Call him King!!!!!!!

LeBron James answered all the critics with one of the greatest performances in NBA Playoff history.

LeBron James used one of the most spectacular performances in playoff history to lift the Cleveland Cavaliers to the verge of their greatest season.

James’ career playoff-high 48 points — including 29 of his team’s final 30 — carried the Cavaliers to within a win of the NBA finals for the first time in franchise history with a 109-107 double-overtime victory over the Detroit Pistons on Thursday night.

James made a go-ahead layup with 2.2 seconds left and Detroit’s Chauncey Billups missed a shot in the lane on the ensuing possession.

LeBron was coasting in the first half of the season and took some heat, and he’s always taking crap from critics trying to put down his game. Thursday night he showed that he is one of the great ones.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

A-Rod’s “bush league” move overblown

Plenty of people are up in arms over Alex Rodriguez’s “Mine!” or “Ha!” call while running behind Blue Jays’ third basemen Howie Clark in the Yankees’ 10-5 victory Wednesday night. Jays manager John Gibbons called the play “bush league” after the game:

“Everybody in the games respects the Yankees; they play the game right,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. “They play hard, and that’s what they are known for. But I thought it was bush league. That’s not Yankee baseball, man. Everybody respects them, but maybe I am wrong, I haven’t been around that long.”

First and foremost, I agree with Gibbons in that this move wasn’t very Yankee-like. The New York Yankees are always supposed to be the epitome of a team that respects the game to its fullest. However, isn’t this being blown up a bit because it was A-Rod? I would never expect Derek Jeter, Albert Pujols or Torii Hunter to pull a stunt like this, but what if they had? I guarantee some people would have called it a “strategic move”, but because it was an ass like Rodriguez, everybody just piles on. I’m not defending what he did, because really, we never see this kind of thing and I don’t want the MLB to turn into a Little League atmosphere where anything said, goes. But lets keep everything in perspective here. When you factor in how some first basemen fake throws back to the pitcher after pickoff attempts and how infielders sometimes fake tags in order to keep a runner from taking an extra base, what A-Rod did is kind of pair for the course. Bush league? Maybe, considering most players would never do something like that for respect of the game, but overblown? Definitely.

Plus nobody bitched when Willie Mays Hayes from “Major League” did it for the Cleveland Indians back in 1989.

Emailer steals Bill Simmons’ column

In Bill Simmons’ latest column, “20 reasons to heart Cavs-Pistons,” one of his readers steals the show.

I thoroughly enjoyed this e-mail from Rob in Kailua, Hawaii: “I’ve been noticing that during the Detroit-Cleveland series Gooden and Rasheed get into arguments or little scuffles at least 2-3 times a game. Is there a history there? My theory is that Gooden’s little patch of hair on his neck used to be the little patch of hair missing from Rasheed’s head. Drew must have won some epic battle and now wears that patch as a medal of honor. That’s the only logical explanation for such a ridiculous hairdo right?”

That’s some great stuff, Rob.

Kobe Bryant trade talk

Should I stay or should I go?

It appears that Kobe Bryant has been listening to the Clash lately; the guy can’t decide if he wants a trade. On Wednesday, Bryant changed his tune at least twice, which has fueled speculation about potential trades that could go down. One thing’s for sure – something is going to happen with the Lakers this summer. Either they’ll bring in another star to play alongside Bryant, or they’ll deal him to another team.

In my latest column, I examine how Bryant and the Lakers got to this point and also identify some possible places the talented guard might land.

Did Falcons trade wrong QB? Not entirely

Surry Commonwealth prosecutor Gerald Poindexter says he has evidence that links Michael Vick directly to dog fighting, or more specifically, has two informants who can. Whoop-dee-doo. Wait about an hour and Poindexter – who is about as fickle as a cat – will say he doesn’t have any evidence and note the investigation is still ongoing. If I hear any real news, I’ll post it, but for now, lets move on to something else, shall we?

One of the more popular statements being thrown out by radio host, newspaper columnist and bloggers everywhere, is that the Falcons traded the wrong quarterback when they dealt backup Matt Schaub to the Houston Texans in March. Considering Vick’s recent dog days, it’s easy to say Atlanta was complete fools in trading a talented prospect like Schaub.

Lets take a closer look, however:

-Schaub was set to become a free agent after the 2007 season and therefore was no guarantee he would re-sign with the Falcons. After playing second fiddle to Vick for four years, why would he want to re-sign?

-No matter how good Schaub has looked in preseason and in spot duty, he’s never won a game in which he’s started. He’s a talented prospect, but the jury is still out on if Schaub can win in this league.

Vick’s contract is absurd until he becomes a free agent in 2014, so even if Atlanta wanted to trade him, there’s no guarantee any team would have took on his salary. Therefore, trading or outright releasing him would have put the Falcons in cap hell and make it hard to re-sign Schaub to a big contract anyway. And don’t believe the Raiders were “highly interested” because that was just Internet-fodder.

-The Falcons were 7-9 last year and had a ton of pre-draft holes. Depth was an issue at virtually all posistions and they needed starters on the defensive line, secondary and left guard.

-To go along with the above pivot point, the Falcons landed DE Jamaal Anderson and G Justin Blalock – two potential rookie starters – thanks to the swap with Houston, plus they still have a second round pick coming in ’08.

-There’s no way the Falcons could have foreseen all of this controversy with dog fighting, even with Vick’s “Watergate” incident and flipping off the Georgia Dome patrons. Sorry, but dog fighting is on another level than having a trick water bottle in an airport.

So, did the Falcons trade the wrong quarterback? I think there’s a valid argument either way, especially when you consider Vick’s off field issues and on field consistency problems, but it’s not as clear cut as people are making it out to be. If anything, the Falcons are more foolish for the absurd contract they gave Vick in ’04 than for dealing Schaub.

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