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Old 05-20-2010, 08:06 PM   #141
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Default Re: Lebron James Amazing

The Night the Cleveland Cavaliers Quit on Themselves

Read more: http://www.esquire.com/the-side/opin...#ixzz0ocTB59Bi

Nothing like the morning after for a Cleveland fan. Haven't had a drink since 1994 and yet the back of my head feels like it got whacked with a sap.

Shaq? Who knows how he feels. After the game he said all the right things — that he enjoyed his season with the Cavs, that he'd like to come back, and that he'd done everything they'd asked him to do. What else can he say? His contract ran out with the game clock last night, and while he'll likely land a roster spot somewhere — he can still man the low post with force and agility — he'll never sniff another long-term, big-money contract.

To his vast credit, the Dun Dada was one of very few Cavs to go down fighting against the Celtics. Most of the team — and this goes double for LeBron James — quit. They quit on their coach, quit on their fans, quit on each other, and quit on themselves. By the end of last night's game, they didn't even bother to pretend to care. Rather than risk a miracle, they stopped trying. They refused to foul and simply let the clock run out. Shaq by then was anchored to the bench with five fouls, his face utterly impassive.

Watching Cleveland teams lose isn't merely second nature to me; it's every bit as defining a part of my experience of life as breathing air or jerking off. But I honestly can't recall another case of a Cleveland team devoid of heart, guts, and soul under pressure. Give Boston credit, not only for playing a fine series but also for imposing their collective will on the Cavs. But nobody robbed the Cleveland Cavaliers of pride and courage except the Cleveland Cavaliers. They disgraced themselves, betrayed a city, and gave up.

By the way, I hereby rescind the offer to wager on LeBron's free agency. I'm pretty sure he's gone; if so, good riddance. And I'm also pretty sure that I won't live long enough to see another Cleveland team win a title; it's more likely that in five-to-ten years, the Browns will be the only major league team still playing in Cleveland. But I'll always have that ****** stub — clutched forever in my cold, dead hands.

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Old 05-20-2010, 08:48 PM   #142
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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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Old 05-20-2010, 09:22 PM   #143
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Default Re: Lebron James Amazing

Top 11 Reasons Why the Cavs Quit in Game Six

With 2:06 left in Game Six, LeBron James dunked the basketball to close the lead to 7. The Cavs (a) didn't score again, (b) commit a defensive foul to try to stop the clock, (c) jump for rebounds, or (d) show any evidence that they wanted to be standing upright. Why did the team decide to only play 46 minutes?

11) Knew that they didn't stand a chance in one of the two games this year where Rasheed Wallace tried

10) Watched enough film of the 2009-10 Celtics to know that they never, ever had problems finishing games

9) LeBron's flight to New York, Chicago, New Jersey, Dallas, Denver and Los Angeles was leaving soon

8) Halfway through the fourth quarter, coach Mike Brown told them that he was coming back next year, no matter what

7) When two-fifths of the starting line up is Antwan Jamison and Shaquille O'Neal, you should not expect much in the way of stout behavior in an elimination game

6) Team was really only trying until James got his triple double

5) Team just wanted to be closer to JJ Hickson on the bench, who played for less than a minute in this game, despite being, unlike O'Neal and Zydrunas Ilgauskas, alive

4) Knew that the Celtics' 63.6% free-throw percentage in this game was just going to get better with more attempts

3) Really didn't want to hear any more of Boston Fan's devastatingly clever chants

2) Wanted to give sports blogosphere something, anything, to talk about other than LeBron's free agent status

1) As a final coup de grace for Cleveland Fan to make sure that he not only put his head in the oven, but also shot himself in the head while swallowing pills


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Old 05-20-2010, 09:41 PM   #144
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Default Re: Lebron James Amazing

They're all just irrational Guru hating braintrust members, all of them!!!
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Old 05-20-2010, 10:52 PM   #145
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Default Re: Lebron James Amazing

damn mach... you beat me to it. FWIW i cant find a single 'lebron did not quit" article.

CavFanatic > Forums > Cleveland Cavaliers > Team Talk > We quit

and to stay true to the title of this thread, lebron is amazing.

Winning, loyalty or immortality?


And last night, LeBron's DNA finally made sense to me. Throw Jordan out. Throw Magic out, too, except for the "controls sections of a game with passing/rebounding" part. Keep Bo. Now, add this guy … Julius Erving.

I will explain.

Doc was one of the 20 best NBA players of all time. (In my book, I ranked him 16th.) Like LeBron, he did things on a basketball court that nobody had ever seen before. Like LeBron, he made the court shrink with a full head of steam. Like LeBron, his peers revered his talents. Like LeBron, he was articulate and thoughtful. Like LeBron, you watched him from afar and thought, "He seems like a good guy." Like LeBron, he was a small forward who rebounded bigger than his size (at least the first few years). Like LeBron, his durability was almost unparalleled. (Doc played in 1,277 of a possible 1,395 games, including seven seasons of 95-plus games). Like LeBron, women and children loved him. Like LeBron, he was extremely savvy about his image (and how to cultivate it). Like LeBron, he was an incredible, once-in-a-generation athlete. Like LeBron, his faulty outside shooting plagued him, so teams laid off him, packed the middle and prayed he would miss 20-footers. And, like LeBron, he was a nice guy.

