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Old 05-20-2010, 09:48 PM   #142
tony hipchest
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Default Re: Lebron James Amazing

i never knew michael wilbon was a hater. i guess mark jackson doesnt examine the evidence and just has beef with the "sycophants".

Wow. They weren't ready to win a championship, as it turns out, not the great LeBron James and not the Cleveland Cavaliers.

They played hard enough through most of the game, even cutting a 12-point deficit to four on James's daring back-to-back three-pointers. It looked then as if he had the stuff of Magic and Bird, of Jordan and Duncan.

But the outburst was brief, a sputter. This can't be about only LeBron James; an entire coaching staff and locker room full of players paid a lot of money let this happen. Mark Jackson, the ESPN analyst who played forever in this league, said at the end of the telecast of Game 6 that he was disappointed that the Cavaliers appeared to quit before it was over, simply surrender. They were, once again, dispirited in those final few minutes, defeated, overwhelmed.


But it is largely about LeBron because the history and culture of the NBA have made it that the buck stops with the superstar, particularly when he is the reigning two-time league MVP and by general acclaim the best player in the game. I was confident LeBron would post a triple-double in Game 6, and he did -- 27, 19 and 10, or what we in the trade now call "almost Rondo numbers." But who knew nine turnovers would nearly make it a quadruple-double.

He fumbled the ball, stumbled, was hesitant and indecisive. Yeah, there were brilliant moments, such as after a fourth-quarter timeout when he powered through a Rasheed Wallace foul and tossed one in left-handed off the glass with spin.

Problem was, Cleveland needed a half-dozen of those plays and at least an entire half of the kind of determination we've seen out of James for years.

Then again, the regular season and the playoffs are different animals. The freewheeling, outside-in method that works for James and the Cavs from November through early April ain't the formula for success in May, when a bunch of skilled mashers like the Celtics decide there will be no wheeling and dealing, certainly nothing free.

James seemed lethargic, without his usual blast furnace of energy, as if after seven years he simply buckled under the weight of being the hometown icon. He seemed, again, overwhelmed, boxed in by the expectations, by the specter of free agency and his pending decision.

For months, James kept the whole free agency issue at arm's length. But lately, it seemed to be gaining on him; maybe it all caught up with him.

There was Jay-Z, part owner of the Nets, sitting at midcourt in Boston the other night, making goo-goo eyes at LeBron. There was John Calipari sitting courtside one night, rumors flying that he'd love to coach his former college star, Derrick Rose, and LeBron in Chicago.


LeBron and Cleveland appeared to be a match made in heaven, the best young athlete on the planet for the city in the greatest need of a superstar. He was a beast in the playoffs by the age of 21, had led the Cavaliers to the NBA Finals by 22, was the league MVP by 24. The craziest of the sycophants had him ahead of Michael Jordan at the same age, ahead of Kobe. This was going to end happily.

Of course, we live in a world now where these things are simply declared, as if wishing or hyping it can make it so. Leading the Cavaliers to an NBA championship might be the basketball equivalent of leading the Chicago Cubs to a World Series title. It, by necessity, is going to be difficult, carrying a team and a city through not only worthy opponents such as the Celtics and Magic and Lakers, but the years and decades of disappointment.
Cleveland Cavaliers quit with season on the line

Inexcusable. Embarrassing. Incredible.

The Cleveland Cavaliers quit.
Quit on themselves, quit on the city, quit on the potential for a prosperous future of the franchise.

As the final minutes ticked off in an elimination game against the Boston Celtics, they looked like a bunch of guys who just wanted to go home in a hurry, not even trying to foul to extend the game for a shot at a comeback. And it wasn’t an impossible deal, since the Celtics were missing a lot of free throws.

Their 94-85 loss to the Celtics in the Eastern Conference semifinals Thursday night is an indictment on everybody, starting with the coach, Mike Brown, who won’t be back next season. Bank on it.

Awful call to put Shaquille O’Neal on Kevin Garnett, who ate him up on the blocks because he was too quick for the Big Fella.

LeBron James had one of the most unspectacular triple-double in history, I think. His numbers looked great, but the nine turnovers are not what you expect from the best player on the planet. Isn’t he supposed to carry his team, to fight back when no one else will, to bring the best and deliver the KO punch to the opposing team?

Sorry LeBron didn’t do enough. Nine turnovers is perhaps his most significant stat line of the night. And most importantly, where was the emotion? Where was the fire?

The Cavs are now 0-4 when facing elimination on the road during LeBron James era.

That’s over, too.

“We’ll see what happens,” LeBron said, not exactly a confession of true love for Cleveland.
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