LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers must overcome a feisty Cleveland Cavaliers squad as they grieve over the one-year anniversary of Kobe Bryant’s tragic death
LeBron James returns home as the Los Angeles Lakers face the Cleveland Cavaliers a day before the one-year anniversary of Kobe Bryant’s death. LeBron, who hails from nearby Akron, is as important to Cavaliers’ basketball as Kobe was to the Lakers.
It goes without saying this game will be a very emotional night for LeBron and his teammates, but LeBron’s homecoming makes it especially meaningful for him.
"“Man, it’s a saying that time heals all,” James said after a win over the Chicago Bulls on Saturday at the United Center, where Bryant’s idol, Michael Jordan, used to play. “And as devastating and as tragic as it was and still is to all of us involved with it, only time. And it takes time. Everyone has their own grieving process.”"
LeBron James is right: everybody’s grieving process is different; there is no set time to move past this grieving process. As hard as it is, the key to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers is to simply block out all the grief and just be focused on the game.
The Mamba mentality would expect no less, as summarized by James Francuz of Lake Show Life in an article shortly written after Kobe’s passing.
"“Part of was used to amaze me about The Black Mamba was his consistency. Even supposing the fact that he was a superstar during his time in the NBA, he stood out from his peers. Night after night he brought everything he possibly could. Blood, sweat, and tears.” “A primary ingredient as to how he set himself apart was his preparedness. Kobe always seemed to be one step ahead of everyone else. His approach toward life would plausibly make UCLA legend John Wooden smile, for Wooden once said “Failure to prepare is preparing to fail.”"
The Los Angeles Lakers are already far more talented than the Cleveland Cavaliers. If they fail to prepare for Cleveland, then they should prepare to fail. Ask the Brooklyn Nets how they did against Cleveland in the last two games. LeBron James and Anthony Davis must keep the Lakers focused for 48 minutes. If not, the Lakers may join Brooklyn in the loser’s column vs Cleveland.
In particular, LeBron James is key vs Cleveland because Kevin Love and Cleveland’s endless supply of centers might be able to match up with Anthony Davis, but nobody else on Cleveland stands a chance guarding LeBron. LeBron can win this game for the Lakers by halftime if he so chooses.
Here is why.