Entering tonight’s rematch with LeBron James‘ former Cavaliers team, he and the Miami Heat are on a roll and the Cavaliers are in a colossal tailspin. After the performance he put on in Cleveland on December 2nd and as the Heat continue to gain momentum and learn to play together, tonight’s game could get ugly. Fast.
#6 put up an effortless 38 points through 30 minutes of play on December 2nd and embarrassed his former teammates and franchise with ease. Since that game, the Heat have racked up 9 straight wins, all of which by 10 points or more. With what we’ve seen from #6 and the Heat as compared to what we’ve seen from the Cavaliers, there is no reason to believe he or they will be slowed down tonight. It’s entirely possible, and maybe even likely, that he puts up half a hundred tonight. That is, if it’s close enough to warrant giving him more than 30 minutes. To me, the question isn’t who will win, but by how much and how embarrassing it will be.
As a Cavaliers fan, it kills me to say that, but as I have always promised, I’ll tell you how it is. No matter how ugly the truth may be. If the Cavaliers are great, I’ll tell you why. If they look more like the Cleveland Cadavers, I’ll reluctantly tell you about it as well. When a team loses its superstar that it literally built the entire team around, things are not going to be pretty. Literally ever single player on the roster until this off-season were brought in to specifically compliment #6 in one way or another. When the player that you’ve tailored your team around for 7 years leaves and you bring in a new coach with a new system, it’s not going to be pretty. But I never anticipated that it would be this ugly. Through roughly the first quarter of the season, the Cavaliers have essentially quit on the season and that’s sad. They don’t have the talent that they need to compete, but they have shown zero heart, effort, energy, intensity, or hustle and with that roster, they can ill afford such a combination.
Long-term, it’s not the worst thing in the world because if they can somehow sustain this degree of poor play they’ll be well positioned in the NBA Draft Lottery. The overwhelming strategy in the NBA is to tear your team down completely and rebuild with a lottery pick or 2 and to get lucky on a 2nd round pick (i.e., OKC Thunder). Despite Head Coach, Byron Scott and Owner, Dan Gilbert saying all the right things about wanting to win now, this is undoubtedly a thought in their minds.
The Heat are on the complete opposite end of the spectrum. After struggling mightily in the first month of the season and fighting to stay above .500, the victory over the Cavaliers on December 2nd seems to have catapulted them to the top of the NBA. The Big 3 are starting to learn how to play together at least well enough to run roughshod over the marginal to poor teams in the NBA and they’re probably talented enough to compete with some of the better teams at this point. Big picture, however, there are still massive holes and issues on this team that we’ll get into next.
What to watch for:
The obvious thing to watch is LeBron James. There are a ton of subplots in this game and the first thing I’ll be looking for is how he and the Cavs players interact. On December 2nd, #6 walked right up to his former teammates and with the exception of Mo Williams, they were all friendly with him and Anderson Varejao even went so far as to give him a bear hug before the game and jokingly steal his headband during the game. The Cavs took a lot of criticism for their poor play as well as their seemingly friendly treatment of their former teammate. Speculation has been that a number of them are trying to stay in his good graces so that he will recruit them to play with him in Miami. We’ll see how they act tonight.
Next, I’ll be curious to see how he approaches the game. In the first matchup he was feeling out the game, whether or not he would be fouled and roughed up, and how the refs would call the game. After he got a feel for the game, he went on attack mode, especially in the 3rd quarter. It wouldn’t surprise me if he starts out attacking like he did in game 3 against the Celtics last year where he had 21 first quarter points and was literally unstoppable. Obviously, the final point tally will also be something I’ll be keeping an eye on. He’s likely to try to embarrass his former team again and what better way than with a 50 point performance and a 30 point win?
There has been much discussion about Erik Spoelstra‘s “incentive program” that he used to get the Heat going after a horrible start to the season. In case you haven’t heard, the players have been very unhappy with the offensive system thus far in the season. It’s my belief that it’s because LeBron James has literally never run an actual offense and he doesn’t like the restriction. He is the one who leaked the story about players being unhappy and thinking Coach Spo wasn’t cut out for the job.
