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2013 NBA Finals: How Jesus (Shuttlesworth) Saved The King (James)

Submitted by on June 19, 2013 – 4:35 pmNo Comment

There was truly nothing like it.

In a series that has been filled with ebb and flow, my ebb and flow meter blew up after witnessing a game six that saw the champagne bottles nearly popped three times for San Antonio before Miami bottled it up with a breathtaking overtime victory.

And while Lebron James was resurrected from the dead after three quarters of futile basketball and having to watch Tim “OG Fundamentals” Duncan summon a first half performance from the basketball gods and literally drag the Heat back from a double digit deficit, it was Jesus that would save the day once the headband-less king began to falter.

It was Ray “Jesus Shuttlesworth” Allen that descended from the heavens to rescue the King James from certain scrutiny. The bloodthirsty media compromise his greatness by constantly selling the narrative of the greatest athlete in the history of the NBA not being able to topple the greatest player to ever lace up a pair of basketball shoes. The story was already in place with 28 seconds left in the game and the Heat down by five points after a struggling Tony Parker hoisted up a three pointer over the outstretched arm of James followed by a huge steal, quick bucket and yet another brilliant bucket after a LeBron James turnover. It was just as much about Parker’s furious blitz as it was LeBron falling apart.

And that had been the story of his career.

For as great as LeBron has been throughout his career, it always has seemed that when the spotlight burns the brightest is when he begins to fall apart. And when LeBron collapses, the fallout is epic. And here he was again: after going ape in the fourth quarter after an abysmal first three quarters, LeBron had racked up an eye popping stat line while carrying the deteriorating Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh back into the game, but slowly unraveled when it meant the most. Down by two, LeBron turned the ball over with 39 seconds left which led to Manu Ginobli knocking down a pair of free throws to put the Spurs up 93-89.

A few Heat fans staggered toward the exit.

Shortly after, LeBron throws a bad pass that Ginobli steals, which leads to Manu only hitting one of two free throws. Miami is down by five with 28 seconds left. A lot of fans are thinking about beating the traffic and dart for the exit.

Twitter begins to explode with commentary regarding King James’ inability to seize the moment. Never mind the fact that he carried this team back from the dead. He’s supposed to do that. But being clutch has never been his middle name. And, according to the masses, it would be the single thing that keeps LeBron from knocking the crown off of Michael Jordan‘s head. His Airness lived for these moments, King James shrivels up.

But then a litany of things take place that set the stage for Ray Allen and the often perceived jester of the King’s Court (Chris Bosh) to save the King. Let’s run them down…

- The missed Ginobli free throw (:28)

- Tim Duncan removed for Boris Diaw (:28)

- LeBron bricks a three pointer but since Duncan is no longer in the game, Mike freaking Miller is able to snare the rebound (:22)

- Given a second lease on life, LeBron knocks down his second three point attempt to bring the Heat within two (:20)

Okay, so even though LeBron nails the triple, all the Spurs need to do is hit a couple of free throws to salt away the game. But a missed Kawhi Leonard free throw (why he ended up with the ball, we may never know) leads to one of the most memorable sequences in the history of the NBA Finals.

Of course, with the pressure on, most people expected LeBron to miss the potential game tying three pointer. That he did. But what we didn’t expect was for Chris Bosh to snare the rebound and chuck it to Ray Allen, who shuttled backwards with just enough wherewithal to place his feet between the three point line and the out of bounds area (where yellow security tape had just been added for the potential Spurs celebration). Allen lifts, shoots and every single person in the arena (except those that left to beat the traffic) knew what was going to happen.


It was the great escape orchestrated by Allen and Bosh. Overtime.

You know the rest, the Heat would win 103-100. But what was salvaged here was LeBron’s legacy. It was certain to be scarred if Ray Allen didn’t knock down that three pointer. Tim Duncan’s legacy was to be bookended by yet another NBA title. LeBron would move to 1-3 in the NBA Finals and the great Miami Heat experiment would be in question.

But Jesus Shuttlesworth proved that he still got game.

Now we just have to wait for Game 7.

And if the Heat win, well, LeBron can enjoy his summer. But you know who just might enjoy it more? Ray Allen.





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