Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Most aggravating headline I've ever written: "Did Ray Allen save LeBron's career?"

The San Antonio Spurs had the NBA title won.  With 28 seconds remaining they were up by 4, with the ball.  All they needed to do was make their free throws, or get a rebound.

[Quick sidebar: I'm not blaming Manu Ginobli and Kawhi Leonard for the missed foul shots.  They combined to go 4-6 in the final 30 seconds.  While 67% isn't great, it's certainly not a "choke" either.  6-6 would've been extremely clutch, and 5-6 (83%) would have still been above average.  I'm blaming coach Popovich for taking Tim Duncan (17 rebounds) out of the game, which allowed the Heat four chances at making their two late 3 pointers.]

LeBron's career NBA Finals record was going to drop to 1-3.  All of the questions regarding his greatness that arose two years ago (when his pathetic championship round performance against Dallas made him look like the 4th best player on his own team) were likely going to resurface.

But instead Ray Allen drained that corner three with 5 seconds left to send the game to overtime.  The shot put Miami back on course for a second consecutive title, and (for the moment) kept LeBron's career path in line to eventually rival Jordan's as the best ever.  It was the same Ray Allen who just over a year ago was fighting tooth and nail to stop LeBron from winning his first championship (and coming oh so close).  That's not how sports is supposed to work, and the possibility that Ray may have forever changed LeBron's place in league history is a rather nauseating thought.


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