So in an attempt to quell the uprising, Coach Spo implemented the new system so that in exchange for a good defensive effort (block, steal, defensive rebound), he gives free reign for his players on the offensive end. Of course, the players love the ability to ignore the offense and freelance and dominate the ball for 20 seconds and then either draw contact or throw up a 30 footer. Especially LeBron James. Remember, he won 2 MVP’s with this exact style of play. And against the lesser teams in the NBA, it will work just fine. Despite zero inside presence, they’re athletic enough to create problems for the other team on the defensive end. If they put in the effort. Offensively, they’re so freakishly talented that they can get away with freelancing against the bad teams and even good teams when they’re hot.
But what I’ll be curious to see is just how far the players take this. Will they get so used to doing whatever they want that when it comes time in the half court to run a real offensive set that they either ignore it or are so rusty that it looks awful? Lets face it, all 3 and especially LeBron are only accustomed to running ISO garbage and getting away with pure physical ability. That’s why long-term, I believe the incentive program is a tremendous mistake. These guys need all the practice they can get in the offense. Right now is the EXACT time they should be running it and running it and running it again. In December, against mostly bad teams is when they should run the offense so much that they can run it in their sleep. So that when things get tough and they’re up against a great Boston defense, they don’t screw up and they can run it and trust it.
I’m telling you right now, if they don’t learn to execute the offense flawlessly right now, in the regular season, against bad teams, they’ll never be good enough to run it against the Celtics. And we saw what happens when LeBron or anyone else for that matter, tries to run ISO garbage against the Celtics defense. You just cannot win that way, no matter how much of a physical freak you may be.
Think about it, why did the Heat struggle so much to start the season? Because they were trying to run an offense that they don’t know how to run because they’ve never been forced to learn it and execute it. When that broke down because they’re not good at running it and they don’t trust it, LeBron went into his old offense which consists of him dominating the ball and turning everyone else into statues and jump shooters. No one mentions it, but in training camp, the Heat focused solely on defense because they thought that they would be so gifted that if they played good defense, the offense would take care of itself. After starting off so badly trying to force these guys to run an offense that they clearly didn’t want to run (remember, they just wanna chill), Coach Spo essentially gave in. Which is the last thing he should have done.
Short term, he looks like a genius. The Heat are on a tear and look great. But remember who they’re playing and remember that it’s the regular season. The playoffs are an entirely different game as #6 knows only too well. I’m not saying that Coach Spo plans on doing this all season, but I’m telling you that these guys need ALL the practice they can get within the structure of the offense. They need to learn it against the bad teams in the regular season and perfect it as they match up with the better teams. Now. Not in the playoffs. If they wait until the playoffs they’ll get run out of the gym. If they continue the freelancing, ISO crap in the playoffs, they will get run out of the gym.
As far as the Cavs go, there really isn’t all that much to watch for. We need to keep an eye on how friendly they are with #6, not just before and after the game, but during the game. In the first match up, not one Cavalier put his hands on LeBron outside of a few hugs and kisses. There were multiple opportunities to foul him hard when he went to the rim and they didn’t even attempt a foul. There were multiple opportunities to be physical with him out on the wing and they never tried. They can say whatever they want publicly about being upset with him and about the conversations not being friendly, but until they show me on the floor, I don’t care.
The Cavaliers’ spin job after the last debacle was an insult to every single fan’s intelligence. Unless they play physical, intense, fundamental, smart basketball, no fan is going to listen to a thing they say. They may come out with some energy to start the game, but face it… they’re not a good team and they’re in the middle of an awful losing streak. I’ll be curious to see how they respond when they get 8, 10, or 15 points down. Will they just roll over like last time and let the Heat run up a 38 point lead? Or will they fight back even though they’re clearly outmatched?
