I drove for 13 hours yesterday to be present for the birth of Queen W. My niece/wingman/new favorite person should be here in about a week, and I wanted to start my tenure as an Uncle with perfect attendance as near future attendance will be limited.
During the drive, I listened to the first half of the Cavs/Pacers game on the radio and arrived to my destination in time to catch the second half. I regret to admit I fell asleep just before the Game Winner and woke up to this.
My initial reaction to any MJ/Lebron talk is to steer clear. It’s the sports equivalent of Republicans and Democrats, both sides refuse to budge no matter how convincing the argument. Best to just slowly back away and avoid the inevitable
urge to hire an assassin roundabout back and forth.
BUT. There’s some merit to Lue’s statement (a rare occurrence).
The obvious similarities: Both shots in Cleveland. Both plays began with 3.0 seconds remaining. Both came on a sideline inbound. They both caught the ball at the right wing extended and penetrated middle. Craig Ehlo and Michael Jordan are both 6’6″, while Thaddeus Young and Lebron James are both 6’8″. And then the little stuff like both wear number 23, both turned and celebrated in the same direction, and both won the game.
My favorite likeness is easy. Both shot’s ripped the life out of their opponents.
I mean just look at the way Craig crumbles. Craig has to have lived out his days in a padded room. In fact, I typed that last sentence and then thought to Google Craig Ehlo, and sure enough, he was released from Jail in 2013 for setting all of his clothes on fire. Like, he literally tried to burn his past.
Look closely, you can see Myles Turner’s soul exiting his body through his mouth while that completely unknown Caucasian teammate looks like he’s watching his childhood Golden Retriever named Astro get euthanized. Hate to see it. (The NBA needs a Witness Protection program for players who suffer something like this. Change their appearance and buy them a hut in the Bahama’s to live out their day’s drinking at a Cruise Port Wet Willy’s or something.)
All that being said, the optics make Jordan’s shot look tougher. Jordan had to escape a double team to catch the ball, and then do the same thing again once he had possession. Between the two, Jordan’s shot definitely had more flare. He hung in the air, waited for Ehlo to come down from his anything-but-athletic 7 inch leap, drilled the shot, and as I just got done reading, did not celebrate the shot but was shouting insults at a silenced, stunned, and stupefied Cleveland crowd.
Lebron had a one-on-one matchup and a relatively easy catch. Thaddeus Young, while not as spry as he once was, is a better athlete than Craig Ehlo. Lebron, probably knowing if he hit a three he would render the whole missed goaltend dilemma obsolete, rises up over a lackluster contest, and drills it. So while he didn’t have to avoid any double teams (WTF ARE YOU THINKING NATE MCMILLAN) he did have a better defender and the shot was from much deeper. Lebron sent Quicken Loans into madness, jumped onto the scorer’s table to absorb the admiration, and gifted us a Lebron/MJ comparison we can all agree on.