That Wasn’t it For LeBron, Was It?

Oh, Cleveland.

I feel sorry for Cleveland sometimes.  I really do.  It’s my kind heart.  I think I wrote a post about it once, what to make of these sports cities where they just wait for the next terrible thing to happen.  Even though they fall one team short of the four teams worth of misery that we suffered through in Philly for 25 years, Cleveland can hold its own with any town.  The Browns.  The Indians.  That basically sums it up.  The saving grace for the last several years has been LeBron.  They seemed fated to win the lottery for him, and up to this point I’d say LeBron has exceeded expectations in every category except winning titles.  Is that his hump to get over?  The team’s?  The city’s?

The Cavs lost game five at home on Tuesday night, and while I didn’t catch much of the blowout, the early reactions indicate that LeBron had a terrible night at the least opportune time.  Maybe someone can explain to me what is going on in this series.  The same two teams are playing all these games, right?  A few nights back in game 3, on the Celtics home court, the Cavs won by 29.  Tuesday night they lose by 32 at home.  That doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me.  This is a close series, but none of the actual games are close?  What is going on with the Cavs?

The supporting cast has to shoulder a lot of the blame here, don’t they?  The Celtics are riding Rondo, who is channeling Oscar Robertson, but they have a couple of options, more than one guy to carry the load.  Cleveland has been working on this for years, and as recently as late this season they added Antawn Jamison.  The Cavs never win, though, when LeBron has an off night.  They never even seem to be in the game.  Contrast that with the pedestrian effort that Boston has gotten out of Paul Pierce for most of the series, yet they still lead 3-2.   Is that the fault of the other eleven guys, or someone else?  Maybe Mike Brown is at fault.  I have to admit, this guy reminds me of Boris the Bullet Dodger.  He dodges bullets, Avi.  He also maybe should have been fired when the Cavs pulled this the last time?  Or the time before that?

LeBron has to man up, though.  I don’t know if he’s hurting, or what, but 15 points on 3-14 shooting in a critical game five?  That can’t happen.  Not by the guy who is going to be the best player ever.  It’s a little odd to me that everyone has projected championships for LeBron.  The inevitability of that team finally winning the title.  Even before tonight, as a casual observer I had my doubts.  Could they get by Orlando?  What about the teams out West?   As it turns out, they’re in the fight of their life against the Celts.  I don’t see a reason to be optimistic, do you?

So, this could have been it for LeBron in Cleveland.  If free agency ends up taking him to New York, Chicago, wherever, this could be the last performance in front of the home faithful.  What a way to go out.  I always thought that LeBron would stay, but if he did leave I didn’t feel he was breaking any unwritten obligation.  Cleveland was tortured, yes, but they weren’t owed anything.  But I think they’re owed better than what they got Tuesday.   We’ll see if LeBron can make amends.

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20 thoughts on “That Wasn’t it For LeBron, Was It?

  1. bron’s gotta be injured pretty bad right? he was down right awful… i don’t know why he wasn’t just driving more and going to the foul line, he can do that whenever he wants

    im thinking the phils have a good chance of winning both games today… you assume halladay is a win, and then won’t that be hard for the hitters to adjust to balls being thrown 25mph slower just an hour later with grandpa?

  2. Here’s what i don’t get-everyone is killing LeBron, but he’s been literally carrying this team for what? 3 years now? That has to take a toll on you. And losing to the Celts/Magic was inevitable, b/c they can’t guard anyone big and LeBron’s next best player is who? Boobie Gibson? Shaq? Come on. The guy never had a shot.

  3. i agree…when bron’s hurt it just exposes how terrible the rest of the team is and how dependent they are on him… also agree with 3putt that shaq must retire, like immediately, perhaps before the celts series is over

  4. I guess it’s just a question of what people think he should be able to do by himself. I think because the Cavs made the Finals a couple years back, and because the Magic and Celtics are a little underrated (because they don’t have the best player), that there is this assumption that LeBron should at least carry them to Finals…

    Now, I know he doesn’t have all-stars around him at every position, but my other question would be are the guys so terrible, or is it just the wrong mix. Like, they can’t guard anyone, don’t have the right complimentary pieces.

    This kind of reminds me of like 1990 when I actually watched basketball and we had to watch the Chuck wagon try to beat the Bulls with Ron Anderson. Different degrees, but same idea.

    And, I know we’ve talked about this before, but it’s nice to be reminded by BK going to the amazing Boobie Miles/Gibson joke. Always love that.

  5. Lebron is not hurt. Game 3 he came out was 8-10 in the 1st Qtr, dropped 20 in the 1st Qtr, they destroyed Boston. Last night Bron was 0-4 in the 1st HALF, just came down in the 3rd Qtr and took 22 ft jumpers that weren’t going in. He didn’t attack at all. Just settled all game long. He just refused to drive the ball and attack the basket—-referrees are begging to put him on the line, like Kobe, if you breathe on the guy you get 2 shots, yet he still just was taking 3′s and pull up J’s. He is freakishly athletic, powerful, great leaper

    You can’t have it both ways- if LeBron is the greatest player of all time you can’t take a pathetic performance and then say ‘well he has no supporting cast’. Fact is, he isn’t a killer like Jordan. MJ would never let the ship go down in a pivotal game, and just stand around the 3 pt line hoisting J’s. When you are a self prounounced “GLOBAL ICON” it is your responsibility to carry the team, you can’t just shrug your shoulders and say we needed more from the Carrot Top look-alike named Varejao.