LeBron James is one of the greatest athletes in the history of sports and one of the best players in the NBA today. Period. But NBA fans all over are starting to see who and what he really is. This includes Cavaliers fans who were once blinded by his supreme talent and charisma as well as uninvested NBA fans and general sports fans.
The events of this past summer has come to show us the immense degree of narcissism, selfishness, and arrogance of one LeBron Raymone James. He’s a young, powerful man with great wealth and great fame. Everyone can make a mistake or have a lapse in judgement. Not to mention, the way he seemingly quit against the Celtics in last year’s playoffs and the way he ended his career in Cleveland (http://bit.ly/aYc3fi)
But it just seems to be getting worse.
After losing for the second time this season, to the Boston Celtics, LeBron James complained that his coach, Erik Spoelstra, played him and Dwyane Wade too many minutes. LeBron then went on to intentionally bump his coach in a blatant sign of disrespect. If that weren’t enough, LeBron then is leading an internal campaign against his coach as they don’t believe he’s “the right coach for them” and “he doesn’t let them be themselves”.
That’s just off the court. On the court, LeBron has implemented the stagnant offense he once ran in Cleveland where he dribbles down the shot clock and forces his 4 teammates to stand around the perimeter and wait for a pass. When he doesn’t dominate the ball, he just stands on the wing and watches. This doesn’t sound like the leader he so often proclaims himself to be.
I’m not the only one who sees it either as there have been several pointed articles and columns by respected and well known sports writers. The best, perhaps is Adrian Wojnarowski’s (http://yhoo.it/f1uVwW) continual written beatdown of LeBron James.
At this point, LeBron has been nothing but a whiny, selfish, immature, arrogant, dick and diva. NBA and sports fans everywhere are growing tired of the crybaby (http://bit.ly/b6haqZ).
So I propose, in honor of December 2nd and from this point forward, that his name never be spoken again. I propose that he shall only be referred to as #6.
I propose that we no longer speak, write, or type his name.
From now on, he is only #6.
By now you’ve all seen the video of LeBron James bumping Head Coach Erik Spoelstra during the Miami Heat‘s loss to the Dallas Mavericks. Some have asked whether or not it was intentional, but I’m sorry… there is no way he didn’t mean to bump into him. Just look at his elbow kick out after the bump. Does that look like someone who inadvertently bumped into his coach?
This isn’t the first or the last time LeBron James has disrespected Coach Spo as he previously criticized his coach for playing him too many minutes and LeBron is now believed to be spearheading a campaign to get Coach Spo fired. A report this morning came out that some players are growing frustrated with the coach and they don’t think he’s the right coach for the job. They cited issues with the offense and complained that Coach Spo “isn’t letting them be themselves”. Specifically, LeBron is said to be unhappy that he was “called out” during practice as Coach Spo told him that he “needs to be more serious” and “can’t tell when he’s serious”.
Now I don’t know about you, but if that’s the worst thing your coach says to or about you then you don’t have much to worry about. That’s one of the weakest comments that I’ve ever heard a player getting upset over. C’mon… is LeBron really that weak? Or is he just using any excuse to run Coach Spo out of town.
Like I said, LeBron has disrespected Coach Spo before and he will surely do it again. LeBron has also disrespected just about every other coach he’s ever played for, including his most recent Head Coach in Cleveland, Mike Brown. It turns out also, that “Bumpgate” with Coach Spo isn’t the first time LeBron James has intentionally bumped into his coach to send a message.
Take a look at this video from December 19, 2007 when the Cavaleirs were going through a rough stretch of the season:
Say what you want… and ESPN can apologize for him and make all the excuses they want, but LeBron knows exactly what he’s doing. He has never respected a coach in his life, and at this point the coach is the only person he can blame. LeBron James is never at fault, so scratch that. He can’t blame his teammates like he did in Cleveland because he handpicked his BFF’s, so scratch that!
