Friday, May 8, 2009

Lebron vs. Moses

The story could have been completely different-- I can see it now...

Moses (what's his last name again?) leads the Jewish people through the Red Sea, miraculously escaping an unruly band of ancient Egyptian slave runners, enduring 39 years of biblical heat, crushing winds, cold nights and beerless weekends. Bubbling blisters mount up beneath his camel skin moccasins as he tries to ignore the endless complaints of broken air conditioners and unleavened bread.
"Moses, my feet heart."
"Moses, you're always working late."
"Moses, you need to take on a second job. We just can't afford Zeek's retainer."
39 years of endless, inescapable badgering and the poor guy just can't take it anymore.
So after nearly four decades, finally standing at the foot of Mount Sinai, Moses decides to throw in the towel, change his name to Thomas and renounce his Judaism.
Sound preposterous? It should...
So why do we fail to notice the similarities between this year's run to the NBA Finals and a possible restoration to the glory days of New York City basketball?
I do not want to compare Lebron James to Moses because he's better at basketball. As far as I know, Moses couldn't dunk from the foul line or dribble a basketball between his legs.
But think about it: Moses vs. Lebron-- neither of them need a last name, neither earned a college degree and both have led their people (the Jews/ the Cavaliers) to better lives.
So why, after seven years of successful yet ultimately fruitless seasons in Cleveland, would Lebron leave his home state of Ohio and move to New York? Why, standing at the foot of Mount Sinai, would Lebron, who has already stared through the window to the promised land (like a virgin standing behind the velvet rope outside Hugh Hefner's mansion), leave without a ring?
Lebron's Cavs earned a trip to the 2007 NBA Finals (courtesy of Lebron's legendary game 7 performance, scoring 29 of his team's last 30 points, against the Detroit Positions in the Eastern Conference Finals) but lost to the San Antonio Spurs in four.
With newly acquired point guard Mo Williams by his side, James looks poised to make another run to NBA glory, this time with success, and all New York fans should be chomping at the bit.
The New York Knicks, who have been more obvious in their shameless anticipation than me on prom night, await Lebron's free agency during the summer of 2010, hoping for a holy pilgrimage to the Big Apple.
But why would Lebron reach the foot of Mount Sinai and throw in the towel? Why would he earn another trip to the brink of professional glory and decide to move zip codes? Lebron entered the NBA as one of the most heralded rookies of all time and took the league-worst Cleveland Cavaliers from worst to first. And it didn't happen over night.
Knick fans claim that the only shot that New York has of catching him in 2010 is if he doesn't win a title. He'll get so fed up with the Cavs and desperate for a real shot at a ring, he'll come to the.... Knicks????? To play along side of.... Eddy Curry?
I think these New Yorkers have been drinking too much of Moses' Manishevitz.
If Lebron got fed up enough to leave the Cavs because of lacking championship success, you can bet your favorite camel that he wouldn't wind up in New York.
But what would cement Lebron's place amongst basketball gods? Taking a league-worst Cavs team to an NBA title in seven years, moving to New York, starting over with the Knicks and getting one with the greatest city in the world as well?
It's no secret that Lebron relishes Michael Jordan's top spot amongst the list of basketball greats, but he knows that he won't get there without a ring to his name. Even two or three won't do it. But getting there Cavs there, moving to New York and then taking the Blue and Orange there as well? That might just do it. But Knick fans can rest assured, if after seven years in Cleveland the King still doesn't have a banner in the rafters, he will NOT be taking the subways to Madison Square Garden for practice with Mike D'antoni-- he will probably still be in Cleveland, looking to finish what he started with the town that he grew up in.
Knicks fans have a lot more on the line than the realize in the 2008-09 playoffs and as far as I'm concerned...
GO LEBRON!!! If not for the Cavs, do it for the Knicks!