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500 Words or Less: Experiencing Lebron

The art which we consume is one of the things that does not escape our memories. Art is a broad brush with which to paint and people define and consume it differently. On Thursday night, I consumed the understated brilliance of Lebron James.
I walked into Quicken Loans arena for the first time, last night. At times I felt as if the fan experience, the massive video-board and the simulated noise constantly filling the arena, detracted from what we were watching.

Art historians have estimated that Picasso created more than 50,000 works and at times, the voluminous nature of his work undermines our appreciation for singular works.

I think we have reached a similar place with Lebron. Lebron has played in 923 regular season games and I can confess I have but a few fleeting memories of them.

If you go to a Cavs game, if you can escape all the noise and all the distractions which are there to keep fans engaged, you can experience a Lebron original, a masterpiece.

I think one of the ultimately deceptive narratives we have accepted about Lebron, is that his success is anchored on some combination of once in a generation athleticism and force of will.

This is not to say that Lebron is not an athletic specimen rarely placed on this earth of ours. But thirteen seasons into his career, it is his prevision, his seamless control of the flow of the game that makes him historic. f\

Lebron is a savant. Lebron is prophecy on the basketball court, seeing what others don't, grasping his role so brilliantly that his success looks easy and carefree. 

It feels commonplace that Lebron sees a passing lane that no other player or observer has seen develop yet, but he creates it, almost willing the game to happen as he sees it in his mind.

I suppose this sounds foolish, especially following a night where Lebron only posted 29 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists.  The absurdity of only in that sentence speaks to our expectations of what a great performance is for Lebron.

Yet, when watching there was no doubt that Lebron had written the entire play. Knowing when to enter and when to feed his supporting actors.

This iteration of Lebron still posts MVP caliber numbers and retains the same hops he had as an 18 year old but this iteration is an artist, in complete control of his craft and in complete control of the entire performance.

I will eventually tell my kids about a collection of Cavs games I attended, and likely they won't have memorable or defining endings.

But I will get to tell them that I saw the greatest of his generation, and one of the greatest to ever paint on hardwood, Lebron is painting hundreds of originals and we would be foolish to ignore there individual brilliance.
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