So what’s left? The coach! LeBron is making it clear that he’s not happy with Coach Spo and if Pat Riley doesn’t come downstairs and coach soon, LeBron will put his coach in a figure four leg lock before Christmas!
Here’s a shocker… The Miami Heat players are trying to get Coach Erik Spoelstra fired behind the scenes, according to ESPN’s Chris Broussard.
For anyone who has paid any attention whatsoever, this should be no surprise at all. LeBron James has been publicly disrespecting Coach Spo all season and criticizing the coach for playing him too many minutes. LeBron also purposely bumped into Coach Spo in their loss to Dallas over the weekend. Chris Bosh also publicly criticized the coach for “working them too hard”.
The report indicates that the players are quietly grumbling about Coach Spo’s effectiveness and competence as a coach. They also believe he’s panicking in an attempt to keep his job. They specifically complain that he “isn’t allowing them to be themselves” and is “working them too hard”. One of the other reasons, and this should be no surprise whatsoever, is that Coach Spo publicly called out LeBron James. C’mon… everyone knows by now that NOTHING is LeBron’s fault and no one, let alone a coach, can ever call him out in front of his teammates.
Spoelstra reportedly criticized LeBron in front of the team telling him that he needed to get more serious. He then called him out in front of the team during a shoot around saying that he can never tell when he’s serious. Now I don’t know about you, but if THIS is being taken as harsh criticism by LeBron James, then he’s softer and more mentally weak than I EVER imagined! What a PU$$Y!!!
The players are also apparently questioning Coach Spo’s offensive strategy. If you’ve watched any games at all, you can see right through this. They’re trying to blame the coach, but it’s LeBron and company that are butchering the offense. When they’re unable to push the ball in transition, you see 1 of two things.
1. LeBron dribbles down the clock and either hoists up a fall away jumper or drives into traffic while 4 guys spot up and wait for a pass.
2. Dwayne Wade handles the ball and LeBron stands around on the wing.
Right, I’m sure it’s Coach Spo’s fault that LeBron is running a far worse version of his Cavaliers offense. I’m sure it’s Coach Spo’s fault that LeBron refuses to move without the ball or develop any sort of a post game whatsoever.
It’s no shock that these prima donnas are blaming the coach for their immense failure thus far this season. Just a couple months ago, LeBron James and company stood up on stage and declared themselves NBA champions for the next 8 years. They mocked the entire NBA and the 2 time defending champion Lakers for much of the summer and early NBA season.
Of course, their failure isn’t the players’ fault. It’s only a strange coincidence that the Heat look more like a watered down version of the Cleveland Cavaliers. It’s not LeBron’s fault that he’s dominating the ball and destroying any kind of offense whatsoever and turning Dwyane Wade into a jumpshooter. It much be the coach’s fault that they have zero toughness or leadership and that they just want to “chill”.
The details from Chris Broussard are not shocking, but they’re disturbing. And just as Phil Jackson predicted, Erik Spoelstra will wind up getting run out of Miami primarily by disgruntled and suddenly lazy LeBron James. LeBron has made it abundantly clear that he doesn’t respect or even like Coach Spo and he’s going to make sure he’s not around for long. The funny thing is, however, that people think Pat Riley will change things.
Pat Riley is a great coach, executive, and NBA icon. But LeBron James doesn’t respect anyone. Mike Brown took the blame for the Cavaliers offensive woes for 7 years in Cleveland. It was Mike Brown who wasn’t offensively bright enough and who forced the Cavaliers to stand around and watch LeBron James dribble down the shot clock. Well, maybe not so much. As we found out, LeBron James disrespected and undercut Brown constantly. LeBron consistently waived off offensive plays and schemes and did what he wanted. He was just good enough that it worked more often than not.
But when the playoffs came and against good teams, LeBron failed time and time again. Of course, it was never LeBron’s fault. It was always his teammates and/or coaches that held him back. Of course, once he was teamed up with his BFF’s and under the tutelage of NBA legend Pat Riley, they would shatter the NBA record books.
