The Day Larry Bird Gave LeBron Something To Witness
LeBron James thought he had seen it all. But just the other day, he was visited by who he thought was Steve Nash. "I'm not Steve Nash," the man said. "My name is Mark. Mark Price. I come from the year 1992. We've just gotten our butts kicked by the Chicago Bulls in the Eastern Conference Finals. We're sick of the futility. After all, our Cleveland team in the late '80s was really dope and the kids today don't have any idea who they are. And thus, our coach Lenny Wilkens gave us an idea. He said I'm supposed to go seventeen years in the future, get you, and then go back to the year 1986 and play from there. Our Cleveland Cavaliers will be just as baller as Magic and the Lakers, Jordan and the Bulls, even Isiah and the Pistons."
To which the Witness, coming off such a disappointing playoff lost to Dwight Howard and Orlando and making such great commercials with Kobe Bryant, said "okay."
"YIPPERS!!!" shouted Mark Price.
"So who we gotta play in 1986? The Lakers?"
"Oh we'll get to the Lakers," said Price. "1986 provides us a chance to play a lesser team in the Finals, thereby warming up for the big show in 1987. That's when we get the Lakers, and we better be ready for them."
"So we just gotta play a bunch of wussies now, that's it? Awesome."
And so Lebron taped up his ankles, finished his video games, and followed Mark Price in the time machine back to the year 1986.
LeBron soon found himself surrounded by all these strange cobblestone roads, beautiful architecture not seen in modern times, tasty coffee, snotty intellectuals, and all the white people they passed were looking at him funny.
"What's this?" he asked Mark Price.
And Mark Price then sighed with guilt. He had been instructed not to tell LeBron about the first challenge they had to face before having a chance at this team at this supposed easier Western Conference Champion that he spoke of.
"Alright LeBron," Price said. "I'll level with you. You're in Boston. In order to play Houston...we have to beat the Celtics."
Mark Price naturally assumed LeBron would cry and run around screaming bloody murder. But LeBron was still standing there calmly. This news didn't bother him at all.
"Shoot, so?" replied LeBron. "That's those white guys."
Price was understandably shocked by LeBron's reaction. "Did you hear what I said?"
"Yeah I heard what you said. You don't mean Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen, those Celtics, you talking like...Kevin McHale and...Greg Kite..."
"LeBron, it's 1986, and Larry Bird's the best player in the game."
"No no no, he's the MVP. That's different. That's politics. Besides the game was different in 1986."
"That's right. It was tougher."
"You ever played Larry Bird before?"
"It was all hype. David Stern had to sell his league. He needed a white guy. They do the same bull**** today with Dirk Nowitzki and Steve Nash."
"I'll take that as a no."
"He's nothing," LeBron insisted. "He can't deal with my strength and size and speed combined, and I can leap over him, which means no rebounds and no blocking my jumper."
"Okay, because we're playing them in Round 1."
"I thought Michael Jordan's supposed to have his 63 point game. That means it's the Bulls who play them."
"Na," said Price. "We also went back in time and kept Jordan from breaking his foot, thereby the Bulls are now the #2 seed. You'll get them after you take Larry Bird. They're good but not as good as the Celtics. You beat them, you have a clear route to the NBA championship."
And so Game 1 was in Boston. LeBron would guard Larry Bird. The fans were going crazy. And they would go crazier as Bird headed to the baseline and reverse slammed over LeBron's head. Then LeBron went up court, Bird acted like he was going to block his shot attempts and immediately reached in to steal the ball. Bird comes down court and hits Danny Ainge with a behind the back bounce pass for the layup. Fans go nuts. It's 4-0 Boston. Then LeBron inbounds it to Price who gives it back, but Bird gets in there and steals the bullet pass and reverse layup over LeBron's hands good. 6-0 Boston. Finally LeBron inbounds it properly when it's 24-0 and the Cavs come down court. They give it to Larry Nance, guarded by Bird. Nance throws an elbow out of frustration, Bird goes down, flagrant foul and Bird's going to the line with one eye open and his jaw wired shut. He's taunted by LeBron. Bird turns to him and says "I'll shut the other eye too." He does, and makes both free throws, nothing but net to increase his career playoff free throw percentage to .999.
Oh look here's the Celtics coming down court, Johnson to Bird at the three point line, LeBron sticking him hard, Bird crouches down and goes at LeBron with a dribble so low LeBron can't steal it no matter how obviously in his reach it appears to be. Instead he ends up hacking Bird accidentally and that's LeBron's third foul and we still have 6:56 to go in the first quarter.
Bird for three -- KABOOM!!
Bird for three over Hot Rod Williams -- YES!!!
LeBron blows past Dennis Johnson and goes for the dunk but BIRD BLOCKS IT!!!
LeBron blows past Dennis Johnson and goes for the slamma jamma but NO!!! He loses it on the way up, what a flat-footed steal by Larry Bird!
Here's Bird with the ball, everyone clears out it's LeBron guarding him, Bird dribbles, back to Lebron, he spins right past the failed screen by Brad Daughterty, stops cold with a fake and turns back left, fallaway, SWISH!!!
LeBron blows past Bird on the break but BIRD'S UP IN THE AIR TO SWAT HIS SHOT ON THE WAY UP!!!
Boston 141, Cleveland 32.
"Well," said Mark Price after the game with a hand-shake. "What can I say, LeBron? You let everyone down."
"Please," scoffed LeBron. "Like Cleveland's not used to it."
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