May. 13, 2019

Father Time Is Undefeated

No matter how incredibly great one is in the major sports that have risen to prominence in this country, basketball, baseball, and football. The fact of the matter is that age is, in the end, the realm that will finally take them down. Oh, some have delayed being vanquished, take, for example, Tom Brady. He as delayed the inevitable but it seems that the league changed the rules which gave every over 35-year old quarterback new life with the hands-off no touch policy that guaranteed their survival. No way would Tom Brady still be playing even if he played 10 years earlier. You remember that hit Troy Aikman took in his final days as a Cowboy? Go back a few generations and look at the hits John Unitas, Joe Namath, Dan Fouts, and Warren Moon took. Do you think that Brady would be calling snaps until he was 50? Hell, no.
 
So even the great ones have their day when the sun is setting. The ability to turn on that 99-mile per hour heater when your mind says think but your reflexes no longer answer. That takes down the greatest of all baseball players. Oh, you may delay the inevitable even in baseball by taking newly created drugs that lessen the age factor but then the urine tests put you and your great historical statistics on notice. It means that for attempting to defeat the evitable victor you have sacrificed your place in the vanguard of greatness. Do you think that Barry Bonds would have second-guessed himself knowing that his entire career was relegated to a heaping pile of trash just for those final 4 years of scientifically induced greatness? Roger Clemens was assured of historical greatness but he wanted to keep his 98-mile-per hour heater just 4 more years, goodbye career recognition. All the baseball greats who attempted to beat father time in this generation felt that they had discovered Magellan's Fountain of Youth serum only to be unmasked as society's cheaters. You see that in baseball all the great ones have and always will be defeated by that tick, tick, ticking clock as their age advances.
 
So now it brings me to the crux of my provoked thought for today, LeBron James. I always loved James's game he could combine brute force, with the elegance of passes that made
his teammates better players. He was the ultimate dominate player on the basketball court. It was the irrepressible force that demanded all eyes on me when he controlled the rock. He could take a group of scrubs, an actual Saturday afternoon pickup squad to the finals of the NBA. Then the 2018-19 season happened. The summer before the season started the Los Angeles Lakers thought that they have signed the King of the Court to a four-year contract. The Lakers felt almost assuredly that at least in 1 or more of the following seasons a "chip" was in there future. However, Laker management led by Magic Johnson forgot to speak to the ultimate victor, father time, the actual undefeated one. The chinks in James's armor finally started to appear. He was no longer the invincible, uncontrollable force of power on the basketball court. He actually could even be manhandled by a few players in the league. You saw him hanging more downcourt on defense. His defensive lapses gave way to more and more fastbreak or uncontested shots by opponents. The floor was no longer the realm of the King. LeBron James had been dethroned and no longer were the anticipated chips or even one single solitary championship in the Los Angeles Lakers future. As a matter of fact, the team has been decimated since season's end.
 
Magic Johnson, the supposed soul of Laker Nation jumped ship after he was told he couldn't hire or fire the current coach. The entire league array of supposed coaches turned down Laker Nation. Wasn't it one time the job that no coach could turn away from? Now, it became the job seemingly no one wanted? Why? Because no one wanted to coach the final days of a dethroned King, especially without the guarantee that the King would actually have a new King to assist him.  So when I read these articles from sports reporters writing as if LeBron James is still actually the greatest player in the game I winch. The days that LeBron James winning playoff series are over.  Really, who doesn't question that the best basketball team in Los Angeles isn't the Clippers? The James Experiment lasted until about Christmas 2018 when the wheels came off the ship and father time's ticks were being heard louder and louder. They are simply far too many better players in today's NBA they outshine James. Let's start with Durant, move on to the Slasp Brothers, and they are on the same team. Do you think anyone sane is gonna choose James over Anthony Davis? Whose the fool that made that choice? You tell me that Portland would trade Damon Lilliard one up for Lebron James? Do you think Minnesota is trading Karl Anthony Towns one up for James? How about Milwaukee trading Anteotokoumpo for LeBron James? Or do you think the Raptors would trade a contract signed Leonard one up for Lebron James? Now even with James Harden's losing ways, you think that the Rockets trade him one up for James?  Do you think you could get either Emblid or Simmons one up for James? You see young legs win in the NBA and the ticking clock of the undefeated father time ticks loudest now for LeBron James. For all those Laker Nation fans wishing for just one chip for the LeBron James Lakers forget about it. It isn't happening.  Magic saw the writing on the wall or should I say he heard the ticking of the undefeated clock. He had heard that clock tick for him personally. Every great goes down one on one against the clock.