"I'll probably start off with it, man. A little superstitious. If it gets knocked off, then me and him will have a discussion if he will return."
-- LeBron James, at the NBA Finals off-day news conference, Wednesday, June 19, 2:37 p.m., addressing whether he'd wear his signature headband in Game 7 after playing the final 14 minutes of Miami's Game 6 comeback win without it.
SCENE: Living Room, LeBron's Home, Wednesday, June 19, 10:47 p.m. LEBRON ENTERS ...
HEADBAND: Well, lookie here. If it ain't Mr. Superstitious ... "
LeBRON: "Whoa. Hey, 'Band. Didn't see you there in the dark, with the blinds down and all -- "
"I was going for dramatic."
"Dude, you're a headband in an armchair. Not dramatic. Just looks like clutter, next to ... Oh, seriously? Tell me that's not my bottle of Henri IV Dudognon. That's a $2 million bottle of cognac -- "
"Correction. Was a $2 million bottle of cognac."
"Oh man, you're drunk."
"Am I? Ohhhh, am I!?!?"
"Look, if this is about what I told those reporters -- "
"What? You mean when you said you might play the biggest game of your life with me on your head? Me, who's been sopping up your flop-sweat since you were 13? Spoiler alert, dude: You're sweaty!"
"Yeah, um, I don't think you're using 'spoiler alert' right ... Anyway, folks were just talking about how well I played, without, you know -- "
"Without me? Well, spoiler alert: You didn't! And spoiler alert: I am using 'spoiler alert' right."
"See? Again, that's not -- "
"Focus, man! Look, I know you like stats, so I had Battier run a few. Check it: I got plucked off your dome with 9:01 left in the fourth. From then on, counting OT, you had 12 points, 3 boards, 2 assists, 4 turnovers. Or, over a full game: 32 points, 8 boards, 5 assists, 11 turnovers -- "
"Impressive recall on an entire bottle of cognac -- "
"Silence, Fountain-Head! Point is: 11 turnovers?!? Can we discuss what they'd say if you turned it over 11 times in one playoff game? Or how if Ray-Ray doesn't nail that corner three, you spend all summer explaining that 26-foot brick you jacked up with 12 seconds left?"
"Hey, I made some shots ... "
"Yeah, Sir Sweats-A-Lot, let's talk about those shots. Let's get all Zapruder film on those shots. I've got the DVR cued. Let's roll the tape! Shot 1, 7:59 left: You back down Leonard; no Spurs rotate; easy layup ... Shot 2, 6:39: Timmy plays matador in the lane; open layup ... Shot 3, 4:47: They put human pylon Boris Diaw on you and send no help defense ... Shot 4, 0:22: Unguarded three. See a pattern, Matlock? They were defending you like you were Joel Anthony. And why? Cause you look just like Joel Anthony! Seriously, look at this split screen -- "
"Whoa, that's creepy. Which one's me?"
"Exactly! Without me, you're invisible out there!"
"Which is actually a case for me not wearing you -- "
"And wouldn't that be just like you? Which reminds me: I ran into Chalky the other day, back in the garage. You remember Chalky -- the nightly victim of your 'Behold-My-Chalk-Cloud, Jesus-Pose' act? That thing you used to do? Yeah, so Chalky's back there with Patches, drowning his sorrows in an old case of Gatorade. That's right, Patches -- the dude who spent high school coverin' your tats. Been a tough decade for Patches. It's lonely in the garage. You, my friend, are an ingrate."
"Seriously, do you ever tire of the sound of your own voice?"
"Well, if a certain micromanagey someone didn't make me go all silent in public."
"Look ... Wilt, Walton, Dr. J, none of them let their 'bands talk. The world's not ready. Minds would be blown. Laws of physics overturned -- "
"Yo, I get it, Bron. I really do. It's just, well, spoiler alert, dude ... you're all I got, man. I'm either the crown on your head or I'm back in the garage chugging sports drinks with Patches and Chalky. So straight up, dude. Look me in the logo. You're wearing me tomorrow ... right?"
EPILOGUE: James, with headband, tallied 37 points, 12 boards, 4 assists and just 2 turnovers in the heat's Game 7 victory. In the postgame celebration, LeBron's headband, and a missing bottle of Dom Perignon, were nowhere to be found.