But he hit a pair in Game 5 of the Finals, and then went 3 for 4 in Game 6. As for Game 7, well, he was the necessary X-factor du jour, hitting his first six shots, all threes (he had only one 2-point field goal out of his 27 playoff makes).
See a pattern here? What with the limitations of Messrs. Wade and Bosh, and what with all these in-and-out guys and all these DNP guys placing Spoelstra in a position of nightly lineup uncertainty, the only thing he could count on was the scoring, rebounding, passing, defending, and competitive spirit of LeBron James.
I said I have never seen anything quite like him, and I haven’t. I’ve never seen anyone with his size and strength combined with such quickness and such a generosity of basketball spirit. It is almost as if he is tortured by the reality of his individual greatness.
Jordan — oops, I said we shouldn’t compare — was not comfortable sharing. LeBron is not comfortable doing it by himself. He has learned to take over when it is necessary, but it does not come naturally to him.
Anyway, please, let him play it out. Then we can place him in the proper historical context.
He’s right here, right now. He is the consummate basketball artiste. We are truly blessed to have him.
Bob Ryan's column appears regularly in the Globe. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.