|LeBron steps back to shoot over KD. Image ESPN|
But in the recent show down with Kevin Durant’s Oklahoma City Thunder LeBron produced one face that this writer has never seen.
It came towards the end of the second quarter of a contest that had already become as flat and tasteless as a fat free rice cracker.
Like said cracker the Thunder had crumbled under the weight of basketballs most immense talent and would never pick up the crumbs.
The face? Well it appeared after James hit a step back jumper over Kevin Durant with 1:40 to go in the quarter.
The look said ‘this is normal! Its just what I do’ and it marked the evolution of the most dangerous side to a Superman that for all intents and purposes could come from another universe, such is his current level of play.
If opponents hoped that LeBron’s kryptonite would prove to be complacency, born out of a comfort for delivering Miami the promised keys to the NBA Kingdom, the evidence of this recent form suggests they will be left hopeless.
The face I saw was of a player who not only believes in his ability, but also believes that this ability has plenty of improving to do.
Complacency does not live in King James’ castle.
And this was no performance made against an also ran team looking for a free seat at the draft lottery.
This was King James’ schooling the heir apparent, the ‘Durantula’ as he is known, who is desperately trying to set up his band of Thunder marauders for an attempted invasion of the Kingdom.
But the title that LeBron and the rest of his merry men from Miami guard with such suffocating efficiency will not be conquered without a King James like immortal effort.
It is an effort that right now seems beyond Durant and the Thunder, as well as just about every other pretender in the NBA.
Like upstart little siblings the entire league is literally being held at an arms length by an overbearing and more gifted big brother.
Individually LeBron is kidding everyone, even himself, with the ease he is scoring, passing and defending.
LeBron glides around the court doing literally everything with such dominant ease that to call basketball second nature is to sell his ability short. He is leading his team in points, rebounds, assists, steals and field goal percentage
Basketball is first nature to James.
As Matt Dollinger, writing in Sports Illustrated, so succinctly puts it ‘Miami's shortcomings become irrelevant when LeBron is playing like this.’
Miami’s shortcomings are several, but most of them are negligible when the teams best player is playing in such a rarefied air he could be in danger of suffocating.
At present James is proving as un-guardable as Steve McQueen in the Great Escape, in fact an army may be the only way to confine King James and his Heat teammates as he leads them towards another NBA title.
The ‘this is normal! Its just what I do’ face was so dangerous in its intensity that upon witnessing it another face of inevitability flashed before my eyes.
While its still too early to be sure, that vision looked a lot like LeBron’s ‘wow, we just won it all…again!’ face reflected in the Larry O'Brien trophy.