Despite being on the court for most of game 4 of the Mavericks/Heat Finals series, LeBron seemed content to watch Dwyane Wade and others produce all of the offense, even while they were clearly struggling. Lebron went 3 for 11 and finished with 8 points, seemingly passing up every opportunity to score. Even when being guarded by the 72 year old, 4′ 11″ Jason Kidd, LeBron refused to drive the ball to the rim. It was almost surreal.
Love him or hate him, I personally have never seen anyone able to take over a game on offense AND defense like LeBron. No pass is safe and no shot is safe when he decides he wants the ball. When he wants to, he can dominate a game like no other. Last night, I guess he didn’t want to.
I was one of the critics who was almoooost silenced while watching the Heat get it together and become the most dangerous team in the NBA. But when the arguably the most talented man who has ever stepped onto a court delivers 8 points in a losing Finals effort and is playing like a high school kid who has just been told his girlfriend is pregnant, it has to call into question whether or not he buckles when the pressure is the most intense.
In my opinion, he left Cleveland because of the pressure. Every year it was the same thing: “Why haven’t you won one LeBron? You can’t be the greatest until you win one.” So rather than building a team to lead, he went to be a role player on another team, and now he’s seemingly content to let Wade and Bosh do it all by themselves.
As we remember the greatest players in history, their ability was only part of the equation. Magic, Bird, Jordan… these guys weren’t just great basketball players, their hearts were enormous and they were fierce competitors. They were born leaders and inspired others to be great. Their presence made everyone better and it was their wills that lifted their teams to victory. Not just their play, but everything about them. They were in the game 1000%, especially in the Finals. Last night, LeBron was playing as if he had just finished watching the first episode of Lost.
First, let me apologize to Jason Kidd and ask him not to beat me up. Compared to LeBron, you are 4’11 and 72. Comparatively, I would be 4′ 7″ and 75 or something, and it’s not cool to beat up old people who are smaller than you. I’m not sure how it works if they’re bigger than you. I think then it’s okay.
The buzz around LeBron is warranted. He is just that awesome and why he’s constantly being compared to the greatest players in history. His talent as so immense that we expect him to be great and when he’s on, he’s unstoppable. But one has to question whether or not he has the heart of a champion. So far, he’s shown everything but.