To Evolution

Let us witness now the glorious end of LeBron

    Abdulaziz Sobh
    By Abdulaziz Sobh

    Categories: Recreation and Sports

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    Bill Walsh had achieved everything he ever needed to achieve. It was 1992 and Walsh was a year away from being consecrated in Canton as the greatest football mind of his generation, backed by three Super Bowls, six division titles and a roster to win an offensive football that would last a decade longer after that. He left the 49ers. When he decided to return to Stanford, it was clear to everyone, including Walsh, that this would be his last job. In his introductory press conference, he smiled warmly and told the assembled journalists, before having celebrated a single practice, that "this is my happiness".

    LeBron James has earned his happiness. Like Walsh, he has three titles for his resume. He has spent all this decade living in the NBA Finals, a feat that will become increasingly noticeable the further we get away from it. He has a couple of gold medals (thanks for that reminder, Klutch Sports). He won the MVP four times and should have won it many other times. While he does not have any kind of official gaming streak, as Cal Ripken and Brett Favre do in their respective sports, he is the eternal Iron Man of basketball: a cosmic monster that can bombard through 100 games per season and put his better effort numbers at the END of those seasons.

    James has earned the right to do whatever he wants, for whatever reason he chooses. That was also true a long time ago, when people like me misinterpreted it, but it is even truer now that he is 33 years old and is the reigning goat of the basketball universe. There will not be the fourth division. LeBron's new contract with the Lakers allows him to choose not to participate at 36 years. However, given the commitment, and absolute faith, that he has already shown L.A., I doubt he will leave.

    Because this was not necessarily a decision made with the accumulation of Larry O'Brien's trophies in mind. James is going to a harder conference, and nobody is going to accuse him of riding the skirt when the Lakers won 35 games last year. The only notable achievement of this team last season was when they got LaVar Ball to go to Lithuania. Besides James, everyone else on the team is young and stupid. Nobody else can bounce. The owner can not shoot. The small forward is Lil Tay. Maybe they can still make a change for Kawhi Leonard, but that's probably not enough to beat a Golden State team that has also earned its happiness.

    Clearly, there were many other mitigating factors in James' decision-making. His owner in Cleveland was a twisted and suffocating idiot. His team was in a dead end. Los Angeles is where he maintains a couple of houses and carries out most of his business off the court. The climate is better Politics there is halfway there. The wine is EXCELLENT. This is where James wants to play, but more critically where he wants to BE. He says he wants to play with his son, and I do not think he means Milwaukee. Los Angeles is the end of the game, and maybe it always was. This is where LeBron's twilight begins.

    Obviously, he still wants to win. You do not play in eight consecutive NBA Finals without possessing the kind of competitive sociopathy inherent in all the big ones, and every Lakers fan who is still moving a Kobe shirt will now feel TITLED for a championship thanks to the arrival of James. He's going to play his ass, and he's going to use all his influence, and all the resources of the Lakers, to amass the type of squad that may be able to steal another title before he formally retires. The man has a vision, after all. Yoa u probably already have the 2020 list in mind. Probably already have a clique of friends who already plan to join him.

    But that probably is not enough. The final acts in sports have a tendency to fall apart. Walsh only lasted two years at Stanford before running out (according to this report, a fan shouted "You're not a fucking genius" in Walsh after a loss to Cal and bit him during WEEKS). The stay of Michael Jordan in Washington was such a disaster that I enjoy pretending it never happened. Tom Brady dropped that pass. It rarely ends the way you think it will be. Like many other sports fans, this spring I felt the urge to appreciate James as much as I could for the time it lasted because I am old enough to know that sports are finite. Although James does not look like anyone he has ever seen, time will catch him at some point. And I probably catch him in L.A. I know it's a depressing way of looking at it, but A) Fuck Lakers fans, and B) In the grand scheme of things, it's okay. He was always the greatest, both in form and in presence. He is bigger than any team. He is bigger than any title. He is bigger than the league itself. And here, in the end, will finally have the stage - life! - to match that greatness. If it does not end the way he, or any of us, imagine, it will still be an appropriate end. This is the joy of LeBron; we all just hope to share a small part of this.