OAKLAND, CA—The score was tied in Game 1 of the NBA Finals Thursday night as J.R. Smith grabbed an offensive board with 4.7 seconds remaining and a legitimate opportunity to win the all-important contest at the Warriors’ Oracle Arena. Instead, seemingly unaware of the score or otherwise unaffected by the enormity of the situation, Smith quickly dribbled the ball away from the hoop, sprinting nearly to half court, before dishing it far too late for his teammate to get off a shot.
It was at this exact moment that superstar LeBron James collapsed, grimacing and grasping at his lower back, suffering what doctors now say is a herniated disc resulting from a prolonged period of carrying an entire professional basketball team on his shoulders.
“He’s definitely out for the remainder of the Finals, and maybe even longer,” Richard Parker, the Cavs’ Team Doctor, told reporters. “No one individual was meant to carry such a heavy load, so it’s not surprising that LeBron’s back finally gave out under the extreme pressure.”
“He’s a workhorse, nobody is denying that. But no man is strong enough to run up and down a basketball court for 48 minutes at a time with four large men strapped to their back while they drop 50 points—it’s just not sustainable.”
Parker said he’s “hopeful” LeBron will be back for next season, “provided the Cavs bring in someone else who can help him drag the rest of the team to the playoffs.”