It’s still possible that they get this thing turned around, but it’s unlikely. LeBron has shown that he respects no one and I don’t think it will be any different with Pat Riley. He may publicly say and do the right things, but when it comes down to it, LeBron respects, and listens to one man. LeBron James.
Erik Spoelstra was in a no-win situation from the minute Pat Riley assembled this team. If they made it work and won a title, he merely did was he was supposed to do and what any coach could do with that team. If they struggle, however, it will never be the players’ fault. The Heat can’t change their roster at this point and those “stars” aren’t going anywhere for a few years. The only thing that can be changed, fair or unfair, is the coach.
At this point it’s crystal clear that LeBron James and Chris Bosh at a minimum have zero respect for Spoelstra. Udonis Haslem, the only player with any leadership or toughness on the team is out for an extended period of time and his influence is significantly diminished. LeBron James is running rough-shot over the Heat organization just as he did in Cleveland, but this time, it’s shaping up to be catastrophe.
Miami Heat Head Coach, Erik Spoelstra is literally in a no-win situation. If he wins it all, he did was he was supposed to do with a “Superteam”. If they don’t win, it will be all his fault. Any time they struggle, despite the clear deficiencies in the team and with certain players, it’s his fault. He’s already being undermined by his players in the early NBA season and the lack of respect seems to be getting worse.
LeBron James publicly called out his coach for “playing him too much” after the Heat were manhandled by the Celtics for the second time in the young season. Chris Bosh then called out his coach for “working them too much” when the “stars” just want to “chill”. Bosh demanded that Coach Spo meet them halfway.
The latest evidence of the complete and total lack of respect for Coach Spo happened in the Heat’s game against the Mavericks. Coach Spo called a timeout and as LeBron James was walking off the floor, Spo was walking onto the floor towards him. LeBron clearly saw him and intentionally bumped into him. Spo was less than pleased as you can imagine and flipped around with a rather angry look. I don’t blame him.
He’s been disrespected time and time again and it’s clear to me that the “stars” are trying to force Pat Riley onto the floor. LeBron James has never respected a coach. He continually undermined and circumvented Mike Brown in Cleveland and made Brown the scapegoat for the Cavaliers troubles. As you can see, the same issues have transferred to Miami and the only constants are LeBron and Zydrunas Ilgauskas. Do you really think Big Z is the reason the offense is again stagnant and LeBron either dominates the ball or stands around the perimeter?
I don’t even think LeBron would respect Riley, but he’s clearly fed up with Coach Spo and I think he’ll be disgruntled and dysfunctional as long as Spo is around. There are no guarantees he and the rest of the team will snap back into shape if and when Riley comes down to the floor, because there are serious problems on this team. But there are constant examples and evidence that LeBron and company have ZERO respect for their current coach.
Take a look… WOW, LeBron is a DICK!
Phil Jackson is arguably the best coach in the history of the NBA. He is undoubtedly the best coach in the history of the NBA when it comes to mind games, psychological warfare, and good, old fashioned, gamesmanship. They don’t call him the Zen Master for no reason. Phil talks a lot… but there is meaning (albeit sometimes hidden or subtle) behind each and every public comment he makes.
Last week, Phil commented on the possibility and according to some, likelihood, that we’ve all been speculating about since the Miami Heat landed their prized free agent class. This possibility or certainty depending on who you ask, is that of Pat Riley returning to the floor to coach a team that has a chance to win a title and pushing out incumbent coach, Erik Spoelstra much in the same way he did with Stan Van Gundy the last time the Heat won. Although as of today, it would appear that any coaching by Pat Riley would be done to salvage the season and to avoid the biggest bust in sports history rather than to take over once the team was primed for a championship.
