"Beat the Heat' got a whole new meaning last night in San Antonio. With the air conditioning at the AT&T Center deciding to give up, Game 1 of the NBA Finals was played in sweltering heat that affected everyone inside the arena. None more so than Miami Heat star Lebron James.
The reigning Finals MVP succumbed to the heat and could only manage five minutes of playing time in the crucial 4th quarter before coming down with a serious case of cramp and had to leave the game.
Without James on the hardwood Miami crumbled. The close game quickly became a blowout as the Spurs raced out to a late lead with dagger like three's as they ended up taking the first game by 15 points.
And this has happened before. In Game 4 of the 2012 Finals against the Oklahoma City Thunder, James was forced out of the game several times with similar leg cramps.
LBJ has to do so much more in hot conditions because his body type just cannot cope with the high temperatures. James lean muscle mass is so much different to other NBA stars that he has to hydrate so much more than others just to stop his body from seizing up in the heat.
"It's something you try to prevent, I got all the fluids I need to get ... I lost all the fluids I was putting in the last couple of days," James said. "It was inevitable for me tonight."
James has an IV put in his arm to try and hydrate more during half time as well as changing his whole kit to try and retain fluids lost from sweat. There is nothing more he could have done.
But the heat is Lebron's weakness. Are teams shady enough to act on this knowledge though? One hopes not.