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LeBron James takes heat, from himself and others

Posted on: June 8, 2011 6:12 pm
Edited on: June 8, 2011 6:55 pm
 
Miami Heat forward LeBron James takes criticism from himself and others. Posted by Ben Golliver. lebron-james-face

DALLAS – Following Miami Heat forward LeBron James’ confounding no-show in Game 4 of the NBA Finals, the question on everyone’s mind on Wednesday was simple: What the heck happened?

 “[He] checked out,” Dallas Mavericks guard DeShawn Stevenson said. Later, he referred to James’ detached passivity as “weird.”

“I just feel like he wasn’t in attack mode,” Stevenson added. “I think when he’s in attack mode, he can put a lot of pressure on us. I don’t know what was happening last night, but me playing against him all these years, that wasn’t himself.”

James wouldn’t bite when asked about Stevenson’s comments.

“DeShawn, he's been talking for a long time, since our Washington‑Cleveland days,” James said. “I don't let that get to us. Those guys are playing well. We're playing well. It's a three‑game series. Talk is cheap. You have to play the game of basketball. Let the scores and the plays define the game. We don't get caught up in that too much.”

While those two exchanged words like they have for years, the rest of the Mavericks were more concerned with pinpointing the reasons for James’ lack of assertiveness on offense and talking up his ability as a playmaker.

Mavericks forward Shawn Marion pointed to Heat guard Dwyane Wade’s ball dominance late as a major contributing factor in James’ struggles.

“They’ve got to take turns on who handles the ball, who’s not handling the ball,” Marion said. “[James is] one of their primary ball handlers. When he’s not handling the ball, he’s not in the play.”

Stevenson agreed. “If you have a player like Dwyane Wade or Chris Bosh and they have it going, you tend to defer… You go back and look at film and TV, you can kind of see he’s deferring.”

The player who came to James’ defense more than any other, surprisingly, was Mavericks guard Jason Terry, who questioned James’ defense earlier this week. Terry said on Tuesday that James can dominate a game even without scoring and seemed to imply that the criticism of James' Game 4 performance was overkill.

“Pick your poison,” Terry said of James as a scorer or as a facilitator. “Him getting a triple double, that will help them. They’ll win the game. He almost had one last night, and they almost won the game. LeBron is unique. He’s a unique character. If you want to categorize him as just a scorer, you’re doing it all wrong. He’s like Magic. He’s a guy who can affect a game without scoring 30, 40 points. He can get it done on both ends.”

Terry did get in one subtle dig, though.

"I don't really care what to expect from him [in Game 5],“ Terry said.

In other words, this series won’t be decided by James alone.

Stevenson and Marion, despite the trash talking throughout the week and during games -- which Stevenson calls "jaw-jacking" -- did make an outward attempt to distance themselves from the back-and-forth.

“Great players just need a little thing to get it going,” Stevenson said. “You don’t want to say anything bad or anything, but he’s talented enough to use anything in the paper to boost his ego.”

“Y’all gonna gas up anything we say regardless,” said Marion said just hours after Deadspin.com posted a video of him scoring on James and directing a taunt at him. “I don’t get into that talking smack. We’re competitors, and we’ve got respect for each other.”

At the eye of the storm, James said he’s trying to tune everything out, including the media reaction to the worst game of his playoff career.  

“I haven't read anything that was written,” James said. “I didn't play well, especially offensively. I know that. I've got to do a better job of helping this team win basketball games, especially late, no matter what it is.” 

Besides, James said he doesn't need to listen to others criticize him. He is already doing that to himself.

“Eight points is definitely inexcusable for myself,” James said. “I hold myself up to a higher standard. I had to do a better job of putting myself in situations where I can benefit myself and my team, no matter how many minutes I'm out on the floor.

“I was hard on myself all last night,” James said. “Anytime I feel like I could have played better and the team loses, that's what it's all about. If I have a bad game and we win, I'm hard on myself, but at the end of the day we win the basketball game. That's ultimately what it's all about. When we lose and I don't play well and I feel like I could have did one or two more things to help our team win or get over the hump, you're definitely hard on yourself.  That's just me. That's just the make‑up of who I am.”         

After four games of this NBA Finals, hours of talk, and thousands of words, we couldn't have less of an idea of who James is. His demeanor, his play and his confidence all fluctuate by the day.

We'll see which James shows up to Game 5 on Thursday night.

Comments

Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: June 9, 2011 12:22 am
 

LeBron James takes heat, from himself and others

How is this a story? Stevenson didnn't take shots at Lebron at all. He simply said that Lebron hasn't been completely on his game like usual, which is true. Sure, he might've worded it differently, but you'd have to be an idiot to think he was taking a shot at James with THAT statement. And Marion simply said that when Lebron has the ball in his hands, things happen, which is just stating the obvious. The media is like a bunch of brainless monkeys sometimes.

If I was his coach and/or teammate I'd punch Stevenson right in the mouth.... what an idiot.  Rule number 1 when you have momentum in the finals in any pro sports league is you never under any circumstances give the other team bulletin board material.  In this case Stevenson did worse.. he gave the best basketball player in the NBA even more reason to come out big in game 5..... how stupid can one person be???  Wow.



Since: Jan 17, 2010
Posted on: June 9, 2011 12:21 am
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Since: Aug 4, 2010
Posted on: June 9, 2011 12:07 am
 

LeBron James takes heat, from himself and others

How stupid are you? The heat foul 2 times or more for every call Dallas gets. They are flopping at will and getting fke calls. Without the zebras, this would have been a sweep. The heat cant win without the "big 3" and by that I mean the extra 3 players they have on the court at all times. The refs.



