James Nosek | Press Box Perspectives Editor/ Columnist
You know what LeBron James’ favorite song is?
It’s the School House Rock classic Three is a Magic Number.
Where do you think he gets the nickname Baby Bron Bron from?
Don’t be fooled by James’ appearance, or who he hangs out with, School House Rock is what he listens to before every game.
Or at least he used to.
It would be music to my ears if he really did, but in all seriousness, the 27 year old superstar is more mature than that—especially in these playoffs.
So, what is he listening to if he is not enjoying some SHR?
LeBron is listening to faith.
With all due respect, I hate using clichés but for LeBron, the phrase “the third time is the charm” willows through his above average size head—and not to mention that preceding hairline.
It is like faith on a platter.
Game six of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Celtics did many things for the Heat: it kept their season alive, forcing a game seven, it saved Erik Spoelstra’s job, and showed a different side of LeBron—not the Baby Bron Bron we’re used to seeing.
It was a different attitude, set off by many stares and snarls that had the Boston Garden, and the whole world, asking: who is this guy?
One snarl in particular, which his teammate Mario Chalmers has appropriately called “the Ugly Look,” made LeBron a Tad Doyle rip off. With his hands on his knees LeBron stared ahead. You could barely see his dark pupils because they were hidden under his eye lids. Only the white of his eyes glared in the distance. He stayed in place, and his face stayed frozen as well—only a dark, demonic snarl covered him.
I was seriously just waiting for him to pull out a chain saw—like in the grunge music video Wood Goblins—and slice up the Celtics. (Watch the video and you’ll know what I mean)
Good thing LeBron isn’t that crazy.
But he did play like a crazy man—45 points, 15 boards and 5 assists in an elimination game.
We could talk about his stats all day but really those numbers aren’t really that special. Those are easy LeBron James numbers, even though so many of the shots he hit in game six were at a difficulty level of about 8 or higher.
Once again, faith was on a platter.
Those points, rebounds and assists came from an evolved NBA superstar. His all business, no emotion persona in game six showed that he is sick of losing.
And sick of all of his haters. (Skip Bayless in particular)
And sick of being the “bad guy” of the NBA.
And sick of being compared to Michael Jordan.
Michael Jordan is greatest, most iconic player to ever play in the National Basketball Association and he will stay on that prestigious pedestal for the rest of his life. We know that.
The comparisons between LeBron and Jordan were only media stunts, and that’s all they’ll ever be. Jordan will always be on cloud 9, as everyone else will stay on cloud 8, 7, 6—you get the picture.
But the game six performance of LeBron, well, that was like LeBron knocking on the doors of Jordan’s cloud 9 and not being allowed in, but at least getting to touch it.
And like before, the shots he made were Jordan quality, but it was the leadership LeBron carried that made him Jordan-like.
He wasn’t losing game six, plain and simple. And his body emotions reflected that perfectly. He just wants to be LeBron James for once, not the “Second Jordan.”
Finally, we have seen the birth of LeBron James. That’s where the faith comes in. In game seven against the Celts, we saw the true LeBron James again—and it was nice to see a little happier LeBron as well.
The third time was the charm for him.
Finally, he won a game seven.
31 points and 12 rebounds helped settle that vacant goal. It was LeBron’s fourth quarter, which included an 11 point outing, that helped shut up ESPN’s Skip Bayless—who on Twitter the day of the game kept saying LeBron didn’t have the clutch gene—as well as lead the Heat to their second NBA Finals appearance in the last two years.
Could the third time be the charm for LeBron regarding his first NBA championship? Is three the magic number LeBron is hoping for?
Remember, he lost last year in the Finals, a part of the Heat, and a few years ago to the San Antonio Spurs when he was in a Cleveland Cavaliers uniform.
Miami’s Big 3—James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh—think it’s their time.
And as the Big 3 looks toward their upcoming series with the Oklahoma City Thunder for the Larry O’Brien trophy, the rest of the world will be asking, can LeBron finally win the big one—can he win the “third one”?
That is the question he has been bewildered with his whole career. But he is sick of the talk; he is ready to prove the world wrong.
I’ll admit it, LeBron is growing on me. It’s like Three is a Magic Number, you think it’s annoying, and childish at first, but it becomes a piece of history—a song you eventually have to love.