Game 7. NBA Finals. Cavs Vs. Lakers. Lakers up by 1. Laker Posession. 4 seconds.
Lamar Odom is the inbounder. No, he doesn't dribble the ball in-bounds himself to receive a violation.
Or throw it to Sasha Vujacic who's sitting on the opposite side of the court on the Lakers bench - open for three.
No, he does none of these things. He's focused. His eyes shift back and forth, carrying the ball high above his head with his long, lanky arms. He's looking for Kobe, of course.
Kobe quickly wraps around three Cavs defenders (including Lebron) to get better position. As he races to the top of the key, seemingly unguarded, Odom throws the ball inbounds -
BUT WAIT! Lebron James turns on his accelerator and steals the inbounds pass from Kobe. He quickly races to his basket on the opposite end as the clock reads 3. Kobe races down with him to prevent the score. 2 seconds.
Lebron just passes the free throw line and takes off. Kobe, right behind him, takes off as well with his left arm ready for the swipe-in from behind.
BANG! DENGGGGGG (not luol, the buzzer)! Lebron throws in a VICIOUS WINDMILL DUNK at the horn RIGHT OVER KOBE AND HIS OUTSTRETCHED ARMS! LEBRON AND THE CAVS ARE THE WORLD CHAMPIONS OF ------------------------
Oh wait, what? That's not the steal we were talking about? Oh ok...then what steal were we talking about?
Let's reset the scenario. It's even better than the one above.
Jordan Crawford has the ball. Who? Yeah, Jordan Crawford. He's on that great NBA team...uh, Xavier.
It's the first half. Of a pick-up game. In the summer. The only person in attendance of any real consequence would be...your mom.
It's as intense in there as it would be in a press conference room where Chris Kaman is yelling, "He grabbed my balls!" during post-game interviews.
Reggie Evans has his eyes set on a different...ball.
Lebron's eyeing Jordan (ironically not Michael, but Crawford) on defense.
As Crawford drives to the baseline, Lebron quickly leaves his man and goes in to help.
Crawford rises. Lebron rises. Probably one of those crazy Lebron swats from the weak side that we've all grown accustomed to, huh? Not quite.
SLAM! Ooh...that was awkward. Checkmate on the king.
Lebron gets posterized in front of his entire camp by JORDAN CRAWFORD OF THE XAVIER...Xaviers?..uh...MUSKETEERS! All for One and One big Slam Over Lebron for All!
Play's not done yet though. Nope.
Lebron counters with the best defensive play of his career.
It's later on in the day but Lebron hasn't forgotten the baptismal ceremony done unto him earlier.
It's a dead ball. Lebron glides effortlessly over to a Nike offical.
And just like a future Defensive Player of the Year, he cuffs his hands delicately over his mouth in order to muffle his words, simultaneously leaning his head over to the Nike official to point out the fact that two attendees had been ILLEGALLY videotaping the event throughout the course of the entire day.
In order to BLOCK them from uploading his demise at the hands of Crawford the Musketeer, Lebron proposes a STEAL and gets the Nike official to apply full 'PR' court pressure on the two videographers.
What the King wants, the King gets. And at this Burger King, you can't have it your way. What? Yeah, that didn't make any sense.
Soon after, the Nike official begins to gingerly stroll over to the two men in a Sports Center-highlight-of-the-night kind of... stroll. With arms extended, he opens his palms and curls his fingers towards himself, motioning for the two videographers to hand over the tapes to him. Not allowed.
Confused and disappointed, the two videographers hand over the tapes containing one improbable, King-sized posterization that shall now forever be immortalized in NBA summer camp lore.
As the tapes are confiscated, Lebron James can be seen on the court grinning (and wiping some sweat off his forehead in relief). And although this stat will never be recorded into the NBA history books, there is no doubt that Lebron shall forever stand satisfied with the greatest steal of his career.
Meanwhile, in Kobe Bryant's Summer camp...
(This is actually true. Click Here.)
Kid: "If you go to Lebron's camp - game over."
Kobe: "What does that even mean? I'll tell you one thing - You're not dunking on me in my camp. God bless ya'll! "
What does that even mean?? What does that even mean?!
Ironically, this small jab by Kobe towards Lebron is probably about the best action we'll get to see this summer from the two superstars after hopes of a Kobe-Lebron (and puppet friends) Finals matchup fell through in June...thanks to Lebron. And like always, Kobe wins. As for Lebron? Well, he can still take solace in the fact that he sure can steal better than Kobe can on the court. 'Check his stats.'
The door is closed, The lights are out, The butter's getting hard, and The jello'ssss jigglin,
Jonathan Hernandez (Chick's Fridge)