When somebody enters the rare air that LeBron James has, we tend to overanalyze their most minute details. Like, you know, a headband.
James took the fixture off during a win over the Phoenix Suns in Cleveland over the weekend, telling reporters that “it just happened.” He hasn’t worn it since, going with a naked head through the Cavs’ 127-94 stomping of the Dallas Mavericks in Texas last night.
Is there any difference in the way LeBron plays, with or without fabric around his forehead? Not really — he’s excellent either way. He had 27 points, eight assists and seven rebounds to lead the way over the Mavs, while also breaking the record for most career assists with the Cavs in the contest. For LeBron, that’s standard fare.
The surreal vision of James without his trademark accessory is about as weird to see as footage of Michael Jordan with a head of hair. It also evokes the last time James lost the garment, which was in the sixth game of the 2013 NBA Finals.
That time — unlike this one — losing the headband was not intentional, as it simply fell off, and the King led his team to one of the most memorable comeback wins of all time, against the San Antonio Spurs. James’ aggressive, unbridled play seemed to be symbolized by the loss of the headband, back then.
The losing Mavericks, meanwhile, have been on a slow decline for months. Their trade for Rajon Rondo seems to have backfired, as their offense has become less efficient and the defensive improvement they expected on the perimeter has not materialized.
Newcomer Amar’e Stoudemire is pissed. "This is something we can't accept,” he told reporters after the loss. “We've got to find a way to refocus. We've got to key into the details of the game of basketball.”
— John Wilmes