We Were All Witnesses

"Well, that guy is not in the league anymore. The other 2-3 is now on the good side now. That other 2-3 is gone, so we don't have to worry about that no more." [LeBron James, after his last-second shot won Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals]

In the past, this was the kind of shot that happened against the Cavs. Jordan's jumper in 1989 over Craig Ehlo eliminated Cleveland from the playoffs- a punch-in-the-stomach moment burned into the psyche of every Cleveland fan.

Well, James is changing everything around here. [Tom Withers, AP Sports Writer]

It followed the arc of Carlton Fisk's home run in 1975, of Doug Flutie's Hail Mary in 1984, of Garfield Heard's turnaround jumper going up and Magic Johnson's baby hook hovering over the Big Three and Michael Jordan's last shot going down. It traced along the arc of those memories and by the end of its flight it had created a memory of its own. [Ian Thomsen - Sports Illustrated]

You have to understand; things like this don't happen for Cleveland. They happen to Cleveland. But what we Witnessed last night will go down as one of the greatest plays in the history of sports. And it's ours to savor forever....

No one should be carrying around the woebegone Cleveland sports fan mentality anymore. No one can ever, ever again say that LeBron James is not clutch. This one shot changed all of that....

Orlando, you just plucked yourself a nice, fat no leaf clover. I'd stay away from the train tracks in the future, if I were you. [Turkmenbashi, Fear The Sword]

It had to happen, and as shocking as it was, you could only be so surprised. But isn't that what makes LeBron so ridiculous? He's conditioned us to not only expect the impossible, but take it for granted. Step back, get some perspective on that, and try not to faint or laugh so hard they send you to an asylum. [Bethlehem Shoals, Sporting News' The Baseline]

The pain I felt for the Magic having nearly guaranteed a Finals appearance was tempered by the joy of a renewed basketball faith. That tiny Cavs fan expects LeBron to put up 50 a game, dunk every play, and win every night. With one second left on childhood's ticking clock that three pulled our little fan from the brink of reality. The make confirmed all was right with the world. The Tooth Fairy isn't your parents, the Easter Bunny does lay colored eggs and Santa doesn't drive a yellow '85 Honda Civic. ["karchcoon", commenter on same post]

The truth birth of LeBron James as heir to Michael Jordan's throne ... With the momentum of LeBron's shot and the greatest player in the world on their side, there is no question in my mind that they will get it done and move onto the Finals. [JRod, Midwest Sports Fans]

Which is where James' fast-twitch muscle fibers, perhaps some of the fastest fibers in human history, allowed him to change course and get a few inches of freedom as he headed toward the top of the key. [Brian Windhorst, Cleveland Plain Dealer]

The Bulls' Michael Jordan shook a double-team from Larry Nance and Ehlo to make an improbable shot at the buzzer. Everybody who is a Cleveland sports fan remembers where they were when it happened, like the Kennedy assassination or Sept. 11.

That's not to compare significant tragic events to a sporting event, but sports mean so much to so many people. "The Shot" has its own Wikipedia entry: No. 23 hitting an improbable jumper at the top of the key on Cleveland's home floor as the buzzer sounds in a playoff game. And James on Friday finally gave it another meaning, to the delight of a hard-luck franchise and a city that hasn't had a championship team since Jim Brown was running for the Browns in 1964. [Scott Kendrick, Florida Times-Union]

"He was born to do that. I would lie if I said I didn't expect that. I kind of expected that. That's what he does. He makes all kinds of shots in practice. ... I believed. I think all our fans believed, too." [Sasha Pavlovic, Cleveland Cavaliers guard]

But we should not miss the message from Friday night. We are seeing a legend under construction here. [Mike Lopresti, Gannett]

Was that the greatest shot he had ever seen?

Hank Egan paused.

"No," Egan told him. "It's tied for the greatest."

....He says LeBron James tied Sean Elliott only in dramatics. [Buck Harvey, San Antonio Express-News]

Something has certainly been missing from his resume and perhaps even his mindset, but this shot could be the turning point for James. He will now have the confidence of knowing that he can do it and should make him even more dangerous in late game situations from now on. James looks as if he is developing the ability the legends have of willing their teams to victory and not accepting failure in the process from themselves or anybody else....

Most importantly is the city. A city that has had no succes to speak of. A city that has long been plagued by anti-heroes and its teams' failures experienced somethind different. They can now go into the future knowing that nothing is impossible and that they will always have a chance to win with James on the team. They have finally had their faith rewarded and that by itself will change a city that for too long experienced only the feelings of failure. After that shot failure seems a distant prospect, because Cleveland fans know that James will do everything in his power to carry this team across the finish line with a championship the perfect ending. [Ashwin Ramnath, ButtaBall.com]