By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus NEW HAVEN (BASN) —...
Williams and James, Two of Sports’ Best!
I am a Celtic fan, which means I have very little love for Lebron James since he has broken many of our hearts but there is no doubt that he is the best basketball player in the NBA or I should simply say the world. When Lebron James went to Miami to join Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade, it was supposed to Miami domination of one title after another. The first attempt of Miami domination ended in defeat as Dallas Maverick sent the Heat home. As Lebron James has taken command of the Heat, the Heat won titles. Miami has repeated and will be favored next year but yet Miami had not really dominated in the playoffs but have had numerous close calls.
Last year, an aging Boston Celtic team took the Heat to a seventh game before succumbing and in this year playoffs, Heat had to withstand two seven game series in a row. The youthful Pacers pushed the Heat to a seven game and the Spurs had a fifth title in the Duncan era within reach before wild Ray Allen three at the buzzer sent the game to overtime. Game seven was a tight affair but NBA announcer Charles Barkley observed during the Pacers-Heat series that Heat have one thing no other team has, the player of mutual destruction; Lebron James.
James rescued the Heat twice in the final two games to lead the Heat over the Spurs. In the fourth quarter of game six, James took the game over and turned a ten point deficit into overtime victory. His 37 points in game seven was the difference in Heat repeating or the Spurs winning title number five. Throughout the playoffs, Dwayne Wade often played like an old Dwayne Wade and was on occasion, invisible. While Chris Bosh had his moments, he was definitely outplayed by Roy Hibbert and David West in the Pacer Series and Tim Duncan simply schooled him most of the championships. This was James playoff to win or lose and he won.
Most would say Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player and I won’t argue that but has anyone been able to do more on the basketball court than James? We are looking at a basketball player that can play point guard, small forward and even power forward. His defensive mastery allows him to almost guard any man on the court and his ability to compliment others on defense makes Miami the best. James allows the Heat to play an unorthodox game, a game that dispenses building your team around the big guy in the center. Miami nearly found themselves eliminated by teams with powerful big men but James skills allowed Heat to overcome bigger teams.
Beth Donelson, co-author of Coming of Age: Andy Roddick Breakthrough Year mention to me, “The only person who can beat Serena Williams is Serena Williams.” Williams has won 16 majors and has been the dominant Woman Tennis player in the world and if it wasn’t for her sister playing at the same time; she would have won more. (Venus has won seven titles and she may have added to her title if not for the auto immune disease.) Williams’ sisters have in the past criticized for not playing as often as they should or having outside interest but at 31 when other Women Tennis Players are thinking about their second career, Williams is still dominant. She playing as good as ever and as the French Open showed, we witnessed a power player winning on a Clay surface. It had been over a decade since Williams won at Roland Garros but this past year she added a second French Open. Over the past year she has won three majors of the last four majors with a semi-final stoppage in the Australian.
Serena’s game is a power game from the baseline with the recorded second quickest serve in the history of women’s Tennis and the only one faster was her sister, Venus.
Serena is not just a great single player but when combined with her sister, she is part of the greatest women double team over the past twenty years. Serena has successful career outside of the tennis c court including clothing lines and part ownership of the Miami Dolphins.
Lebron James and Serena Williams are two of our best athletes who have taken their game to another level rarely seen in their sports. James has worked on his game to put together a complete game that allows him to drain a three pointer when needed or simply charge to the basket. Williams has a power serve that many men players would be envious and she has shown a game at the age of 31 rarely seen. These two athletes bring both grace and power, making difficult games looks easy.