My favorite sports clip of last week: LeBron James knocking the basketball out of bounds after letting it roll to the three-point line in the Lakers’ most important game of the season.

Imagine Sidney Crosby retrieving a pass in the offensive zone and carelessly flipping the puck over the glass and into the netting.

Neither can I.

In the same game, LeBron’s man scored 26 points as Denver effectively ended LA’s postseason hopes with an authoritative smackdown.

Imagine Crosby taking a minus 5 in a do-or-die game for the Pens.

Neither can I.

Of course, LBJ passed Michael Jordan on the NBA’s all-time points list. Imagine a world where James is actually considered a better player than MJ. It’s the same world where Connor McDavid is considered a better hockey player than Sid.

Neither can I.

Thank goodness for hockey. Thank goodness for players like Sidney Crosby who has elevated HIS TEAM to some otherworldly level of play. While Sid himself has never played better, or so it seems, his play, his will, his leadership, and his commitment to integrity are rare bastions in a time of ever lessening values.

Sid is the face of the NHL, but more than that, Sid is the personification of the type of athlete that fills NHL rosters – as much heart and soul as skill and speed. Hockey might be far less relevant on the national sports radar than basketball, but not for any good reason.

James casually bent at the waist, flipped the ball to the official and walked back on defense after his gaffe. Must be awesome to be so great at what you do that you couldn’t care less when you fail.

LBJ’s first season in LA was the ultimate example of an athlete cashing in their chips on their teammates, their season, themselves, and playing out the string for a paycheck. Imagine Sidney Crosby selling out his teammates the way James sold out his.

Neither can I.

Other MoioMusings:

  • I guess it comes down to this: Le’Veon Bell’s calculated risk in sitting out 2018 only pays off . . . if he gets hurt? Yes – if he gets hurt. Bell rejected an offer from the Steelers that would have paid him significantly more money over the same span of time as Bell’s contract with the Jets. Only difference was guaranteed money. Bell will cash in somewhere in the neighborhood of $30 – $35 million with the Jets even if he sustains a career-ending injury in the first or second year of the deal. Here’s rooting for the old torn ACL/Achilles combo? Maybe there is something to the math learning gap in American schools.
  • Oh, but AB won. New team, new deal, new QB to pester, new coach to infuriate, new locker room to poison, new fan base to alienate . . . yeah, AB won. He’ll get his numbers for two or three more seasons, but if the Raiders were trying to get good, why didn’t they give AB’s money to Khalil Mack?
  • Steven who? You know, Steven Nelson, the cornerback who gave up more yards in 2018 than any other in the NFL. He is the Steelers’ solution to their omnipresent cornerback problem. Maybe not as bad as you think. Nelson was targeted more than any corner in the league in 2018, but only allowed 53.1 percent of those targets to turn into receptions. He was third in the NFL in passes defended with 17, had four picks, twice as many as the Steelers’ interception leader, Joe Haden, and was very good at getting receivers to the ground after a catch.
  • Speaking of Steelers contract decisions, I am not that big on extending Ben. He is old and getting older, slow and getting slower, and, dare I say, overrated. He makes awful decisions in the red zone and has basically done nothing of any consequence for years. Stats, stats and more stats, but what’s it really gotten the Steelers? Ben will get his big contract, but the Steelers have other needs that will not be addressed – unless you consider resigning Anthony Chickillo addressing the team’s desperate needs on defense.
  • I have a thought on Mitch Keller flaming out this spring, but I’ll save that for the next round of musings. Until then, King James is dead – long live King Crosby.