We’re living in the Summer of LeBron, which seems to be going well, all things considered. For him it’s an MVP, championship, Finals MVP, gold medal and a bunch of t-shirts with his own face on them. For us it’s been the ability to appreciate the best basketball player on the planet with no reservations (if you had them), “The Avengers,” “The Dark Knight Rises,” the return of “Breaking Bad,” a very fun Olympics and a new Rick Ross record. Not to mention, the Cool Ranch Doritos taco from Taco Bell is supposedly on its way, so it’s been a pretty decent three months or so.
That’s exactly why LeBron’s coach, Erik Spoelstra, is excited. And scared for the rest of the league. From a Sports Radio Interviews transcription of an interview with 790 The Ticket in Miami:
“We don’t even know what the ceiling is for him, because we all see an incredible amount of confidence now. He’s got a different look in his eye. You know at the end of these games he’s making big plays. He’s 27 years old, just heading into his prime. But he’s already been light years ahead of his prime in terms of where he was intellectually. … We are all extremely fortunate to have him on our side and that he’s not the enemy.”
That last line — “We are all extremely fortunate to have him on our side and that he’s not the enemy.” — is so great. (And, as Dan Devine points out, very “Watchmen.”) Erik Spoelstra is basically looking at LeBron James and the rest of the NBA and then saying, “Sucks for you guys, hahahahaha” while twirling a mustache he grew just so he could say this.
Which is the right response. Coaching LeBron and maximizing his talents might be tough, but coaching against him is exponentially worse. How do you gameplan for a guy who can only be guarded by himself, who could decide to play one of several different kinds of games at any given point during a single game, and is faster than your fastest guy and stronger than your strongest guy? It’s like fighting The Hulk — I get paid per Avengers reference, FYI — only if The Hulk was also as smart as Tony Stark (cha-ching). No thanks.
For a little bit, it seemed like there really wasn’t anywhere else for LeBron James to go. He was already the best player in the league, by far, so how much better could he really get? But this past year has proven that it’s more than just finally winning a championship. It’s him dominating every aspect of the game, exactly how he wants to do it. He’s at the point now where his coach even feels bad for other coaches. That’s pretty amazing, like when Tony Stark told Loki he didn’t stand a chance because the Avengers had The Hulk. Sorry.