LeBron. Smash.






FADE IN:

INT. TD GARDEN, HEAT LOCKER ROOM - NIGHT

Miami's assembled super team is beaten down, facing a greater challenge than it ever imagined. The team seems broken, ready to fold, when LeBRON walks in, wearing geek chic glasses and an ugly shirt.

                         LeBRON JAMES
               So, this all seems horrible.

                         DWYANE WADE
               I've seen worse.

                         LeBRON JAMES
               Sorry.

                         DWYANE WADE
               No. We could use a little worse.

                         ERIK SPOELSTRA
               Pat, we got him.

                         PAT RILEY
               Bron?

                         ERIK SPOLESTRA
               Just like you said.

                         PAT RILEY
               Tell him to suit up. I'm bringin' the party to you.

Suddenly the Boston crowd gets fired up, more than it has ever been. The Celtics are at a fever pitch, ready to destroy the Heat once and for all. Miami's super team peaks out the tunnel at their impending doom.

                         DWYANE WADE
               I don't see how that's a party.

As the team nervously holds its ground, LeBron walks toward the court.

                         ERIK SPOELSTRA
               LeBron, now now might be a really good time for you to get angry.

                         LeBRON JAMES
               That's my secret, coach. I'm always angry.

LeBRON sheds his geek chic, morphing into game face mode and proceeds to beat the everloving shit out of the Celtics.

Early in the first quarter of Game 6 between the Heat and Celtics, people on Twitter started to talk about LeBron's look. He threw down a violent slam very early on, and he didn't get excited about it, or jaw at the Celtics, or react in any noticeable way at all. His look never changed. It's hard to describe the look. It wasn't quite emotional detachment, it wasn't quite anger, and I'm not even sure it was intensity. It was just... the look.


As the game went on, and LeBron methodically carved up the Celtics defense, people expected the look to fade, replaced by joy or nervousness or something, but it never did. Even through the postgame press conference, LeBron maintained the same demeanor, somewhere between angry and calm and tired and focused.

After the game, the discussion turned toward the look, and how people had never seen it from LeBron before. But I don't think that's entirely accurate. Personally, I can remember at least one instance of seeing that look from LeBron, and it came, coincidentally enough, in Boston. It was Easter 2012, and the Cavaliers were down by 13 with nine minutes left. LeBron had just gotten T'd up, after Mike Brown had already been ejected, and he went into full "F you" mode. It took less than six minutes for LeBron to nearly single-handedly erase the deficit. At one point near the end of the run -- with 3:47 left in the game -- the Cavs called a timeout and as the team came to the huddle, I definitely saw that look. LeBron wasn't looking at his teammates, his coaches, the fans... nothing. He was looking through everyone, almost as if he existed on a separate plane of reality.

There was a huge difference between that game and Game 6, aside from the outcome (the Cavs lost that Easter game in 2010). In 2010, LeBron had to be provoked into "the look". He didn't start the game with it, and eventually, after the Cavs had taken the lead, it wore off. For the few short minutes he wore it, he was an uncontrollable wrecking machine, but it wasn't sustainable. He couldn't conjure "the look" on its own, or prevent it from going away.

In "The Avengers", we finally see Bruce Banner gain control over the Hulk. In one of the defining scenes of the movie, he changes into the Hulk at will and is therefore able to control the Hulk's power, serving as a destructive force for good, rather than a wrecking ball of chaos. In many ways, that's what we saw from LeBron James in Game 6.

While James says he didn't listen to the criticism about him following Game 5, or approach Game 6 with any extra motivation, his actions tell a different story. They tell the story of a man, beaten down by everything the world put on his shoulders, finally coming to terms with the power within him and unleashing it in full.

It would've been easy for LeBron to revert to Banner mode in the postgame newser, but he didn't. He stayed angry. He's always angry. And if he stays that way for 48 hours more, he'll be set up for a Finals matchup with the Thunder. Hulk vs. Thor. Just as it should be.

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