(Hold that last thought for a second.)

Doc at age 26 (ABA, 1975-76 season, his fifth): 29.3 PPG, 11.0 RPG, 5.0 APG, 50.7% FG.

LeBron at age 25 (this year, his seventh season): 29.7 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 8.6 APG, 50.3% FG.

Doc in the '76 playoffs (13 games): 34.7 PPG, 12.6 RPG, 4.9 APG, 53.3% FG.

LeBron in the '10 playoffs (11 games): 29.1 PPG, 9.3 RPG, 7.6 APG, 50.2% FG.

The big difference: Doc captured two ABA titles (in '74 and '76). LeBron hasn't won anything. Of course, the ABA played right into Doc's wheelhouse: The league didn't have enough big guys, nobody played defense, a school-yard-type game carried the day, and the league was diluted enough that someone as gifted as Doc could run roughshod. When the ABA and NBA merged in the summer of 1976, Doc switched teams (to Philly) and the big question became, "When will Dr. J win an NBA title?"

Now here's where the parallels get interesting. Doc spent the next six seasons falling short as everyone picked him apart. Stuff like, "He's not the same guy that he was in the ABA," "He's too nice, he doesn't have a killer instinct" and "His teammates are letting him down." The '77 Sixers (a selfish team of freelancers) memorably self-combusted in the Finals against Bill Walton's methodical Blazers. When the '78 Bullets shocked Philly in six, not only did Washington's Bobby Dandridge outplay Doc in the series but everyone started calling David Thompson (rather than Doc) the NBA's best ABA import. The '79 Spurs knocked Philly out again, with San Antonio's Larry Kenon playing Doc to a draw. (That March, Sports Illustrated ran a feature called "Hey, What's Up With the Doc?" and wondered whether his best years were behind him.) Once Philly quietly started building a team of unselfish guys around him (Caldwell Jones, Bobby Jones, Mo Cheeks) and found him a second scorer (Andrew Toney), Doc's fortunes changed: Finals appearances in 1980 and 1982, as well as a (dubious, but still) MVP award in 1981. But only when Philly acquired Moses Malone, a true alpha dog and the league's best player at the time, did Doc finally get an NBA ring (in 1983).

Let's go back to those first three Philly seasons: Doc was stuck playing with guys such as George McGinnis (the ultimate ball stopper, owner of the all-time turnover record), World B. Free (gunner), Darryl Dawkins (great athlete, low basketball IQ), Jellybean Bryant (Kobe's dad -- I don't need to say any more) and Doug Collins (another guy who needed shots). He deferred to them way too much. For the '76 Nets, Doc averaged 22.7 shots per game. From '77 through '79: 16.7, 16.4, 18.7. Do you realize what a joke that was? Unfortunately, he was too nice of a guy. Doc allowed everyone else to determine his destiny. When he tried to take over … it never felt right. He was always one of those flow-of-the-game stars. Always. The same quality that made him a wonderful teammate also made him a liability if things were falling apart.

(Sound familiar?)

Doc's Philly teams kept self-combusting at the worst possible times. The '77 Sixers took a 2-0 lead in the Finals, then blew four straight. They lost do-or-die playoff games by two points (1978) and three points (1979). In 1980, everyone remembers Magic (only a rookie) playing five positions, notching a 42-15-7 and improbably winning Los Angeles the title; nobody ever wonders why Philly, playing at home against a team missing the 1980 MVP (Kareem), laid such an unforgivable egg. In 1981, the Sixers blew a 3-1 series lead to Boston in the Eastern Conference finals, losing the last three games by five points total. (And by the way, they led in the final minute of all three games.) By the time Philly blew the 1982 Finals, the consensus on Doc was this: phenomenal player, loved by all, an ambassador for the game, one of the best ever … doesn't quite have it.

Then Moses showed up, Philly finally won a title, and people everywhere forgot they had felt that way.

Back to LeBron: I think we know what we have. He's Doc 2.0 with a little Magic and a healthy dose of Bo sprinkled in. That means the following …

1. LeBron can win an NBA title (or titles) as the best player on a really good team with another leader in place (whether it's a great coach or another player).

2. If LeBron switches teams to a similar situation to the one he had in Cleveland these past two years (basically, LeBron and the LeBronettes), that won't translate to titles. (FYI: He finished seven wins short last spring and 10 wins short this spring. Not even close.) Staying in Cleveland, hiring John Calipari and sign-and-trading Jamison and Hickson to Toronto for Chris Bosh … that won't solve the problem here. Neither will jumping to the Knicks/Clippers/Mavericks.

