Last night as I watched the Dallas Mavericks win their third straight game and capture the first NBA title in franchise history, I still couldn’t believe how LeBron James wilted under the pressure in the biggest games of the season. James left the Cleveland Cavaliers to “take his talents” to South Beach and join Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh in what was supposed to be a super power this season and for seasons to come. I had no real problem with him joining the Heat. He had no shot of winning with the Cavs the way they were constructed and I thought it was big of him to go to a team where he wouldn’t be the sole guy. It’s a known fact that it was Wade’s team and he had a proven track record of clutch play as he was the finals MVP in 2006. The only problem I had was with the whole “Decision Show”, and the WWE- like celebration the next day, like they had already won something. He asked for all of the ridicule and verbal thrashing he received because of these things.
Everyone who has followed my sports blog knows that after LeBron’s performance against the Celtics and Bulls en route to the NBA Finals, I finally thought James had ascended to “that level” of a player. I even went out and said he was now better than Kobe Bryant (http://warroomsports.com/blog/2011/05/12/lebron-scores-10-straight-to-close-out-the-celtics-is-that-clutch-enough-for-you/).
First of all, I would like to apologize to the “Black Mamba” for spewing that blasphemy from my mouth before LeBron even won a single title. But I really thought I had seen him take it to another level. He was closing out games down the stretch by hitting killer shots and after watching the way he defended Derrick Rose, I was sold.
But then came the NBA Finals and the unexplainable, passive play of the most physically talented athlete I’ve seen in my life. It’s just a flat out choke job, no other way for me to explain it. D-Wade said last night after the game that the phrase “choke job” is used too often in sports, and he might be right in some situations. But in this case, his homie, his teammate, was a flat no show when the Heat needed him the most. The Heat had a chance to take control of the series. They were up by 15 points in the fourth quarter with seven minutes and change to play and coughed up the lead, being outscored 22-5 to end the game. LeBron scored two points during the fourth period of the game, and didn’t make a single basket during the run Dallas went on to steal Game 2.
In six games, LeBron James scored 18 fourth quarter points. He seemed to defer to Wade and even to his other teammate when he could have forced the issue. He just seemed disinterested, passive, and scared to take over the game when he clearly was the most talented player on the court. Last year in the playoffs, James clearly quit on his team in Games 5 and 6 against the Boston Celtics and I couldn’t believe it. I can’t say he quit on his team this time around, but he wanted no part in making a difference in the outcome of this series. Watching him drive and dump the ball off to the likes of Juwan Howard and Joel Anthony instead of taking the shot himself was frustrating to watch.
Scottie Pippen’s (who played with arguably the best basketball player of all time) unmitigated gall to say that LeBron James was (or could be) better than Michael Jordan was irresponsible. I don’t know what personal vendetta he has with “His Airness”, but you see he later took those words back the next day. The lowest point outcome in an NBA Finals game by Jordan was 22 and I’ve seen him carry the Bulls to a victory and nearly pass out coming off the floor due to the flu. People also want to compare LeBron to Kobe Bryant, who might be the closest thing to MJ we will ever see, but Kobe never disappeared in the fourth quarters of games. And one thing I can say about Jordan and Kobe, they never loss for lack of effort. Yes, D-Wade made some costly mistakes in the 4th quarter of last night’s game, but he made those mistakes playing his game and going hard.
The bottom line is this: a player with his talent, the hype, the self-given nickname, the cocky attitude and arrogance, should expect to get ripped the way he is today and will continue to during this off-season and until he wins a title. And his post-game comments aren’t going to help him either. His whole “I’m better than you at the end of the day” attitude and the “my life is still better than yours” thing is just going to get him more” haters”. He acts like the fans are the reason why he was out-played by Jason Terry in a Finals playoff series. “Prince” James has no one to blame but himself for the lack of testicular fortitude it takes to win a title. He had more talent than he had in Cleveland and he still couldn’t get the damn job done. So until he wins a title, don’t dare compare this man to the likes of Jordan, Magic,Bird, Shaq, and Kobe. He doesn’t deserve it. You know what LeBron is? He’s the equivalent of having a 12-inch penis (pause) that doesn’t get erect. Ok, I’m done with this guy. I’m looking forward to the NBA Draft and hopefully a full 16-game football season.