LeBron is, like, really good
Sports fans always remember where they were when they witnessed the pivotal moments in sports. If you're old enough, you know exactly where you were when Carlton Fisk hit his homer in the '75 Series. Or when the U.S. hockey team beat the Russians in 1980. And where were you last Thursday night when LeBron James officially became the face of the NBA? I was at the Emerald bar in downtown St. Pete listening to friend's band. For those who have never had the pleasure, the Emerald is one of those joints where someone with two heads could walk through the door and it wouldn't seem strange. You have grunge kids and metal-heads and punkers and bikers and college students and homeless people and regular working stiffs. And I'm telling you that everyone in the place was glued to the TV, watching with awe as LeBron single-handedly willed his team to victory in Game 5 by scoring 29 of Cleveland's last 30 points to beat the Pistons. (The Cavs, of course, went on to win Game 6 and move into the final.)
After Game 5, TNT's Reggie Miller said "Overnight, LeBron became the face of the league.'' He's right, and I'm guessing the NBA couldn't be happier about that. Before last week, you'd have to say that Kobe Bryant was the league's preeminent star, the so-called face of the league. But LeBron fits that role better because, for now, he doesn't carry the baggage in his past that Kobe does. He's a superstar you can feel good about. He has never been associated with a rape trial. As far as we know, he doesn't have a dog-fighting pit on his property or has used steroids.
LeBron is the face of the league. And maybe the face of the Emerald. Those are good things. (Photo: Associated Press.)