The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC


June 9, 2011

What happened to Lebron James?

Just Talking

The Daily Southerner — That's the million-dollar question that inquiring Miami Heat fans would liked answered after their superstar disappeared in Game 4 of the NBA Finals Tuesday night against the Dallas Mavericks.

The "King," who is arguably one of the best players in the NBA today, scored only eight points in the entire game and the Heat blew a seven-point lead in the fourth quarter. The Heat lost 86-83 and the Mavs evened the series at 2-2.

I've seen Lebron score eight points in less than eight minutes. If he continues to play like that, he should change his name to the "Princess James."

The two-time MVP admitted that he didn't find a way to make an impact on the offensive end of the court. This is the same phenom that many believe is heir to the best player that has ever played basketball, Michael Jordan. With a performance like Tuesday's, Lebron isn't worthy of wiping the sweat off Jordan's face. So let's not talk about giving him Jordan's crown. He's not like MIke.

I don't know of any other superstar in any other sport that would have folded the way Lebron did. Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant who's nicknamed "Black Mamba" after one of the most venomous snakes in the world, would have demanded the ball and he would have took it upon himself to win or lose that game. Like a black mamba, Kobe is deadly. He would have relished the opportunity to play on a stage where his team needed an added punch and more likely than not, he would have delivered.  

What did James do? He tucked his tail between his legs and watched his superstar teammate, Dwayne Wade carry the team. Instead of attacking, Lebron was attacked.

Unfortunately this wasn't the first time that Lebron has shown that side of his game. During the Eastern Conference semifinal playoffs game last year when he was playing with the Cleveland Cavaliers, he played the exact same way against Boston in the final game. He played so poorly that some people thought that he was intentionally throwing the game away. That turned out to be James last game as a Cavalier and I thought that that would be the last time that I would see that type of performance from Lebron. Especially after he made "The Decision" to leave Cleveland and join forces in Miami with Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh. The trio is the most dynamic three players that have ever been assembled on one team. Lebron made a big hoopla about the move and as we all know, it was broadcasted on ESPN. Lebron said that they were going to win seven titles. If he continues to play like he played Tuesday night, then they'll be lucky if they win one.

But let's give the Mavericks' defense some credit. Whatever they did, it worked and then Lebron did, or should I say, didn't do the rest.

I look for James to come out tonight in Game 5 with vengeance. He will dominate both sides of the floor and earn a triple double in scoring, rebounds and assists. Even if he does that, Lebron have damaged his reputation and it will take lots of superstar-like-games to patch it back up.

So for now, let's put Jordan's crown back on the shelf and wait until Lebron make "The Decision" to play like the "Black Mamba" or better yet, your highness.

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