The NHL Takes On LeBron

By Chris

I’m seriously debating whether to watch the Stanley Cup Finals or Game 6 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals tonight. I didn’t think it would ever come to that but LeBron James has got everyone talking. I caught most of the first overtime and all of the second of Thursday night’s Cavs-Pistons game and I’m still amazed at the way LeBron took over that game. WGR550’s the Bulldog made an excellent point about why the NBA eclipses the NHL and it’s because of these great individual efforts.

The equivalent of LeBron scoring 29 of his team’s last 30 points in a road playoff game in the NHL would be something like Sidney Crosby scoring four goals in a road playoff game, one even strength, one shorthanded, one on a breakaway, and the final one coming in triple overtime while ending the game as a +4 or something crazy like that. We’ll never see that type of performance in hockey because it’s a totally different game. Hockey is more about the team while basketball is one-on-one for most of the game. Crosby could score a hat trick in a game, but if his goalie allows five goals, they still lose and the other team is the story.

Even if the Cavaliers had lost Game Five, LeBron’s 48 points would still be headline news around the country. It’s the appeal of how one player can get you locked into a game and do something you’ve never seen before. That’s what works in the NBA and will never translate into a game like hockey. Hockey needs a savior and maybe players like Crosby or Ovechkin or Thorton can tune non-hockey fans into games. Maybe J.S. Giguere’s heroics will get people to tune into NBC tonight.

But expect the NBA to absolutely destroy the NHL in national ratings for tonight’s game—and maybe even here in Buffalo where hockey ratings have been consistently strong. I know I probably won’t be helping the NHL’s cause tonight, especially when both games are in their final frame. If the ball is in LeBron’s hands late in a meaningful game, the NHL will probably be the small box in the picture-in-picture.

Picture of the Day (well, of last night, anyways)

Final Thought

Did the Zambrano-Barrett fight remind anyone else of the in-team brawl in Major League 2? Has anyone else even seen that movie? There’s no clip on YouTube, so did it really even happen? Does anyone know what I’m talking about?