The current wacky state of the NBA saw itself cemented the very moment New York Knicks forward Mario Hezonja turned back LeBron James.
Suddenly, everything we thought we understood about the NBA had disappeared. In a flash, the nonsensical truth of the 2018-19 NBA campaign had cemented itself.
DEFEND HOME COURT! pic.twitter.com/MvhtDzKEPd
— NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) March 17, 2019
Excuse me? Hezonja, the 24-year-old journeyman Croatian placing an emphatic exclamation point on a Knickerbockers homecourt victory is one thing. Witnessing the same event unfold with LeBron on the other end of the stick is a sight that destroys the brain.
It all makes sense in this new state of nonsensical professional basketball.
Knicks fandom has been stuck in such a state for nearly two decades. The old enough fan who remembers Patrick Ewing and Dave Checketts can’t understand why he or she hasn’t yet woken up from this torturous, ongoing nightmare.
Who is this James Dolan character and what happened to his father? Where is Ernie Grunfeld? Who took possession of Jeff Van Gundy’s body and decided the broadcast booth was the right call?
For Knicks fans, this current campaign confirms a cold hard reality that feels like a long deep sleep. Hezonja’s clutch block of a top-five all-time player simply provided one piece of matinee glory.
For LeBron, this ludicrous narrative has just been cemented.
Taking his talents to South Beach, while criminal as per the Miami Heat’s awfulness as a fanbase, was understandable. Knowing Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Pat Riley would deliver instant and guaranteed success was all the world needed to understand the move from a logistical standpoint.
Heading back to Cleveland after two easy chips was another sensical move. The Akron kid returning home to finish the deed seemed predestined.
James to Los Angeles falls in another category.
Instantly, it felt as though James willingly thrust his name into a lackadaisical category. Never is it his intent to neither lose nor care about winning games, but he seemingly sacrificed greater situations for non-basketball paths.
His entertainment career via Hollywood, his family living, his sons’ basketball careers were all lifted ahead of extending one of the greatest legacies in Association history.
As LeBron took his left down the lane at the Garden on Sunday afternoon, all of it came crashing to reality.
— CaroLine Jastremski (@caro_line_em_up) March 17, 2019
Then there’s the NBA, the place that showcases monster squads all kickstarted by the Summer of 2010. Kevin Durant, the Golden State Warriors and every little else is what’s actively on the table.
Could you imagine what the NBA playoffs would look and feel like without the LeBron James narrative? It hasn’t happened since his sophomore year in the league.
What would have transpired over the last two seasons without him gloriously in the mix? Exactly which storylines could have possibly been conjured up? Was there even a sole reason to find ESPN on ABC on the dial?
This year, that ludicrous narrative is a frightening reality.
Los Angeles, sitting in the 11th hole with a subpar 31-39 record with the best player in the game will be among the same group as the Knicks once the second season commences.
Sure, the Mario Hezonja block constitutes just one abnormal play. Wholesomely abnormal in the sense the Knicks allowed fandom to erupt while doing it at the expense of James.
Just make sure you understand the moment, the hectic split-second that forces the New York Knicks, LeBron James and the NBA to understand that this active ludicrous state of the league is actually a buried truth uncovered.
Stange times are officially here.