Not One To Make Excuses, LeBron James Got Swept, Tossed On A Cast, And Announced That He Suffered A Self-Inflicted Hand Injury After Game 1
You know, for someone that would have every reason to take it as an insult if I merely called his on-court vision '20/20', LeBron James sure has a weird way of seemingly seeking out bad looks off of it.
To be clear, as undeniably stupid a move as it is, I don't even blame the Cavaliers' only chance at remaining competitive for fracturing his hand out of frustration. Historically speaking, a 51-8-8 performance in the Finals has never, ever been entirely offset by the frontrunner for the dumbest play (and replay) we've ever seen in said Finals, so there's not a person or player on the planet that can definitively say that they wouldn't have mismanaged their anger in that situation. He probably should have gone with a more forgiving target, like his professional punching bag of a head coach, but coughing up Game 1 in such a cringeworthy fashion all-but-ended the series while it was just getting started. LeBron could have had more fully functioning limbs than a mutated frog and he still wouldn't have gotten the Cavs past a return trip to 'The Bay' with how detrimental it was to their chances to watch J.R. Smith flounder uncontrollably in it. Games two through four were basically just a formality, even if 'King James' with unimpaired range could have pushed it to five.
That said, you cannot go the "not to make excuses, but you do see this hand wrap that I've been hiding until right this very second, correct?" route. Only idiots, assholes, and Jordan jerkers were laying blame at the feet of the person that proved reverentially retardant in dragging a fully-engulfed dumpster fire to the Finals. By immediately scapegoating a self-inflicted injury, however, he basically turned himself in as an accomplice to the brooms being busted out. Simply put, when you're already the most polarizing player in professional sports, you need not offer such an open invitation to criticism, and that's what LeBron did by adding a cast to his list of attention grabbing accessories.
Those that remain skeptical of exactly how much damage he did to himself are willfully ignoring the proximity of the dots that are just begging to be connected. I just can't imagine that it's a coincidence that this swelling coincided with this obvious reluctance to apply a jump shot that had otherwise been deadly throughout the entirety of the playoffs...
With as much of a lock as the Warriors were to win their third title in four seasons, none of this really matters. The best LeBron James could have legitimately hoped to have earned was a flattering farewell. Unfortunately, with a combination of recklessness and self-incrimination, he cost himself sympathy when he had done such a good job building up throughout a peerless postseason performance. After doing such a good job making it seem impossible to hate him, he reminded us all of the one reason why some people do when he didn't even have to.