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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Lebron's failure and the media's obession with it

Hope everyone enjoyed a nice weekend, as for me I’m recovering from a sprained Achilles and sprained ankle I suffered playing some pick up basketball over the weekend. Sometime the mind forgets how old the body is and in my case I was watching too much basketball here lately and thought I was Kobe or Dirk. In any case, I have missed the boat on writing about Dallas’s victory over Miami to claim their first title and as I can see from reading, everybody has had their say about Lebron and his failures and anything else they always wanted to say about the Miami Heat. So I won’t bash the boys from Miami too much who although they didn’t bring home a ring otherwise had a great season. Just to think that this team was put together in a year and went on to take the Eastern conference title and came within two games of winning it all.

The last I checked it was Dallas who won the championship but the more you read the more you notice how much this has become how Lebron and the Heat LOST and not so much on how Dirk and the Mavs WON. This is what’s wrong with the world these days, people are always more concerned the individual than they are with the overall big picture. Dirk, Jason Kidd, Jason Terry, Tyson Chandler, Shawn Marion, Rick Carlisle, and hell even Mark Cuban deserved this on so many levels. Those players named played their hearts out, Carlisle out-coached everyone he faced in the playoffs, and Cuban spent the money and persevered through season after season of long and enduring disappointments to finally claim a title. The media has all but forgotten about the Mavericks already as they are ready to throw Lebron under the bus even though he has been ran over by the entire Greyhound fleet at this point.

Furthermore, to put all the blame on James’s burly shoulders is pure ludicrous. In the words of one my blogging pals Sports HR, those who all blame Lebron should be fired for that notion of thinking. Granted, Lebron did not do the things that have earned him the moniker of “King”. He was passive aggressive, he shot too many jumpers, he defer too much, he didn’t rotate on defense with the authority that we are use to seeing, and didn’t show up in the fourth quarter. Those are things the great ones ALWAYS do in championship moments. Lebron has been chastised to the point of no return in the media and it’s getting to the point of borderline obsession with him. Every sports outlet wanted to capture James in his moment of shame to mock him and criticize. He is human just like everyone else and did bring a lot of this on himself with the ill-advised decision massacre but enough is enough. Everyone that reads this column and knows me personally knows how much dislike I have for the Heat and Lebron, but me as a fan of sports knows the greatness of Lebron and that he is the greatest player on earth right now regardless of poor performance in the Finals.

Just to think that less than a few weeks ago, we were having the discussion of if Lebron was on the path of being the best player ever, even surpassing ‘His Airness” Michael Jordan. Scottie Pippen posed that argument and some people actually agreed that Lebron has a chance to be better than MJ. I think one of the greatest factors in Lebron’s performance is that he has never faced the pressure cooker of being of the big stage that is the Finals. Sounds ridiculous at first though right, but when you take a look at Lebron basketball past, you will notice that he really hasn’t had to face that much adversity in his career. Yes he did face the expectations of being a childhood prodigy, who was predicted as early as 10th grade to go number one in the NBA draft. Those were a different set of forecasts back then as all he had to do was go and play ball and the rest would figure itself out. Now James has the weight of being the best player in the league, an icon in his own right, and the pressure he has created with his antics. Lebron was so much better than his counterparts in high school that it was easy for him to vanquish them and win state titles. Could you imagine being a sophomore in high school and seeing a guy that was a step away from the NBA coming at you? Sheesh. Lebron never had to face the rigors of March Madness and everything that comes with it. Learning how to deal with pressure is different for everyone and unless you have experienced it, than you won’t know to respond to it.

Eventually LBJ will figure it out because he is too great of a player not to. Michael Jordan had to find a way to harness his scoring ability to go along with the team aspect and ditto for Kobe Bryant. Magic Johnson failed miserably in his first attempt in the Finals against Bird and the Celtics (I know this James second try, but he really didn’t have a chance his first time with the Cavs facing the Spurs). The great ones have to experience failure on a level that they never have experienced before to humble them and motivate them in a way that will bring out the beast in them.

Lebron says that he doesn’t listen to all of the negativity but I would put my bottom dollar on it that some does seep into his brain from time to time. His time will come and one day he will perform to the level that we have set for him in expectations. He will also appreciate his championship much more than he ever would have had they won this year when he would have thought “ I did things my way and still won, to hell with everybody and what they think” Lebron has learned a valuable lesson not just in basketball but in life altogether. It’s the best thing for us basketball fans because I guarantee you Bron will be back with a vengeance next year to prove everyone wrong. He has everything in the world but the one thing that would make it complete is a championship. Until then the Lebron hate will go on, but deep down in the heart of every Lebron hater, they know this man will eventually get his. So hate and admonish all you want people but leave yourself a little wiggle room for when he does become a champion.

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