Sunday, June 12, 2011

06/12 (Game 6) Quickie

It is a little surreal that the NBA Finals -- that Year 1 of the post-"Decision" era of the NBA in which LeBron and the Heat subsume every other storyline, like Galactus -- might end tonight.

I suspect it won't. Like most of us, I'm rooting for a Game 7, if only for its inherent drama -- it would be, quite possibly, the most dramatic game in the modern history of the NBA. But we have to prepare ourselves as if it might.

LeBron's story doesn't end tonight (or in a loss on Tuesday), although it will certainly feel like it the day after.

It will trigger celebration. It will trigger schadenfreude. It will trigger a rebooted year of narrative -- until this time next year, when LeBron either wins a first title -- or misses out again, re-starting the cycle.

I never thought the Heat would win a title in Year 1, although I figured they would/will win eventually. Up until a week ago, I had resigned myself to the idea that they would.

Ultimately, LeBron will win a title (or many), and that will dramatically change his narrative, as all championships do. And yet you get the sense that attached to "champion" will always be "didn't quite reach his potential." The remaining 10 years of LeBron's career is a long time, but that's the way it feels right now.

Even if the Heat don't win their ring this year, they will. And that's why what we get tonight if LeBron loses is merely a one-year reprieve from what still feels inevitable.

That is more than enough to celebrate.

-- D.S.

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