This not-terribly-exciting video of LeBron James wandering up a high-dive at a Barcelona pool and not being able to dive for several minutes because people are watching him and expecting him to do well is making the rounds on the Internet, and yes, it is both a lesson in overcoming fear and an easy-to-explain example of King James failing in the clutch. It takes him like two minutes to do a weak cannonball, and he only does that when an announcer goads him on and plays a rap song about LeBron James. This is all well and good, but a lot of people are missing the point.
Why does it take LeBron so long to jump? It has nothing to do with fourth-quarter performance: He is Jonathan Brandis. In fact, it was his most Brandis-like excursion since that time he talked to Dolphins.
No, he didn’t kill himself.
In The NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter, Brandis is a member of the swim team. He has to jump off the high-dive, but he’s got a fear of heights, so every time he goes up there he stalls and imagines he’s about to plummet to his death in Niagara Falls. He ends up running away to an old bookstore and finding The NeverEnding Story, and upon reading it is whisked away to the land of Fantasia where he must team up with a weird man-bird to defeat the evil sorceress Xayide and her magical army of mechanical giants. After a bunch of Wizard Of Oz and Star Wars-like things happen, Brandis conquers his fear of heights and dives off a cliff to return home.
My working theory here is that LeBron faced a similar experience, and took two minutes to jump because he was off somewhere in his imagination wishing Xayide (or “the media”) had a heart. It’s a nerdy reference, sure, but tell me he isn’t always hanging out with Chris Bosh (weird man-bird) and trying to defeat mechanical giants (Dirk Nowitzki). We don’t get to see what happens when he climbs back out of the pool, but I’m gonna guess that when he surfaced he was in Akron.