Last week Jackson said:
“The scenario that sits kind of behind the scene, is that eventually these guys that were recruited — Bosh and James — by Pat Riley and Micky Arison, the owner, are going to come in and say, ‘We feel you (Riley) can do a better job coaching the team. We came here on the hopes that this would work,’ and whatever, I don’t know. That’s kind of my take on it, is that eventually if things don’t straighten out here soon, it could be the Van Gundy thing all over again.”
Phil drew large criticism for his comments and the target of his comments, Erik Spoelstra, called them “Inappropriate” and “Ignorant”. I don’t blame him. Spoelstra is in a no win situation in Miami. If he wins, he did what he was supposed to do with that kind of talent. If he loses, then it’s all his fault as we have already learned that nothing is LeBron James and company’s fault.
In addition, no matter what he does or says, the players clearly don’t respect or listen to him. Just look at the comments by LeBron James criticizing the coach for playing him too many minutes. Just look at Chris Bosh‘s comments that the coach is inappropriately working them too hard when they just want to “chill”. They clearly have no respect for “Coach Spo” as they like to call him (largely because they can’t pronounce his name). Hell, LeBron couldn’t even pronounce the name of the damn OWNER!
And the last, and maybe difficult situation working against Spoelstra is that he must constantly look over his shoulder waiting for Pat Riley to come downstairs in his $5,000 suits and push him out the door like he did a few years ago with Stan Van Gundy. He’s just in a no win situation and the last thing he needs is the game’s best coach predicting that he’ll be pushed aside. The only thing worse would be for one of his 3 stars to say the same (as if they haven’t already said so in private).
Jackson has since softened on his stance saying “It was an off-handed remark about if things continue to go poorly for Miami, what might happen. But, obviously Stan felt that he had to say something. Unfortunately he got defensive about it. I didn’t mean to do that. I should apologize because I do not know about his situation.”
Some apology huh? Well it gets better in typical Phil fashion:
“Stan was going home to be with his family and that was his reason for leaving. I have no idea about the rest of it; why he came back out (to another job) after retiring and being with his family. But, that’s his decision and fine.”
When discussing his previous comments about Spoelstra Phil offered a slightly more genuine tone:
“I’m not throwing any aspersions on Spoelstra. He’s a very fine young coach.”
Now like I said, Phil doesn’t say much, if anything, without a reason. He is the very best at getting in the opponent’s head and it certainly appears that he’s already done so as the Heat and the Magic are two of the main competitors for the Lakers in the East.
In addition, he’s 100% correct and he’s not saying anything that every other basketball fan, writer, or analyst hasn’t been saying for months! Maybe Phil is trying to subconsciously talk the stars into lobbying for Riley to coach. The more dysfunction that exists in the Miami locker room, the better. For the Lakers and the rest of the league who were mocked by the South Beach Trio during their “Welcome Party”.
Either that, or Phil is trying to get the scenario out in the open to make it harder for Riley to take over quietly or to make up some BS excuse as to why Spoelstra is stepping down. Even though we would all have known exactly what was going on anyway if it were to happen, after these comments, there will be little doubt.
In a Cindy Lauper-esque fit of whining following the Heat’s blowout loss to the Indiana Pacers, LeBron James made it clear that he just wants to have fun! As if the motivations of the superstar trio weren’t made painfully clear last week when Chris Bosh criticized Coach Erik Spoelstra for working the team too hard when they “just wanna chill”. Bosh then demanded that the coach “meet them halfway.”
Brian Windhorst, former Cavs beat writer, accepted a job with ESPN to cover the Miami Heat this season. He is as familiar as anyone with LeBron James as he’s followed him throughout his high school and college career. Windhorst quoted LeBron James last night as saying:
“You’ve got to have fun while you’re (playing). We’re not doing that right now, we’re not having fun at all.”
I hate to tell you LeBron, but ask Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant if winning NBA Championships is “fun” while you’re fighting for NBA prominence. It’s clear that LeBron and company not only assumed, but EXPECTED the rest of the NBA to roll over for them and hand them the trophy.
