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LeBron James, above the din, can 'taste' a title

Posted on: June 7, 2011 1:26 pm
Edited on: June 7, 2011 2:09 pm
LeBron James says the Miami Heat are "starting to taste" a title. Posted by Ben Golliver. lebron-james-wall

DALLAS -- The Miami Heat are halfway home, up two games to one over the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA Finals.

For Heat forward LeBron James, two more wins will mean his first ring and validation for his decision to skip out of Cleveland to join Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh

"Of course we’re starting to taste it," James said following Miami's morning shootaround in advance of Tuesday night's Game 4. "But we’ve got a lot of work. This game tonight is going to be extremely hard, just like Game 3, just like Game 2, just like Game 1."

As that goal gets closer, the noise level seems only to increase.

On Monday, Mavericks guard Jason Terry publicly questioned whether James would be able to continue guarding him late in games and Mavericks guard DeShawn Stevenson called the Heat "actors"

James acknowledged that he had heard Terry's comments, but played them off.

"Those guys have a right to say what they want to say," James said. "For me and D-Wade and for our team, we just try to go out and play our game, let our game do the talking. It’s not about listening to clips, those guys have the right to say want to say."

Over the weekend, James made it clear that Mavericks forward Shawn Marion couldn't stop him individually on defense, that it would take a team concept. He used a similar line of thinking, but in reverse, to frame Miami's defense on Terry.

"It’s no one on one match-up between me and [Terry]," James said. "I don’t get involved in that. I just go out there and execute what we need to do.

"It’s a team game. Defensively we all have to be in tune. Not only on Jason Terry, but on Dirk, Jason Kidd, Tyson Chandler, Shawn Marion." 

James' teammates scoffed at the notion that James, who is playing nearly 44 minutes per game in the postseason, would have trouble keeping up with Terry.

"He’s not going to wear down," Wade said.

"You gotta let sleeping dogs lie sometimes," Bosh added. "But maybe [Terry is] trying to get himself going, and maybe that's what he looks for."

But Terry isn't James' only detractor. Some here in Texas have questioned whether James' ring will be cheapened if Wade wins Finals MVP. That scenario would bolster the "James is only a sidekick for hire" argument that developed immediately after James decided to leave Cleveland.

"That’s ridiculous," James said. "I’m here to win. That’s all it’s about. Individual accolades take care of itself. I’ve got two MVP trophies sitting in my back house in Ohio. I haven’t won anything. It’s all about a team game, this is the ultimate team prize right here and that’s trying to win the NBA championship. I don’t really care, I could trade in my last two MVP trophies to have a ring."
James noted that he's been passed over for awards before.

"I would have started a long time ago playing golf or playing tennis if I wanted to be an individual guy. I’ve always loved team sports... Even though I was the best player on the team my little league coach gave everybody on the team an MVP trophy at the end of the year. That’s just how I was brought up."

Despite that strange and vivid flashback to an apparent childhood snub, James was ultimately convincing when he talked about his single-minded focus on the title.

"It’s here for us," he said without any trace of unnecessary excitement.


Since: Oct 18, 2009
Posted on: June 7, 2011 4:16 pm

LeBron James, above the din, can 'taste' a title

C'mon, don't be ignorant about it. That was a year ago. If his elbow was hurting, you think he's not going to get it taken care of as a PRO ATHLETE?  Let it go, man.  Really. You'll have a happier life, trust me.

Since: Aug 31, 2009
Posted on: June 7, 2011 4:16 pm

LeBron James, above the din, can 'taste' a title

BOBO72: You're an idiot!!

Since: Jan 15, 2007
Posted on: June 7, 2011 4:09 pm

LeBron James, above the din, can 'taste' a title


Since: Sep 4, 2007
Posted on: June 7, 2011 3:42 pm

LeBron James, above the din, can 'taste' a title

What I really love about this is how focused Lebron, Wade and Bosh are.  Haters are bordering on neart hysteria in their comdemnation of Lebron in particular and Miami in general.  Especially funny are the people that say that their rings wont count!!  If they....when they win a title I wonder how are all those magicians are going to make the rings magically disappear from their fingers and the history books?  I still dont get the hatred and anomosity.  I guess I should file that under mysteries of the mind.  Miami winning or losing the title will do nothing for your individual pockets haters.  If you notice they have yet to build a statue for a critic.