Since: Jun 12, 2008
Posted on: June 9, 2011 12:00 am
 

LeBron James takes heat, from himself and others

How is this a story? Stevenson didnn't take shots at Lebron at all. He simply said that Lebron hasn't been completely on his game like usual, which is true. Sure, he might've worded it differently, but you'd have to be an idiot to think he was taking a shot at James with THAT statement. And Marion simply said that when Lebron has the ball in his hands, things happen, which is just stating the obvious. The media is like a bunch of brainless monkeys sometimes.



Since: Aug 4, 2010
Posted on: June 8, 2011 11:56 pm
 

LeBron James takes heat, from himself and others

Well let me see. HMMMMMMM. This series is VERY similar to the "championship" that miami "won" vs Dallas the last time they played where Dallas won every game by 10 or more and managed to lose in 7 games because the nba in their infinite bullshit wisdom said so before the series even started. I have no dog in this fight as I am a Grizzlies fan but I do love basketball and have played it on several levels. What I do know is that if it wasnt for the PHANTOM foul calls in the heats favor, this series would already be over as the last one would have been. A sweep. James is a joke. He is a GREAT player who doesnt know how to be great. Wade deserves an oscar for his faking(and getting calls) fouls. What a sissy. Lebron is right behind him with his flopping all over the place because it is easier to fake a foul than plat ball and here we go again with the nba predetermining who wins and it shows. IT IS OBVIOUS. If you cant see it you have no eyes or you are a bandwagon wannabe fan who is riding the so calles "big 3". There has been a minimum of 5 BOGUS calls in the heats favor(and i am not talking about the normal missed or wrong calls but the ones any fool can see is intentional) per game and it is a joke and the nba should be boycotted for this type of behavior. I challenge ANY member of the heat(except Mike Miller he was at Memphis) to a free publicized cage match so I can legally take my frustrations out on his face. I have to give Bibby a pass as well because he was robbed when the nba pulled the same shit and gave the championship to LA over the kings when that should have been 5 games and done. I would love to beat the monket piss out of any of those clowns just o get my point across. Choking them till they blow bubbles and then hammer fisting them would make me feel much better than watching the nba GIVE the heat another championship. That is the ONLY way they can win. Since when did wade become Jordan? Jordan never got that many fake calls in a game. james travels at least 10 times a game and has only been whistled once as far as i know. There is nothing that a REAL basketball fan hates more than watching a predetermined game being played. It really sucks when a team has to play out of their minds in order to beat an 8 man team. The fact that Dallas has won any games just shows how much better they are. If the calls were going the other way, they would be winning by 25 or more. Anyone that is stupid enough to say that I am wrong please do because that octagon challenge goes for you too. If you disagree with this you are stupid and need to be a few teeth shorter.


philsfan1
Since: Jul 22, 2010
Posted on: June 8, 2011 11:56 pm
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Since: Dec 19, 2006
Posted on: June 8, 2011 11:38 pm
 

LeBron James takes heat, from himself and others

“[He] checked out,” Dallas guard said. Later, he referred to James’ detached passivity as “weird.”

“I just feel like he wasn’t in attack mode,” Stevenson added. “I think when he’s in attack mode, he can put a lot of pressure on us. I don’t know what was happening last night, but me playing against him all these years, that wasn’t himself.”

Other than the "checked out" part, this is not derogatory towards Lebron.  He is saying..."I don't get it, he wasn't himself last night.  He's usually better."

How is this taking heat?  Because DeShawn used 2 words to open the statement that he probably used incorrectly.  Every other statement he makes is saying that

1) LeBron is really good
2) Dallas is worried about themselves more than anything



Since: Aug 14, 2006
Posted on: June 8, 2011 11:01 pm
 

LeBron James takes heat, from himself and others

"Talk is cheap." Coming from the guy who within the last week claimed no one in the NBA could guard him, while following his own "talk" up with two of his lowest playoff scoring games of all time. HAHA. 



Since: Jul 22, 2007
Posted on: June 8, 2011 10:44 pm
 

LeBron James takes heat, from himself and others

Even if I think the moron sports writers who are criticizing LeBron are complete dumb -ass-es-- AT LEAST, I could understand the fact that, most likely, they're just trying to get noticed-- like the complete idiot, Gregg Doyel with his gazillion responses to his dumb article the other day.  But, how in the world could the Mavs think that by criticizing him- it could do ANYTHING positive for them?   I hope LBJ DESTROYS them in the next two games.  Why can't people understand his role is different on this team than in years past?  If he scored 30 plus- then, maybe Bosh doesn't.  Regardless whether he comes through or not in the next 2 or 3 games- he will be a Hall of Famer - and known as one of the greatest players of all time. If the Heat don't win it in their first year with the big 3 together- they'll only learn from experience and probably win the next 5 or 6. Either way- these idiot MAVS players (and EVERYONE ELSE) will be sorry- and proven WRONG! 




Since: Sep 14, 2006
Posted on: June 8, 2011 10:27 pm
 

LeBron James takes heat, from himself and others

Put some of this on the coach. He's got a star in LBJ and he's got him catching the ball 30 ft from the basket with J-Terry guarding him. Uh... there's a mismatch here Erik! I'm a Laker fan, but even I can see that Lebron is not in a position to take advantage of his strengths. When Terry and Kidd are on him, Miami should move Lebron on the block and let him use his strength. The Heat are dysfunctional in the halfcourt. If the Mavs take care of the ball and contain the turnovers, this is their series!


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