Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Following the Heat's 88-86 victory in game 3 of the NBA Finals, LeBron James was asked a terrible question during the press conference. The team had just won the game, yet a reporter felt the need to ask James why he had "shrunk" in the fourth quarter, because he hadn't scored much. Clearly the reason was because Dwyane Wade was on fire and there was simply no reason for James to force shots when a teammate was scoring at will anyways. Asking the question after a WIN was absolutely ridiculous, and James answer to the question was about as nice as possible given the situation.
I figured that question and the silly press it got over the last few days would be enough for LeBron James to come out and have one of those monster "I'm LeBron James" type games, where he goes off for 30 points and a near triple double. But instead, James actually did shrink. He scored EIGHT POINTS. I cannot get over that. LeBron James, the most dominating basketball player on the face of the earth, scored EIGHT GOD DAMN POINTS. I don't care if he grabbed 9 boards and added 7 assists; he still only scored EIGHT POINTS. It's insane.
Watching him play last night it was clear, once and for all, why James went to Miami. Everyone keeps trying to compare him to Jordan, but the fact is there will never be another Michael Jordan. LeBron James is destined for a career as Robin to Wade's batman. James is clearly the more talented player, but Wade has carried the Heat on his back in these Finals. If we want to continue with the mid 90's Bulls comparisons, LeBron is Pippen to Wade's Jordan. Obviously Wade is not in the same class as Jordan either, but there's been little doubt that Wade has been the Heat's best player through the first four games of this series.
Anyways, LeBron went to the Heat because he doesn't want to keep shrinking in those moments. He's sick of failing, year after year, and then having to deal with the questions wondering why he can't succeed when it matters most. So now that he's on Wade's team, and trust me, it's Wade's team, he has no problem deferring to Wade in most late-game situations because it's easier to say "Hey, I let him do it" rather than trying to explain why you missed a game winner or why you scored EIGHT GOD DAMN POINTS in the NBA Finals.
Here are four notable eight point performances:
- Duke leads by 8 against UNC in 1974 with 17 seconds left, only to eventually lose the game. Without a three point line.
- Reggie Miller scoring 8 points in 8.9 seconds to shock the Knicks in the 1995 playoffs.
- Goran Dragic scoring 8 points in a minute in the 2010 Western Conference Finals.
- LeBron James scoring 8 points in 46 minutes in game 4 of the 2011 NBA Finals.
Now, I still think the Heat will win the series. LeBron played absolutely brutally and the Heat still only lost by 3, and they are definitely the more talented team. But even if the Heat do win the series, LeBron James still scored just eight points in an NBA Finals game. I hate to say it, but maybe Skip Bayless has been right all these years that he's been hating on LeBron. Prince James might even be too kind.
Care to see what happens when you search Google for LeBum?
Oh, and stop with the Jordan comparisons. Jordan's point totals in every NBA Finals game? Take a look.
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