I watched my second NBA game of the season this year (the first being Game 7 of the Boston-Chicago series) last night and saw LeBron James’ shot heard round the world.
It was a great shot, LeBron fading away as the buzzer sounded and rattling a 23-footer home with a Magic defender in his face. I have serious doubts that it really only took one second for LeBron to catch the ball and fire up the shot, but give credit to where credit is due. LeBron is a great player who showed why he was the run-away league MVP.
The problem I have has more to do with the NBA itself. There’s a reason I’ve now watched two games total in the last two seasons.
As exciting as that game’s end was last night, that shot would have never happened if not for the NBA’s even-dumber-than-the-DH-in-baseball rule that gave the Cavs the ball on the Magic side of the court off a timeout even though the Cavs never actually passed or dribbled the ball to get it to that prime buzzer-beating shot inbound location on the sidelines.
A truly unbelievable shot would have been a length of the court pass and shot a la Grant Hill to Christian Laettner or the Mike Hopkins to Conrad McCrae connection in the same arena I witnessed Syracuse pull off against Villanova in the early ’90s.
James surely could have made that happen, but seeing the Cavs with the ball clear on the other side of the court for no other reason than a called timeout and a dumb NBA rule was all too easy to predict. Of course he made the shot. And of course I can’t wait for college basketball season to start again.