Game 7 of this year's NBA Finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors was as epic a basketball game as I have seen in quite some time. The stakes were already pushed to the limit: the Cavs had gotten all the way back to Game 7 after being down 3-1.
What made the game epic was that singular defensive play by a completely determined LeBron James. Everyone knows what block I'm talking about: the one with less than two minutes left in the game with the score tied at 89-89.
I remember thinking: really? Did LeBron really get to that shot? He was at the top of the key when Steph Curry made a great bounce pass to Andre Iguodala. He made a slight adjustment to get past the lone defender for the Cavs, J.R. Smith, and then Iguodala was in the air, kissing the ball off the backboard for an uncontested layup. From out of nowhere James streaks into my HDTV picture and rejects it.
I rewound the video to listen to the succinct color commentary: "Wow." In some articles I read, the block was a great non-call by the referees. Indeed. LeBron made a block that was completely fair. The Warriors would not score in regulation again. The next play from the Cavs following the block? Kyrie Irving's step-back three.
From now on, the block will be one of the stock clips in LeBron's endless highlight reel. It will instantly conjure up the sensational Game 7 that brought a championship back to Cleveland.