LeBron vs. Zion

Immediately overshadowed by the Carushow.

Jim Rome
February 26, 2020 - 9:14 am
LeBron James

USA Today


I said on Monday that I would take seven games of Lakers-Celtics in the Finals. And I stand by that. You know what else I would take? Lakers-Pelicans in the first round.  Here’s my wallet. Just take my money now.

LeBron v. Zion. AD versus his old team. Alex Caruso vs. Lonzo Ball. Well, forget that last one, because there’s no sport in that. The Carushow is winning that runaway. But the other two storylines still work. 

You know what else is pretty good? LeBron Raymone James Senior. I say “what,” not “who,” because at this point, I’m not convinced he’s one of us. Or one of them. Only that he is one of one. I thought I’d pretty seen anything and everything from LeBron. But I was wrong. 

And that was one hell of a night from LeBron, starting with the pre-game intro from Ric Flair.

You hear the Rolex wearing, diamond-ring wearing, kiss stealing, wheelin dealing, limousine ridin’, jet flyin’ son of a gun, introduce you and you’re going to go off. Wooooo!

And he did… for 40 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 assists. He had it all working. 5 of 11 from deep. What I’m saying is, the Pelicans had a hard time holding LeBron’s alligators down.

And there was no better evidence of that than this break involving the King and the Bald Eagle.

Roll it. Roll the absolute hell out of this.

Alex Caruso through the legs to the trailing LeBron who threw it down over Josh Hart. That was beautiful, it was nasty, it was humiliating, it was all of that. It was also a guy in his 17th season, who has thousands of miles on his legs, getting up and throwing down a kid. And it’s incredible. And I have no idea how that old man still has that kind of bounce. I can’t explain it. Instead, I’ll Let the leader of the Carushow break that play down for you.

I have absolutely no idea how LeBron is doing this. It’s not normal. And the fact that he makes it seem normal is totally abnormal. You don’t have to like him, but damn, you do have to respect him.

And probably best to enjoy him because we won’t see his like again. Do not take him for granted, no matter how long he’s been doing it and no matter how easy he makes it look. When LeBron retires, there isn’t going to be another player like him.

And he had the 11-0 run early in the second half where he did whatever he wanted. Again, 40 points on the night at 35 years old, making him the oldest to score 40 at Staples since Kobe.

You do that in a game against a playoff contender, you get tacos for the fans on Taco Tuesday, and you can enjoy a Red Vine on the bench in the final seconds of the game. You know the Red Vine King, Howard Beck, was fired up about the King enjoying a Red Vine.

I repeat, when LeBron retires, there isn’t going to be another player like him.

And I say that having just watched Zion Williamson do what he did in going for 29 points last night. Just as LeBron is freaky as hell doing what he did nearly 1500 games into his career, Zion Williamson is freaky as hell doing what he just did 13 games into his career.

Things like this.

A big man should not be that fast and that nimble. He shouldn’t be blowing past defenders and finishing on the break like that. That’s something else I’m having trouble wrapping my head around. 

And he shouldn’t be doing things like this either.

Throw it down, big man!

He’s played 13 NBA games, he’s scored 20 plus in the last nine straight. And he’s only getting better. Check this tweet from Marc Spears: Derrick Favors told me Sunday that Zion Williamson said recently that he doesn’t have his legs underneath him yet. Just take that in...

Take that in. And remember it. And think about it when he goes up and over Dwight Howard for this offensive rebound in the fourth quarter.

That’s a guy listed at 6’6 284 getting up above a 7-footer for an offensive rebound. But he still doesn’t have his legs underneath him yet. That just doesn’t happen. At least, it’s not supposed to.   

But that offensive rebound, amazing as it was, wasn’t the best part of that sequence. The Zion Show was immediately overshadowed by the Carushow. Run that rebound sequence again.

Fatality. FLAWLESS VICTORY. An absolutely perfect rejection. He met Ball at the apex, got all ball, rejected the shot, and forced the turnover, and left Ball helpless on the floor.

Bow before your bald god!

It’s an Alex Caruso Block Party and you’re all invited. And Caruso wasn’t done humiliating Ball. There was more.

Turnover to a fastbreak to a circus bucket while getting fouled. And yes, those were MVP chants. And hell yes, he deserved them. He is an absolute legend. 8 points, 8 assists, 3 rebounds, 2 steals in 17 minutes. It’s a good thing he didn’t play starters minutes or he would’ve broken the scoreboard and set the stat sheet on fire.  

Here was the bald god walking off the court at the end.

And what did Caruso have to say for himself after the block?

What a humble warrior. To hear him tell it, that was just about winning players making winning plays. But it was so much more than that. It was a winning player snatching souls at one end and then killing it at the other, and getting the MVP chants.

I said it at the top and I will say it again now, give me a playoff series of these two teams in the first round. I want it. You want it. The whole world wants it. The only person who doesn’t want it is Lonzo Ball and I can’t blame him. Because the bald eagle is going to be nightmare fuel to that cat for a long, long time. And if you’re going up against The Carushow, one game is enough. You never want a full series.