A World Without LeBron James

Written by Sports

There is a place, something of an alternate universe, where the sun does not rise and set on LeBron James. You have to get off the main road, though.

On Thursday night, one such place was a small tavern in a century-old brick building along the Rock River in southern Wisconsin. It’s not entirely off the information highway. There is wi-fi.

But there are no flat-screen TVs in that tavern, and over the course of three or so hours spent there Thursday night, LeBron James’ name did not come up.

In that alternate universe, you find:

— LBJ is the president between Kennedy and Nixon, and not the king. Oh, no. Elvis is still the King.

— King James is a version of the Bible, and not one whose word is taken as gospel.

— The Heat would be fine if it just wasn’t so humid.

If LeBron James’ name had come up in that tavern along the Rock River on Thursday night, it might have been drowned out by the sound of the bluegrass band playing on the tiny stage in the back, or by the sound of the breeze being shot at the bar.

Still, that other universe, the one seemingly dominated by LeBron James, wasn’t far away.

You could walk half a block to Main Street and go into any one of at least half a dozen bars — this was Wisconsin, after all — where the fellas gathered around the flat screens on Thursday night, setting aside an hour of their lives just to watch a guy say he was gonna go play basketball with his friends.

Of course, Wisconsin is not Ohio. That is the center of that other universe, the one seemingly dominated by LeBron James. There, the feelings are raw, and will remain so for some time.

Remember this, though: LeBron James will pass … and one of the Cavaliers will steal it, take it to the other end and dunk. You’ll feel much better then.

Almost as good as spending a summer evening in a place where the sun sets over the Rock River, and not LeBron James.