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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 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.


Since: Sep 27, 2006
Posted on: June 8, 2011 10:08 pm

LeBron James takes heat, from himself and others

Is LeBron James the GCOAT (Greatest Choker Of All Time)?  I think all the comparisons to Michael Jordan can be flushed down the toilet.  Michael Jordan never scored in single digits in a playoff game, he never quit on his team (like LeChoke did last year), he never faked an elbow injury in a playoff series, and he never got swept in an NBA Finals series.  LeCrybaby has done all these and more.  While Dwyane Wade has stepped up and played like a legitimate superstar, LeWhiner has gone back to his familiar old routine of coming up short in the playoffs and making excuses.  Oh well, at least last night, when he turned the ball over several times, he didn't try to say he was crab dribbling.

Since: Mar 20, 2008
Posted on: June 8, 2011 10:06 pm

LeBron James takes heat, from himself and others

What this article doesn't say is that Stevenson went on to say that Lebron is so good that he could use anything to get motivated.  All Stevenson was sayiing is what we all saw watching that game.  

Since: May 12, 2007
Posted on: June 8, 2011 9:56 pm

LeBron James takes heat, from himself and others

Deshawn Stevenson should not talk about nobody.  Deshawn Stevenson needs to focus on himself. Deshawn Stevenson talks all this trash and the guy stinks.  Why does the sports media even ask this loser Stevenson questions in the first place.  First Stevenson says the HEAT are Hollywood and get easy fouls, but the moron didn't even realize that his team been to the foul line  more in the series. 

Since: May 29, 2011
Posted on: June 8, 2011 9:50 pm

LeBron James takes heat, from himself and others


Since: May 19, 2007
Posted on: June 8, 2011 9:44 pm

LeBron James takes heat, from himself and others

Lebron is going to get his rings.  He made a very smart move by going to Miami.  He knows himself, how weak minded he is.  Not all of the time but he just doesn't have the ability to be present 100% of the time.  With Wade and Bosh he doesn't have to.  So again he will get his rings, but he just won't be Michael Jordan.  He can't he just flat does not have the mental toughness.  However all of this is good news for Wade.  He had his Pippen when he had Shaq and he won a championship.  Now he has his Pippen and Roddman in LeBron and Bosh so he will get some more rings.  This means that LeBRon will still not end up with the most rings...Wade will.  Speaking of Michael Jordan his worst Finals scoring performance was 22 points. 

Since: Oct 14, 2010
Posted on: June 8, 2011 9:36 pm

LeBron James takes heat, from himself and others

I want the Mavs to win what may be their only championship for many years to come.  I want LeBron's likely multiple championships to be delayed at least one year so we can all make fun of his summer of 2010 performance.  But, Stevenson has no business opening his trap.  Stevenson's fourth quarter play was horrible.  A turnover here, a brick there.  He was a liability in crunch time.  As the saying goes: "Let sleeping stars lie."  Stevenson's remarks don't belong in the game and if you are going to say them, wait until after you have won.  You'll still be wrong but it will take a whole off season for the other guy to forget.  Watch James shove Stevenson's nose in it and then we'll have Jason Terry kicking his teammates azz while JET has his tat lasered off.

Since: May 1, 2008
Posted on: June 8, 2011 9:35 pm

LeBron James takes heat, from himself and others

Out of all these posts the only one that hit the nail is that Lebron lacks heart. He is also an emotional child that loses himself in his own self doubt (insecurities). Remember, Lebron wanted to drop out of High School his Jr. year to join the NBA. He is impatient and expects things to come easily and when they don't he folds. When the greatest player in the history of BB states that no body can guard him (Marion) and that he is going to get into attack mode, there is NO EXCUSE to follow up those comments with two low scoring, sub par games!

Does he have the skills, an extremely high BB IQ, a physique to dominate with... most definitley! Is he the greatest player in the NBA today, NO, but he is ONE of them! Can he become the greatest player in the NBA today, most definitely. Will he ever be the greatest to ever play the game, DEFINITLY NOT!

Since: Nov 18, 2007
Posted on: June 8, 2011 9:32 pm

LeBron James takes heat, from himself and others

20 bucks says he's wearing an arm sleeve for game 5.  You know how those elbow injures tend to flair up

Since: May 29, 2011
Posted on: June 8, 2011 9:26 pm

LeBron James takes heat, from himself and others

The best thing for the Heat is if they bench Lebron. Don't even dress him and put someone in that will actually contribute.

Since: Jan 27, 2007
Posted on: June 8, 2011 9:15 pm

LeBron James takes heat, from himself and others

James uses the letter "I" far too often when starting sentences.

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