This type of attitude is exactly what has been holding LeBron’s incredible physical talent back from reaching its full potential. He is mentally weak. Period. Everyone thought Dan Gilbert was batshit crazy when he said about LeBron, “some people think they should get to heaven and and not have to die to get there.”
But looking at how LeBron and the Miami Heat have approached this off-season and the beginning of the regular season, it certainly rings true.
LeBron is the one who stood up on the stage in Miami with the dry ice and the lights and club music predicting not 5, not 6, not 7, not 8 championships. LeBron is the one who stood up there mocking the rest of the NBA by saying that Pat Riley could literally step onto the floor today and run the point with him and they would still dominate the NBA.
LeBron is now the man who whined about playing too minutes after he failed down the stretch against the rival Celtics. The one who always points the finger in the opposite direction. It has never been and in LeBron’s mind, will never be his fault. EVER.
The Miami Heat are now 8-6 and while there is a lot of NBA season ahead of us, they are severely struggling. They have been manhandled and beaten around and they look NOTHING like an NBA Champion or a team to challenge Jordan’s 72 win total.
The Heat just lost the only player with any mental or physical toughness, any leadership whatsoever, and any heart in Udonis Haslem for the foreseeable future. And after this horrific start, after LeBron has turned the Miami Heat with all his own handpicked teammates into a watered down version of the Cavaliers offense, he just wants to have fun.
LeBron thinks “having fun” is the key to winning in the NBA? I hate to tell him, but he and the team aren’t having fun because they’re not very good. They’re not having fun because the rest of the NBA isn’t rolling over for them; they’re actually making them work for what they want. They’re not having fun because LeBron’s domination of the basketball and complete disruption of anything resembling an offense has turned Dwyane Wade into a spot up jump shooter. And just look at how Dwyane has played this year to see if that’s going to be a successful formula.
The Bottomline is you just have to look at LeBron and the way he approaches the game and any objective person can see that mentioning him in the same breath as Jordan, Bird or Magic or even Kobe is pure blasphemy!
Jordan, despite the fact that he and the Bulls WERE actually that much better than everyone else, NEVER just expected teams to lay down and hand him the trophy. Just ask Jordan and Kobe what it takes to win an NBA Championship and I guarantee you the word “FUN” will NEVER come out of their mouth.
By now we’re all aware of LeBron James publicly calling out coach Erik Spoelstra following the Miami Heat’s loss to the Boston Celtics. Of course, LeBron James’ failure down the stretch where me missed two free throws, a layup, and bricked a 3 pointer off the side of the backboard was not his fault. As we now know, it was his coach’s fault for playing him too many minutes. That’s right, the 25 year old superstar and self proclaimed “King” complained that he played too many minutes and wasn’t “Fresh” enough down the stretch. I and everyone else have written about the ridiculousness that goes with this statement, but LeBron is at it again.
The “King” just can’t shut up and he is in desperate need of someone other than the dozens of YES MEN that he surrounds himself with. Now LeBron is whining about his whining being taken out of context. He’s backpedaling faster than Darrelle Revis covering Randy Moss as he’s now blaming the media for taking his comments out of context and blowing it out of proportion. After all, saying the coach was at fault for playing him and Dwyane Wade too many minutes isn’t a criticism of the coach… wait… what?
If that’s not criticizing the coach and if that’s not whining about playing too minutes, then I guess LeBron speaks another dialect of the English language that I’m not familiar with. But LeBron is insisting that his comments were taken out of context and he threatened to stop talking to the media and take a page out of the Randy Moss playbook. Right LeBron, great guy to model your PR strategies after!
Before Saturday’s game, James said his comments were “Blown out of proportion”.
He then went on to say “You kind of understand sometimes what Randy Moss is talking about, when he says I will not be answering any more questions. Because every time I say something it gets turned out of character”.
That’s right, OUT OF CHARACTER! So not only is James whining about his whining being blown out of proportion, but he actually DOES appear to speak a different dialect of the English language!