Since: Oct 6, 2006
Posted on: June 7, 2011 3:39 pm

LeBron James, above the din, can 'taste' a title

Amazing to me that the media faults LeBron for being unselfish.  The sportwriters always say about others "he is an unselfish player" and "he does it the right way" but with James its "he is scared to step up."  Also, they always say defense wins championships.  James has made his mark as a shutdown defensive player in this series.  But the media says he is not scoring enough.  "Sidekick for hire" is ad hominim and has nothing to do with his play on the court, its just hate.  Then James tells a story that out of any other players mouth would be praised as the right thing to say.  He says he says that he was fine with the team getting an MVP when he was a kid.  If Steve Nash, or Drew Brees (or Grant Hill not to be racial) had said that the media would say what a great thing to say.  James says it and its "strange and vivid flashback to an apparent childhood snub."  How is it an appearant snub when James said he didn't take it as a snub.  Oh well, I'm not a Heat fan but all the gratuitous hatred of LeBron seems really unnecessary to me.

Since: Oct 13, 2006
Posted on: June 7, 2011 3:31 pm

LeBron James, above the din, can 'taste' a title

I have to agree with your comment ' FINAL WORD '
IT's about TEAM WORK,Not just one player.
The FINAL WORD is The Heat WILL WIN Game 4,in WIRE to WIRE Fashion.and silence the critics.

Since: Apr 28, 2010
Posted on: June 7, 2011 3:28 pm

LeBron James, above the din, can 'taste' a title

I've watched pro ball for almost 30 years now.  Grew up loving the 76ers but Magic Johnson was my favorite player, go figure.  Lebron is without a doubt the best athlete I've ever seen in this league.  The MJ comparison was silly by Pippen, which is why he retracted it and said what he really knows within hours of comparing the two.  If Lebron keeps up this pace he'll be a top 10 player ever, which is one hell of a feat.  I can name 4 guys in the league that can argue Lebron even being the best player in the league today.  But tennis and golf?  Hehe.  No.  Lebron is such a great basketball player because of his physical talent.  Those individual sports would of eaten his as.s up.  Fortunately for us, we get to see such a great athlete in such an athletic sport.

Since: Jan 9, 2007
Posted on: June 7, 2011 3:16 pm

LeBron James, above the din, can 'taste' a title

Remember what Dallas did after its second Finals win in 2006? It published the victory parade route in the paper! And now LeBron with two wins in the finals is as close as Dirk ever was to winning one.

Tonight's game will be even bigger than Game 3, though. A Heat win and it's over in 5-6. A Mavs win and we have a series with Miami still clinging to the home court advantage (which doesn't seem to mean much given the way the road team has won 2 of 3).

Since: Jan 17, 2007
Posted on: June 7, 2011 3:13 pm

LeBron James, above the din, can 'taste' a title

How does anyone on the Mavs call a Heat player an Actor when they have the perennial Oscar Winner on their team. Dirk flops every time down the court.

And for the record, all that "acting" got them twice as many fouls called on them and half as many free throws than the Mavs in Game 3.

Their should be a ban on insignificant player's (ie. Stevenson) access to the media.

Since: Jan 3, 2011
Posted on: June 7, 2011 3:12 pm

LeBron James, above the din, can 'taste' a title

It's funny to think about it this way but...

If LeBron stayed in Cleveland and was out of the playoffs right now, would everyone be saying, "Wow, how awesomely loyal was LeBron for staying in Cleveland, even though he is sitting at home watching the NBA Finals like the rest of us?" ...

... OR, would everyone be saying, "Man LeBron blew it! He could be in Miami with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh right now!"

I realize that if he didn't sign with Miami, Wade and Bosh may very well be at LeBron's house right now watching the Finals with him saying, "See, we told you you should have signed in Miami with us..."

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