Law Journal. More generally, his recent interests focus on the response of public institutions to social problems, and the role of ideology in framing policy responses. Professor Zasloff has long been active in state and local politics and policy. He recently co-authored an article discussing the relationship of Proposition 13 (California's landmark tax limitation initiative) and school finance reform, and served for several years as a senior policy advisor to the Speaker of California Assembly. His practice background reflects these interests: for two years, he represented welfare recipients attempting to obtain child care benefits and microbusinesses in low income areas. He then practiced for two more years at one of Los Angeles' leading public interest environmental and land use firms, challenging poorly planned development and working to expand the network of the city's urban park system. He currently serves as a member of the boards of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy (a state agency charged with purchasing and protecting open space), the Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice (the leading legal service firm for low-income clients in east Los Angeles), and Friends of Israel's Environment. Professor Zasloff's other major activity consists in explaining the Triangle Offense to his very patient wife, Kathy.

9 thoughts on “Taking His Talents to South Beach”

  1. If someone attempted a parody of ESPN, I don’t know how you could tell. That description of LBJ’s performance is right up there with “How was the play, Mrs. Lincoln” in terms of missing the point.

  2. Referring to LBJ in the context of Lincoln confuses this old fogie, one who was fortunate too live in Chicago in the late 1980s through the mid 1990s. The previews I saw suggestthat Jason Segal’s gym teacher character has it right in the MJ v. LBJ rivalry (you know, that ll you need to know to determine who is greater is that MJ didn’t get us involved in a land war in Asia?)

  3. Just finished reading Bill Russell’s book about his life-long friendship with Red Auerbach. Bill Russell is very impressed with himself, for good and sufficient reason I suppose, but LeBron is not fit to carry Mr. Russell’s black, low-cut Chuck Taylor All-Stars. But neither are Michael or Kobe. On the other hand, Magic and Larry? Yes. And yes, I am old.

  4. And Bill Russell should be carrying the luggage for Mr. Abdul Jabbar and Mr. Robertson.

  5. KLG:

    I read Russell’s book about a year ago, and was also impressed (I’m about 5 years too young to have been aware of Russell at the time, but came from a very politically aware, if not sports aware, family so knew much about LBJ). About MJ, Bill Simmons who, AFAICT worships at Russell’s altar, disagrees, at least as far as basketball. He also thinks that Russell is a much better balanced human being, so if you factor that in, you may be right.

  6. I was in the 9th grade when Russell led the Celtics to his second and final championship as player-coach, after finishing 4th in the Eastern Conference IIRC. It was an impressive run through the playoffs. Can’t argue too much with Hebisner about his two picks. Except for the 11 championships in 13 years.

  7. That’s a great line from Lebron, and this is a stupid post. As John Hollinger put it, “When your opponent shoots 11-19 from 3, you shake their hand, and head to the airport.”

    Also, Kobe went 6-24 in Game 7 of the Finals last year. Kobe also got swept by the Mavs this year.

  8. I’m of two minds on this:
    On the one hand, the guy has a career playoff averages of 28 points/9 rebounds/7 assists. He carried the Cavs to the finals once, the conference finals once, and twice to the conference semifinals. The Cavs had 42 fewer wins than last year (that has to be a record) losing only LeBron. He is also the #1 player in the NBA in crunch time in the regular season. And right now he’s being covered by one of the few SFs who is both strong enough and fast enough to deal with him (Shawn Marion).
    OTOH, he’s clearly not calling for the ball down the stretch, and when he has it he’s not driving to the hoop. It seems like he’s trying to prove some point about his passing and/or his jump shooting.

    The aptly named Wilt Chamberlain once led the NBA in assists, just to prove he could do it. His team lost in the finals, BTW.

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