It's probably happened to you, where you are jolted out of bed in the middle of the night with a cramp so bad you just want to scream. It happens to me from time to time, typically in my calves but also in the arches of my feet. It's incredibly painful, it renders that body part essentially immobile, and if there was a baby around, you'd consider punching it.
And yet people are getting on LeBron James for not being able to play in a NBA Finals game with the same ailment?
When I get a cramp, I bitch and moan and scream and cry until it subsides. And I'm not putting the type of taxation on my body that LeBron is.
Did the 90 degree temps in the arena play into that? Who knows. But everyone else was playing in the same atmosphere, so I'd say no. It was more likely one of those uncontrollable things that unfortunately happened at an inopportune time for the world's best player.
It's one thing to play through pain, such as a rolled ankle or pulled muscle. But a debilitating injury? That's different.
Could the Heat have used LeBron down the stretch? Yes. Would it have made an impact on the game? Also, yes.
Do I fault him for sitting during a stretch that was probably killing him inside not to be on the court?