    I’m well aware that MJ had Scottie Pippen, Toni Kukoc..etc., but in big playoff games he simply took over. And he never stood around and let this kind of performance happen.

  6. Well the first few years of Jordan’s career he didn’t accomplish nearly what Bron has, so jordan supporters/bron haters can’t have it both ways. When jordan had no supporting cast and was getting hammered by the Pistons, what happened? He wasn’t exploding for 50 every game in the playoffs then and carrying them to the finals.

  7. isn’t this LeBron’s 7th year or something?

    I mean, he’s been around. he’s been to the Finals.

    I think whatever year this is for Bron, that is the year MJ won his first title.

    I kind of agree with Kraft. It’s the way they went down. It wasn’t reminiscent of someone who’s going to be the 1 or 1a best player ever.

    • Yeah, but look at how the Pistons dominated Jordan pre-supporting cast. Jordan wasn’t able to carry them singlehandedly to the Finals, he had help. And when he didn’t there were playoff games where he stunk i bet. I’d have to do research-which is what i’ll now go do-but i bet there were games when he was terrible b/c he had no help until Pippen/Paxton, et al.

    • wow, every cavs fan just threw up.

      There are some parallels. You’re talking about freakish physical specimen, assumed championships. LeBron lacking help, Lindros lacking a goalie. They both got to the Finals fairly quickly and lost to a superior team.

      I don’t remember that series too well. The Flyers were overmatched, but there was a sense that it was a stepping stone, probably like LeBron a few years back.

      From that point Lindros kind of became a story of injuries and petulance. we never really got to see it play out. you could certainly make the argument that he never was going to win, but it’s hard to know for sure.

      Interesting comparison.

  8. Gross is correct- MJ won his 1st title in his 7th year. My point was more about LBJ’s effort than anything else. I don’t think its entirely fair to kill someone for a poor shooting night, because you are going to have off nights. But he seemed so apathetic during such a pivotal game, the complete opposite of Game 3 when he came out and flat out dominated from the start. What made Jordan the greatest ever was his will, his determination and his competitiveness that almost bordered on mental illness (see his hall of fame speech for confirmation, where he still can’t forget about certain comments that people made like 15 years ago). If you aren’t shooting well from the perimeter, you have to find other ways to score. Post up, drive to the basket, get to the foul line..etc. LBJ did none of those things. If you are hooking the ball off the tee, guess what, maybe hit your 3 wood or hit an iron. DOn’t continue to tee up driver.

    Yes, great players need help. But in basketball 1 person can have such a great impact, probably more so than in any other sport, because there are only 5 guys on the court. And if LBJ wants the praise and to be a ‘global icon’ he has to accept the responsibility that goes along with it. You can’t shrink in the biggest games of the season and still be the MVP.

  9. I guess my point is, Jordan DIDN’T come out and “dominate” against the Pistons. In fact, during the Bad Boys/Jordan Rules, it was largely the other way around. Why? B/c they whooped his a*s and he had no help. So saying “well, LBJ didn’t do this, or do that”, for one we have no idea how much he’s hurt, and for two, this guy has been carrying this POS team for the last however many years all alone. It’s taxing on your body.

    So everyone is killing LBJ b/c he had a bad game and couldn’t get it together. Ever think he’s just mentally exhausted from looking around and thinking “jesus, here we go again. Into battle with a bunch of stiffs.”? And this is not to mention, he’s the same guy who carried them all alone to the Finals.

  10. LeBron shouldn’t be worn out, should he? This is just the 2nd round. Didn’t he rest down the stretch a good bit?

    It’s not his fault that they lost, but what about the effort, or the decision making?

  11. Even if he rested, what about the toll of the years and the Olympics and all that? Without help, could any of these guys do what he’s done? It’s one game, he didn’t have it, he’s hurting, he’s mentally exhausted and he just played poorly. What is he? 25? It happens. I just think everyone is overreacting a little bit to one game.

  12. I think the overreacting is a valid point. the expectations for him to be dominant every game are pretty insane.

    I don’t think the workload is valid. Unless he’s really hurt, which if he is, I wish they’d just say it.

    But, guys have been putting in this workload, I mean how many games has Kobe averaged the last 12 years, or KG, there are plenty of guys with a lot of miles.

  13. KG didn’t win till he had 2 other all stars on his team and one rising all star. Kobe needed one all star and one off/on all star (i think odom has made one or two). So their workload really isn’t as strenuous. They don’t have to show up every night. This is not to mention KG has taken time off injury wise last year and the year before i believe.

  14. Yes, but this is the playoffs and his team is in a hole. We’re not talking about Game 57 of the regular season here, Cleveland @ Minnesota.

  15. Yeah, I’m still not buying it, really, but that’s ok. I mean no one said that KG was the best player of all-time either.

  16. DC-the point is for 3 years he had to basically carry them in every single game. So playoffs, regular season, it just takes a toll i think.

    Yeah, see mike. Now bron bron can try and pull in larry brown or phil jackson haha.

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