LeBron
LeBron James sits on the bench during the 4th quarter of Game 6. (Ashley Landis/Associated Press)

The Finals will now be without LeBron James or Steph Curry for the first time since 2010. Is this a new era?

Well, it finally happened. The one especially impressive stat that LeBron James fans have been using to say he’s greater than Michael Jordan came to an end last night. The man was actually 14-0 in the first round, which is totally absurd.

The Lakers lost to the Suns 113-100, who took the series in 6. Devin Booker was incredible all game and finished with 47 points and 11 rebounds. Los Angeles was down as many as 29 points in the 2nd quarter, and James never goes down without a fight, right? Not this time. It looked as if he gave up, then, in true James fashion, walked off the court without shaking hands.

Just A Better Opponent

No one in their right minds thought the Lakers had a chance without Anthony Davis. So, when he went down in the middle of the first quarter after apparently aggravating the groin injury that has been plaguing him, real hope was lost. I am not taking anything away from the Suns, however. Phoenix is a really solid team, one that can make a deep run in these playoffs. Booker has solidified himself as one of the best scorers in the league, and with Chris Paul’s leadership, they are very dangerous. The turnaround the Suns have had over this past year has been nothing short of extraordinary but after all, that is the CP3 effect.

What This Says About LeBron’s Legacy

Many people will come out and say that father time has finally gotten to James, and that he is now washed up. The truth is that he is 36 going on 37 and has played at a dominant level for a longer stretch of time than anyone else in NBA history. He has aged like fine wine, but he has finally lost the ability to beat a team by himself, and the roster that the Lakers had out last night was just not good enough for James to carry to a win, especially against the Suns.

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A New Era?

It does appear that we may have witnessed the end of an era last night. James is not going anywhere, but a torch was definitely passed to the younger generation of talent. You usually never see this from him after a playoff loss, but this is just who he is now:

Credit: NBA TV

Could you imagine prime LeBron James saying this after losing a first-round playoff series? Absolutely not. His many years as LeBron the Competitor have come to an end as he has fully morphed into LeBron the Statesman. Doing good for the league while still trying to claim his fifth championship and getting the bag off the court seems to be his goal this late in his career.

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