LeBron James

LeBron James was absolutely awesome last night in Cleveland’s 109-99 win over Boston to force a game 7 tomorrow.

LeBron James scored 46 points, pulled down 11 rebounds, and dished out nine assists in the Cavaliers’ 109-99 victory over the Celtics in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals, to force a Game 7.

It was the kind of game James has had his whole career in big moments, at least per usual. Despite this, there’s been an entire cottage industry of talking heads proclaiming LeBron as the most overrated, least-clutch player ever, which has always been mystifying. At last night’s post-game presser, LeBron was confronted with an opinion from the other end of the spectrum, and while that is much more closely aligned with reality, you can still see how shocked he was to hear it.

Paolo: “LeBron, you’ve been a clutch player basically your whole career. How do you feel you’ve evolved in the last few years in clutch situations? Because it seems like especially in the last few years, when the going gets tough, you’re always hitting it?”

LeBron: “What’s your name?” (grinning)

“Paolo, from ESPN Brazil.”

“Appreciate you. Saying I’ve been clutch my whole career. There’s not many like you, I tell you. There’s not many like you. Either you’re being very kind to me because it’s National Wine Day, or I love Brazil…I don’t know what it is.”

That’s excellent, and it’s also a great example of how players can be perceived outside the take echo chamber of American sports media. To someone who hasn’t had to listen to shit Skip Bayless or Colin Cowherd for years try to bury LeBron in the face of all evidence just to grab traffic, the idea that LeBron isn’t clutch must seem absurd. ESPN Brazil is probably awesome.

If only we were all so lucky.

h/t @cjzero

About Jay Rigdon

Jay is a writer and editor for The Comeback, and a contributor at Awful Announcing. He is not a strong swimmer.