He then went on to let us know that he and Coach Spo are on the same page as far as minutes are concerned and they have discussed it.
“It’s a conversation that me and Coach Spo had, and that’s what i was basically saying, that he’s still trying to figure out rotations. That’s what it was all about. And the rotations will be figured out through the course of the year, where i don’t have to play 44 minutes and D-Wade doesn’t have to play 40 minutes. I do think there will be games where we will both both have to play high minutes”.
First of all, that is NOTHING like what he said following the Celtics loss so I guess this must be the English translation of whatever dialect he was speaking following the loss to Boston. But he’s essentially saying that he’s in charge of rotations and minutes and he’s STILL whining about having to play 40+ minutes. My god, you’re 25 years old and supposedly one of the best athletes in the world. You can’t play 40 minutes in a game? In a tight game against an Eastern Conference rival? Wow. It just goes to show you what kind of a competitor and a leader he really is. Or isn’t.
This is nothing new for Cavs fans who had a front row seat for the last 7 years and who were unfortunately shown who he really is, but it’s funny that everyone else is starting to see his true colors. He can complain all he wants about his comments being “Taken out of character”, but the reality is that he is not a competitor, he’s not a leader, and he just wants the trophy handed to him without having to earn it.
We all know my thoughts on LeBron James and his inability to be a leader or even an intelligent basketball player. We all know my thoughts on the Heat and that they’ll never beat the great teams. But after the second beat down by the Boston Celtics of the young NBA season last night, the rest of the world finally got to see a glimpse of the true LeBron James and the reason I’ve written what I’ve written for the last few months.
Following the loss to the Celtics in which LeBron James got his 35 points but disrupted the team’s offense, missed key shots down the stretch, and wasn’t able to close the game out yet again, LeBron James made it quite clear that it wasn’t his fault. Of course it wasn’t his fault. It never is. The only shocking part about what he said is that he didn’t blame Cleveland somehow for the loss and his inability come up big for the Heat at the end of the game.
LeBron James called out his young coach after the game saying “For myself, 44 minutes is too much. I think Coach Spo knows that. 40 minutes for D-Wade is too much. We have to have as much energy as we can to finish games out.”
Really? LeBron is 25 years old, he’s one of the best physical specimens in the history of the NBA and it’s NOVEMBER and he’s complaining about getting too many minutes? Not only that, but he’s going out of his way to make sure that everyone knows it’s the coach’s fault that he couldn’t finish down the stretch because he played too much. He doesn’t think he can go 44 minutes? Really? He should be able to go 96 minutes if called upon. Actually, he should WANT to go as many minutes as possible to get the win. But he doesn’t. He doesn’t want to be responsible for the loss so he puts the blame on the coach.
Just watch as LeBron will blame the coach and eventually his teammates and he’ll likely run Coach Spo out and force Riley to take over. LeBron always blamed his failures on his teammates and lack of surrounding talent while in Cleveland. Now that he’s handpicked his teammates and his team, he’s got no one to blame. Except, of course, his coach. I just hope everyone sees through his BS and sees him for what he really is. He’s a frontrunner. Always has been & always will be. He is great when the pressure isn’t on him. When someone else is responsible and he can just chip in, he’s incredible. But when he’s held accountable, he crumbles under the pressure. Period.
He continues to tell us how great he is, what an incredible leader he is, and how they’ll win the next 8 titles but when push comes to shove, he always falls short. He’s never backed up his big talk, ever. He’s always been more about the spectacle and the show than the actual game and competition and it doesn’t seem that anything has or will change. It’s embarrassing to me that he’s whining about getting too many minutes in a game that he fell apart down the stretch in. It’s ridiculous that he’s blaming 44 minutes for himself and 40 minutes for D-Wade as the reason they can’t beat the Celtics.
Look in the mirror LeBron. You’re not a champion and no matter how much you try and no matter how many marketing campaigns you roll out, you cannot manufacture a legacy or a championship.