From the Keeping It Real Department ...
Here at Defend LeBron James Central, we shoot to be fair and look at the entire picture because, really, what is the point of misleading anyone? Part of the King's greatness is that he is flawed, that he is human, that he makes mistakes ... and that he overcomes them to perform at a level that, well, the eyes behind these thoughts has never seen before on such a consistent level.
All that being said, he does fall behind some other all-timers.
He's not the killer at crunch time that Michael Jordan was. Or Kobe Bryant. Or, really, the ultimate in being clutch, Larry Bird.
One other thing that is a bit disconcerting for those of us who try to prop up the James' perception after it takes a pummeling from either the MJ worshippers or those still hung up on “The Decision,” what, almost a decade now after it occurred (get over it, weasels) ... well, the big fella shows fatigue.
Like, at inopportune times.
Not for nothing, but seeing James flat-out gassed in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter in Game 2 of the NBA Finals Sunday night was not exactly a selling point – for him or the league.
Yo, we get it, bruh. At times it seems like 4-on-1 for you when facing Golden State, but, hey, you're the best in the game – by far. So, suck it up, and if you're winded, jeez, dude, don't ever freakin' show it.
It's kinda embarrassing for those of us in your corner.
Not to mention demoralizing for those looking to you to guide them to another title.
Even more seriously.
Gotta say, not sure if the memory is off here, the years have taken their toll, after all, but cannot recall ever seeing Jordan or Bryant or Bird, or even lesser stars such as Iverson or Olajuwon display being winded.
Despite the brilliant effort put forth by him, with a Finals record-tying eighth triple double, James did nothing to help his already tenuous legend when, essentially, he checked out early in the fourth, if not late in the third, and the officially midway through the final frame.
Don't care what the margin was. That's lame. By him and head coach Tyronn Lue.
Yes, Kevin Durant is shooting lights out and Steph Curry is doing major damage for the Warriors, but, thing is, LeBron still has been the best player on the floor the first two games of the series ... and he has to go the distance every time out if Cleveland is to have a chance at repeating.
Sunday night, the Cavaliers lasted much longer with being effective in taking Golden State's punches. Heck, they even counter-punched to the point that Warriors head coach Steve Kerr was forced to call a timeout with 5:41 to go in the third. At that point, the Cavs appeared on the verge of erasing yet another double-digit deficit as a nifty LeBron-to-Kyrie Irving three-quarter court pass resulted in a layup and pulled the visitors within 86-82.
From that point on, James only mustered four points, two rebounds and an assist before going “no mas” midway through the fourth and heading to the bench.
Prior to then, his numbers respectively read: 29, 9 and 13.
Yo, King, enough of the disappearing acts, and cut it out with acting like you're run down ... even if you are.
It's unbecoming of a legend. Even one who has proven to be, likable or not, humanly flawed.