Watch closely Thursday. Watch LeBron James continue to carry his team on the road, where they have struggled but he has been magnificent, game after game, day after day, his greatness still somehow expanding and crystallizing before us.
Watch, because it is the closest we are likely to get to what should have been. Remember Bird-Magic? Remember Wilt-Russell? Remember the idea of the two players most dominating their era facing one another in the playoffs in the Finals and infusing the game itself with some of their transcendent power?
There was a time when it was like gravity, the knowledge they would find one another. It was magnetic. It was destiny. The greatest found ways to face each other on the biggest stage, and then, and only then, did their greatness come into such sharp relief that it changed the game, and them, and us, too.
That will not happen. Not in this decade. Not in this era. Not, at least, for Kobe and LeBron. There will be no Finals meeting, no playoff faceoff, ...