The NBA has entered the All-Star Break during a moment that will be remembered for generations. A moment when people will look back on fondly. A moment basketball fans will gush about to their grandkids. A moment that I have been waiting a decade to finally happen. And its here. And I am giddy like a school girl.
Of course, I am referring to LeBron James taking his game to the next level. The level of legendary.
James enters the de-facto midway point of the season on a ridiculous seven-game tear. 224 points on 80-for-116 shooting, which equals to 32.0 points a game and a shooting percentage of 68.9 percent. Yes, I realize LeBron’s historic 30-point, 60 percent streak ended on Thursday in Oklahoma City. By a mere 1.7 percent.
But its clear, King James is ascending to the next stratosphere of greatness.
When the Miami Heat dispatched the Oklahoma City Thunder in last year’s Finals, the question for LeBron went from “When will he win the ‘Big One’?” to “What happens now?”.
For some, they worried about the possibility of Kevin Durant interrupting the process. Six straight wins over OKC seemed to have eased those doubts. Others wonder how Kobe Bryant’s quest for six would factor in. This appears to be a non-issue for now with the Los Angeles Lakers struggling to make the playoffs. And even a few wonder if the Heat would get bored during the regular season.
All of those “concerns” have been erased. Those, like myself, who have been fans of LeBron since the beginning, knew what would happen next.
All one needed to due was look at history.
When Larry Bird and Magic Johnson entered the NBA, the two used their friendly rivalry to take their game and the league to new levels. After years of frustration and disappointment, Michael Jordan finally reached the mountaintop and dominated the game like no one else. And Kobe Bryant pushed his game to new level, with the tutelage of the Zen Master, Phil Jackson.
You can point to specific seasons (1979-80, 1990-91, 1999-2000) in which each of those four began the path to become NBA legends.
Now, obviously LeBron will ultimately need more than one phenomenal week and one NBA championship on his resume. However, I believe years from now we will point to the 2012-13 season as the moment King James finally began the path we all hoped his career would take.
Now its time to just sit back and enjoy the ride.