LeBron looks up after skidding to the deck. (Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports)
When the news first crossed over from sneaker-loving sites to the mainstream media that LeBron James hadn't been wearing the new LeBron 11 player edition of his signature Nikes, here's how business partner and manager Maverick Carter explained the Miami Heat star's new-kick reluctance to the Wall Street Journal:
"It's not that they hurt," Mr. Carter said of the shoes. "It's just to make the shoe exactly perfect. He's a six-foot-eight, 250 pound guy, he runs at speeds none of us are used to. You don't know until you're in the game."
Well, after the third quarter of Thursday night's marquee matchup between the Heat and Golden State Warriors, now we know all too well:
It is not an especially rare occurrence to see an NBA player slip and fall during game action, whether due to a particularly nasty crossover, some unwelcome wetness on the court, a too-abrupt attempt to change directions or an unfortunate traction deficit at an inopportune moment. Seeing a player run fast enough, then stop short enough, and skid hard enough to leave tire tracks on the court, though? That's something you don't see every day.
FOX Sports Florida's cameras trained in on the aftermath of the accident, as captured by SB Nation's Mike Prada:
The damage done. (Screencap via @MikePradaSBN)
I'm not a performance footwear expert, but I think Nike might still have to make some tweaks on LeBron's shoes.
James finished with a Heat-high 26 points on 10 for 16 shooting with five rebounds and five assists, but turned the ball over eight times (a season-high, and the first time he's done so during a regular-season game in nearly two years) in 39 1/2 minutes. And unfortunately for Miami fans, he wasn't the only ones leaving scorch marks on the AmericanAirlines Arena court on Thursday:
Sharpshooting Warriors guard Stephen Curry scored a game-high 36 points on 13 for 22 shooting — including an 8 for 15 mark from 3-point range — and dished 12 assists to pace the Warriors to an impressive 123-114 road win that gave Mark Jackson's team its seventh straight victory. It was Curry's fourth game of 30-plus points and 10-plus assists this season, tops in the NBA; only Chris Paul (three times), Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and Jeff Teague (twice each) have done it more than once in 2013-14.
Forward David Lee added 32 points on 13 for 17 shooting and 14 rebounds for the Warriors, who shot a monstrous 56.1 percent from the floor and went 15 for 29 from deep against a Heat defense that ranks ninth in the league in points allowed per possession.
Video via theassociation.
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