The Miami Heat... and the Cleveland Cavaliers collide tonight, in more than just and NBA match up. This will be a battle between two teams vying to prove something to their colleauges, and establish a rhythm for the rest of the season. Though this season is young, it is very mature in expectations. The Lakers are looking to repeat, but are currently on a four game skid and don't know when they'll have they're starting center back in the line up. The Boston Celtics have flashed both greatness and age-ness so far this season, and without Rondo, I think they'd be just another average team. The Spurs, everyone's dad's favorite team is playing with a rejuvenated spirit and seem to be the front-runners to dethrone the champion Lakers this year. And down in Oklahoma City where the league's preseason MVP candidate, Kevin Durant, is falling behind expectations due to the stellaer play of his "Robin", Russell Westbrook. All of these story lines and it's only December! We still have yet to see if or when Carmelo is going to go (*cough* Knicks *cough*), and whether or not Gilbert Arenas will get a chance at redemption somewhere else besides 3 seats down from the coach.
I love the drama of the NBA this year. It's like an intoxicating soap opera with an ever evolving plot with each win and loss. And the most intriguing story of the offseason features the construction of a super talent down on South Beach with the Miami Heat aquiring Lebron James, and Chris Bosh. Doomsday was July 8, 2010 for the folks of Cleveland, Oh. All that was missing was a T-1000 jumping through the window of the gym after he uttered those famous words: "I'm going to take my talents to South Beach". The gasps in the background was mimicked around the world by fans, owners, and basketball enthusiasts alike. Whether you were a Lebron James fan or not, you felt those words crawl across your forehead, and sink into your ears drowning you with sorrow or excitement; depending on which team you were rooting for to get him. And the aftermath filled with tears, heartbreak, disgust, scrutiny, politics, religion, and even a little discrimination we arrive here at today... when Superman Returns. Though I doubt this Superman will be recieving any type of awards from the city, or a hero's welcome home... or back I should say. "Home is Akron... I PLAYED for Cleveland" as James candidly points out during an interview with GQ in August.
So the king returns to the castle he once ruled. The town's people have their pitch forks and bow and arrows with flaming tips ready to soar, and strike. The king isn't returning by himself though, he's bringing with him an army looking to gain another win in their young journey to greatness... An army that's hungry to prove everything, not just something... An army that's looking to build momentum by destroying the old army, the old kingdom, the old king's men. This fairy tale took a crazy turn about 3 months ago, and it's about to get even better. Cause the king's former kingdom is now a city all it's own. Fueled by abandonment and disappointment; overflowing with emotion and pride this is going to be one hell of a battle... hopefully.
Let's hope this match up lives up to all the hype. I don't want to see a blow out on one end or the other, just a great game. I'll be rooting for Lebron, just cause I like the villian in cases where the villian is the villian by popular demand, not necessarily because he did anything wrong (imo). But the underdog in me will be pulling for the town's people, the Cleveland Cavaliers for various reasons. One, it's their house, and I think it would be cool to witness a team overcome that type of let down, and then experience a great up in such dramatic fashion. And two, it's time for Lebron to have a "Jordan type defining moment". Remember Jordan couldn't get past the Celtics.. then the Pistons.. then the Lakers? Then he had the summer AFTER the Pistons series in 1990 where they roughed him up a little bit and he came back the next year with the bald head?? Then he went on to dominate the game like he was born to do, with no remorse?? When Jordan stopped getting "picked on" and scrutinized by the media, and started playing "Fuck you, I'm better than all you son's of bitches" type basketball, huh, remember that?? That's THIS year for Lebron.. or it was supposed to be. No he didn't shave his head, but he did cut it. And also gone is that nagging "elbow" injury that slowed him down in the playoffs last year and led to criticism that he "quit" on his teammates. Here now are the days of redemption for Lebron James, the man, not the brand. His brand will recieve a jolt next year when he wins his first title. He WILL lose in the playoffs this year, and have the summer to become the Lebron his fans want him to be; the dominating force that will excell in the sport for the next ten years. But tonight, I need Lebron to lose. So that he can see and feel the pain. So that he has something to play towards, and not for. I need him to lose as Lebron James tonight of the Miami Heat, so that he can become great and not just someone we expected to be great but never lives up to the expectations....... The heat is on.