Monday, May 22, 2017

"James Disappears"

If you google that as I just did, you'll get, humorously to me, Jimmy Hoffa's disappearance in 1975, the disappearance of Jim Thompson, who I had never heard of, in 1967, but the top entries, tweets and other immediate social media comments are on who I was searching for, LeBron James.

LeBron James has been typical playoff Big Games James this post-season and Cleveland has been unbeatable, literally. Today Boston's coach called Cleveland's lineup "perfect." Through 2/12 quarters they were and led the overwhelmed, overmatched and minus-their-best-player "Celtics" by 21. And then LeBron James did something he had done before, with more apparent reason, in 2008 against Boston, in 2010 against Boston again (his last game in Cleveland, Part I) and against Dallas in 2011--LeBron James disappeared.

James disappeared against Boston for the fourth time in his playoff career, this time in the friendly confines of Dan Gilbert's Pawn Shop, and this "perfectly constructed" team self-destructed, coughed up that three touchdown lead and LOST 111-108. After blowing the "Leprechauns" out by 40+ in Chowder Town the game before.

James played 45 of a possible 48 minutes and scored 11 points, shot 4/13 and had six turnovers. "I didn't have it tonight," said Himself, and that may be all there is to it, but that's not all there was to his previous vanishing acts, they were canaries in coal mines of deep dissatisfaction that led to change, in direction of the teams he played for and ultimately in direction he took his talents.

We all have days when we "don't have it" but James hasn't had those days in the playoffs, except for those three others and those weren't just days he didn't have it, those were days when he had had it, when he had seen things that he couldn't accept. Only God in heaven knows what this disappearing act after 10 straight wins this post-season is about. Maybe he just didn't have it and there is no subtext. If so, that'll be the first time.