In the NHL and MLB, a team can ride a standing-on-his-head goaltender or two hot starting pitchers to the next round. In the NFL, each round consists of a one-game playoff to determine the "better" team. But on the hardwood, a team cannot advance solely on the shoulders of one or two dudes.
Why else did LeBron take his talents to South Beach? He realized that there is no "i" in team.
Of course, LeBron carried his Cleveland teams for many years, a run that included a trip to the Finals. But people often forget a couple things: (1) the Eastern Conference was the junior varsity league compared to its Western counterpart, and (2) the Mike Brown-coached Cavs were actually an elite defensive unit, spearheaded by LeBron but aided by the likes of Ben Wallace, Anderson Varejao, Delonte West, and Jamario Moon. When LeBron's Cavaliers advanced, they were always the better team.
As LeBron's Heat put the finishing touches on an easy series win over YOUR New York Knickerbockers, every fan, from both sides, knew that the better team was moving on. Quite simply, there is absolutely nothing an opposing team can do when the best player in the NBA leads his team:
And when Batman is fully supported by Robin...
and the rest of the Super Friends...
all you can do is tip your cap, and
Look out for my "If I was GM" of the Knicks next week. Last year's edition was my debut post on THE GREAT MAMBINO, so check that out.