Stars of the Hardwood- NBA Finals Game 7

Max: Wow. Just, wow. Game 7 was everything we wanted and more.

I’m incredibly happy for LeBron James. Watching him break down on the court it really did feel like his entire career had been leading up to this moment. All he’d ever wanted was to take Cleveland to the promised land and bring a title to a city that had suffered an almost unfair level of heartbreak.

His road wasn’t easy. He had to leave, become a villain and literally do something no one else in the history of the league had done in coming back from a 3-1 deficit. Against the greatest regular season team of all-time.

Let the debate end about him end. Those who still try vilify him and question him deserve our pity. There are malcontents. The only responses to watching him should be joy and wonder.

In the infamous letter announcing his return he wrote, “nothing is given to you in Northeast Ohio. Everything is earned.”

His last three games of this Finals- back-to-back 41 point outbursts and a triple-double in Game 7, all in do-or-die games- might be the greatest individual accomplishment in NBA history.

To me, Michael is still No. 1, the Greatest. I want to think about it a little more, but LeBron might be No. 2.

All hail King James.

Kelly: I’m going to take it a step further than Max – call it recency bias, or relatively-new-fan NBA bias or my generation bias or whatever, but LeBron James is No. 2. His performance in this series shows exactly why.

LeBron doesn’t let them lose. This team was counted out (including by yours truly) after they went down 2-0 and 3-1. Heck I picked against them today – and rooted against them today. But there is no doubt in my mind that LeBron James had to be Superman to beat the greatest regular season team of all-time and he was.

He put up a triple-double in a do-or-die elimination game. He had 41 points in Game 5 and Game 6 – two other games in which his team could have been eliminated.

LeBron is what we want our athletes to be. He puts the team on his back and wins on the court and he does incredible things off the court as well.

He is obviously our unanimous star of the hardwood, and our last one this season, so LeBron, go celebrate and don’t let go of this moment.

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