3. If he cares about winning titles (multiple) and reaching his full potential as a player, he has only one move: the Chicago Bulls. That's always been the play. If you've been listening to my podcast or reading this column, you know that I've been touting this possibility since the winter, and here's why: Deep down, I think LeBron (and, just as important, the people around him) realizes that he needs one more kick-ass player to make his life easier. That means Miami or Chicago. And really, I can't imagine him signing with Miami because Dwyane Wade is almost too good. LeBron wants help, but he doesn't want to be perceived as riding someone else's coattails, either. Wade might be the best player alive for all we know -- he certainly was in 2006, and he's been banged-up and trapped on bad teams ever since.

No, Chicago makes more sense. Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah proved they were warriors these past two springs. They could be LeBron's Pippen/Grant or McHale/DJ. Easily. Rose could take the creative load off LeBron on nights when he doesn't have it. Rose could come through a few times in the clutch. Rose could hide some of LeBron's faults. It's the single smartest basketball move for LeBron James. It's the Michael Corleone move.

Of course, it doesn't have the same upside as New York: Biggest market, great fans, most meaning. If LeBron saved professional basketball in New York and brought Knicks fans their first title since 1973? That's the best available accomplishment in team sports right now. Name me a better one. You can't. Biggest star, biggest city. But it wouldn't be a smart basketball move. He could bring only one good free agent with him, and from what we've seen, would LeBron + (Chris Bosh, Carlos Boozer, Joe Johnson or Amar'e Stoudemire) combined with what the Knicks already have (not much) translate to anything more than what just happened in Cleveland? Please. That's the Sonny Corleone move.

The other realistic option: Just stay in Cleveland. Finish what you started. That's the second-best available accomplishment in team sports right now: Be like Tim Duncan. Be the guy who didn't flee for greener pastures. Be the guy who stayed when almost everyone else would have left. Be the hometown kid who saved Cleveland sports, brought home the first title since 1964 and single-handedly removed the fatalistic malaise that hangs over the city. Be the guy who proved loyalty matters more than anything else. That's the Connie Corleone move. Remember when she finally forgave Michael for killing Carlo and became the matriarch of the family? Exactly. Family trumped logic.

(And yes, if you're scoring at home, the Clippers would be the Fredo Corleone move.)

It's one of the greatest sports decisions I can remember: LeBron can choose winning (Chicago), loyalty (Cleveland) or a chance at immortality (New York). We have one answer -- Doc 2.0 with some Magic and Bo sprinkled in -- and now, we're waiting on the other. Within the next six weeks, we will find out precisely what matters to LeBron James. Just know that, wherever he lands, he's going to need a little more help than we thought.

Final point: Between Games 5 and 6 of the Cavs-Celtics series, an Austin, Texas, reader named Chris Rider sent me the following e-mail:

"I figured LeBron out, dude. I think you define a player by defining what is most important to them in one word.

"MJ -- Winning. Hands down, all he wanted to do was win. And that's over-used for a lot of athletes, but not him.

"Kobe -- Greatness. Yes he's going to win some, but only because he wants to be considered great and that will be a by-product at times. But you'd also see him shoot his team out of a game; jack 3s when he should press the issue and get to the paint. He didn't mind losing a few games if people came away saying 'Kobe is great; look what happens when he doesn't shoot.'"

"LeBron -- Amaze. I think he just really wants to amaze people. Which is why he spends 10 minutes before the game throwing underhand, left-hand half-court shots. Why he celebrates amazing dunks and blocks, but isn't working just as hard to win. I know the Cavs aren't great without him, but he's got PLENTY on that team to win rings with."

Is that totally fair? Probably not. But just for fun, let's extend Chris' game …

Russell, Magic, Bird, Duncan, Walton, West and Havlicek: Winning.

Wilt: Numbers.

Oscar and Barry: Perfection.

Shaq: Fame.

Kareem and Elgin: Pride.

Moses: Rebounds.

Malone and Garnett: Work.

Barkley: Fun.

Cousy, Stockton, Isiah, Pippen and Nash: Team.

For Doc and LeBron, you probably need more than one word. By the rules of the game, we can use only one. So we're forced to pick this one: Amaze. You are who you are.
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Old 05-21-2010, 12:40 AM   #146

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I really like the LeBron and Doc comparison.

And at the risk of sounding redundant ...
If I ignore the media hype, when I watch LeBron play, this is what I see:

Old 05-21-2010, 07:31 AM   #147
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What a lack of reading comprehension from "The Obsessed One". But this illustrates my point, as you are clearly so bitter and spiteful that your anger caused you to fail to comprehend the very simple statement that I made. I'll type it more slowly for you and give you another chance:

I said LEBRON DID NOT QUIT. The Cavs as a team clearly did, but not LBJ. Quitters don't snag 19 boards in a game.

I do like the Dr. J comparison, though...bear in mind that he was one of the first people to hold a team ransom for salary through threats and coercion (ala Kobe), and LBJ hasn't taken that road yet.

LOL at the braintrust members piling on. Laughable.
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Last edited by revefsreleets; 05-21-2010 at 07:59 AM.
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Old 05-21-2010, 10:40 AM   #148
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Since the petty bickering and name calling still hasn't stopped, thread closed.
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