Almost three minutes had passed since the Heat's last bucket in the fourth, the Bobcats suffocating them with the same intensity they had been subjected to for three quarters. Miami's 19 point lead had slowly dwindled to 11, capped off by a Shaun Livingston - the gentleman with the frightening knee injury in his past - slam dunk. James had seen enough, he would take matters into his own hands.
Weary of his scoring exploits earlier, the Bobcats trap LeBron James with two defenders past human shooting range. He had dribbled backwards in order to escape the ambush as the shot clock was running out of time, the possession-changing buzzer near. Realizing his options are limited LeBron hastily catapults into a jump shot, swiftly flicking his wrist which propels the ball into a perfect rainbow trajectory towards the net.
James holds an assumptively victorious pose, the ball spawns a desire to avoid the moment but it succumbs to the will at hand. The basket is good, the Heat go up 83-69.
In the ensuing possession Shaun Livingston, still blinded by the moment, softly attempts a pass which never arrives at its intended destination. LeBron has deflected the pass and he now finds himself in the open court with no enemy in front of him to deter him from doing dirty, awful things. He can't help himself to quickly glance over at the Greatest of All-Time, assuring him His Majesty will be witness to what follows.
After a two-step wind up, James catapults into the air, gives the rim a quick glimpse of the ball but pulls it back down to cradle it while on his way upward, charging it's Chi. Finally, the centripetal force of energy is released as he propels the ball back up in a backwards motion, the cosmic basketball move more brutal than elegant, and the slam dunk is consummated - the rim content it was all over.
James lands safely after the hazardous aerial journey he had found himself in and gazes straight towards His Majesty, holding glance for just long enough to capture the moment.
Maybe he longs for his acceptance, or maybe he searches for awe in his eyes, or a glimmer in his smile. Maybe it's a spiteful glance meant to quiet his lightly discourteous off-season remarks. Or maybe, just maybe, he finds peace in the thunderous statements writing the chapter that will long belong to him in the history books. Whatever he intended it to be, once again we were all witnesses.
[caption id="attachment_3771" align="aligncenter" width="435" caption=""3 seconds left? I'll just nail a jump shot and eternally hold my flicked wrist for dramatic effect""][/caption] [caption id="attachment_3772" align="aligncenter" width="435" caption=""Michael, look what I can do""][/caption] [caption id="attachment_3773" align="aligncenter" width="435" caption=""I will cradle this rock...""][/caption] [caption id="attachment_3774" align="aligncenter" width="435" caption=""...and make the rim fear for it's life.""][/caption] [caption id="attachment_3775" align="aligncenter" width="435" caption=""I see you number 23....""][/caption]
[caption id="attachment_3789" align="aligncenter" width="435" caption=""...and I know you see me.""][/caption]
Whether you believe one can read too much into a quick glance from an individual or dismiss the moment as nonchalance, one can't refute the possible implications of a self-proclaimed King oodling for the attention of the man who wears the sports' crown. James can deny it all he wants, but he wants greatness and it would be ultimately comforting if the greatest acknowledged it. Even just a little bit. Note: You can click on the pictures for full size versions. Jordan is wearing a leather jacket, his face hidden by the backboard in the last picture.
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