LeBron James has reached his fifth straight NBA Finals. The four-time NBA MVP and two-time NBA champion seemingly has the entire sport in the palm of his dunking hand. Yet King James is not invincible — no one is. Here are clear-cut ways to exploit LeBron’s weaknesses and win a basketball game.
Perhaps the biggest weapon LeBron possesses is his uncanny ability to show up to games promptly. He is one of the most punctual players the game has ever seen — usually arriving at least ten minutes early. Even Michael Jordan would often sprint into Bulls games late in the first quarter, carrying his gambling winnings. Not LeBron.
A team that assures LeBron that the game has been postponed from Sunday at 8pm, for instance, to Monday at 7am will be in great position to pick up the W. LeBron will believe he has made an honest mistake, return to his hotel, sleep, then wake up ready to play in a game… that he has already lost. Ouch! If you’re gonna try this move, this lie takes a total team effort: ten opponents greet LeBron before he enters the arena, one asks to borrow his cell phone, and a final player has an Uber ready to whisk him away before anyone else foils this plan.
Damn! He showed up. Now what do you do? At 6’8, 250 lbs, LeBron can score, pass, play tenacious defense: The only way to stop him is psychologically. As an opponent, you must try to persuade LeBron, during one of his amazing spurts, that he is not playing basketball. Rather, this game is a dream. The basketball he so dearly holds is a crutch representing his absent father. Pointing to the surrealistic elements that you have placed throughout the arena — from reindeer-on-strings to a ghostly Wilt Chamberlain hologram whispering, “Wake up for school, LeBron,” — should rattle the 11-time All-Star.
Dang it!! LeBron isn’t falling for your mind games. He torched you in the first quarter. Now you have to use your wild Bengal tiger you bought. Unleashing the beast, which you have carefully trained to gnaw at LeBron’s limbs, is a foolproof way to slow down the King. Following the brutal consumption of LeBron’s right leg, your team should be in rock-solid position to attack the basket and get some good open looks on offense.
Aww, man!!! A mostly-limbless LeBron crossed over the tiger and drained a 3 in its face. Let’s face it: The man knows how to play the game. The only way to stop LeBron in the second half is to start your three additional wild Bengal tigers. Now, your starting five should have two human players and three wild tigers. These strong tigers triple-team LeBron and put him under defensive pressure as they carnivorously feast on his flesh. While the tigers attack, your two players can score easy buckets. Swish! Using a total of four wild tigers trained to maul LeBron James will likely result in a fine from the League office, but you cannot put a price on giving your team the best chance to win come playoff time.
In LeBron’s 11 full seasons, he has lost 9 times. Honestly, if you’re a really good team, there’s a good chance you can just beat him without the goofy shit mentioned above.
Dan Perlman is a stand-up comedian from New York. Follow him on Twitter @danjperlman.