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Doc Rivers came and went. Erik Spoelstra did likewise. A good 10-15 minutes of postseason postgame podium from the two coaches passed and, in the emotional minutes after a bitterly fought Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals inMiamiTuesday, LeBron James’ name never came up. Not once.

Consider the inadvertent news blackout a compliment to James at one level — he is one of the few players on the planet who can lead everyone in scoring (30) in a conference championship game, grab 13 rebounds and basically get ignored afterward. James has been so good, for so long, that he has earned that special level of respect: being taken for granted.

Consider it a slap, though, too, because if James had done just a little bit more, just a wee bit better, his team would have won, his contributions would have undeniable and he would have been up there on the podium himself. It’s a short walk from taken for granted to rendered incidental.


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