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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: May 25, 2011
Posted on: June 8, 2011 8:10 pm
 

LeBron James takes heat, from himself and others

HEY TREZEDAILY, YOU HIT IT RIGHT ON THE HEAD! HE'S NUMBER 2 TO WADE AND SOMETIMES NUMBER 3 OR 4! MJ WAS SECOND TO NONE....AND I NEVER REMEMBERED KOBE SCORING 8 POINTS IN A FINALS GAME WHEN IT WAS ALL ON THE LINE!! LIKE I SAID BEFORE AND I WILL SAY AGAIN...LBJ IS A GREAT PLAYER...BUT THE BOY LACKS..HEART!!!



Since: Feb 16, 2008
Posted on: June 8, 2011 8:09 pm
 

LeBron James takes heat, from himself and others

People have been suggesting all kinds of names for LeBron - LeChoke, LeBum, etc. What about LeVegas?




Since: Oct 20, 2009
Posted on: June 8, 2011 8:02 pm
 

LeBron James takes heat, from himself and others

Personally, I'm sick of hearing about Michael Jordan. His basketball days are over! This is a great Finals series we're watching. Furthermore, Jordan scored 63 points (overtime) in game 2 of the playoffs vs my Celtics at the Boston Garden. However, Jordan layed a big egg in game 3 in Chicago with only 19 points and Larry Bird dominated that game to seal the 3 game sweep. Every player has bad games, even MJ.



Since: Aug 7, 2008
Posted on: June 8, 2011 8:01 pm
 

LeBron James takes heat, from himself and others

You know what they're doing right? They want it to go to 7 games so it feels more epic in scope. This is drama in the highest order.



Since: Mar 13, 2008
Posted on: June 8, 2011 7:43 pm
 

LeBron James takes heat, from himself and others

I know, we've heard nough of the M.J. comparisons, But I have to say it. Michael Jordan never scored 8 points in a finals game. LeBron is to D Wade as Pippen was to Jordan, a side-kick.



Since: Jan 13, 2011
Posted on: June 8, 2011 7:43 pm
 

LeBron James takes heat, from himself and others

The irony? If we were all fair we would all be appaluding his being willing to put team first. Other than that ... I just don't see Miami beating Dallas because of the Dirks. A seven footer who does it all ... that fade-a-way is junk azz natty.



Since: Sep 10, 2008
Posted on: June 8, 2011 7:41 pm
 

LeBron James takes heat, from himself and others

SOOOO...to all the nitwits ,who were comparing lebron james, to the best player of all time...one mr.michael jordan,,,please put that crap to rest! the real KING was ,is and will always be the man, of the n.b.a.!!



Since: Sep 9, 2006
Posted on: June 8, 2011 7:35 pm
 

LeBron James takes heat, from himself and others

“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.”    &
nbsp;    


Excuse me, did i miss something. LeBron must just be talk about this year, clearly.  He didn't seem to be to hard on himself in laast years series against Boston when he layed down then too.




Since: Feb 3, 2009
Posted on: June 8, 2011 7:30 pm
 

LeBron James takes heat, from himself and others

LBGay is officially turning into LeDud. He's just hoping DWade will get him that championship, because it's obvious LBGay: (a) doesn't want to work for one (b) is pouting because of non-calls against him and (c) figures if DWade is going to be THE star in the finals, then LBGay simply isn't going to help. LeDud hates that DWade and Dirk are getting all the positive headlines. LBGay is in pout mode, because that's what happens to these spoon-fed athletes when things don't go their way. 



Since: Mar 16, 2009
Posted on: June 8, 2011 7:22 pm
 

LeBron James takes heat, from himself and others

Will anybody in this Finals learn one simple lesson.  SHUT UP!  They keep giving each other bulletin board material.  First LBJ speaks and then the Mavs keep talking.  The most interesting thing is that the person we expected to open his big mouth has kept quiet.  Maybe Mark Cuban needs to to say something.


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