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LeBron James takes heat, from himself and others

Posted on: June 8, 2011 6:12 pm
Edited on: June 8, 2011 6:55 pm
 
Miami Heat forward LeBron James takes criticism from himself and others. Posted by Ben Golliver. lebron-james-face

DALLAS – Following Miami Heat forward LeBron James’ confounding no-show in Game 4 of the NBA Finals, the question on everyone’s mind on Wednesday was simple: What the heck happened?

 “[He] checked out,” Dallas Mavericks guard DeShawn Stevenson said. Later, he referred to James’ detached passivity as “weird.”

“I just feel like he wasn’t in attack mode,” Stevenson added. “I think when he’s in attack mode, he can put a lot of pressure on us. I don’t know what was happening last night, but me playing against him all these years, that wasn’t himself.”

James wouldn’t bite when asked about Stevenson’s comments.

“DeShawn, he's been talking for a long time, since our Washington‑Cleveland days,” James said. “I don't let that get to us. Those guys are playing well. We're playing well. It's a three‑game series. Talk is cheap. You have to play the game of basketball. Let the scores and the plays define the game. We don't get caught up in that too much.”

While those two exchanged words like they have for years, the rest of the Mavericks were more concerned with pinpointing the reasons for James’ lack of assertiveness on offense and talking up his ability as a playmaker.

Mavericks forward Shawn Marion pointed to Heat guard Dwyane Wade’s ball dominance late as a major contributing factor in James’ struggles.

“They’ve got to take turns on who handles the ball, who’s not handling the ball,” Marion said. “[James is] one of their primary ball handlers. When he’s not handling the ball, he’s not in the play.”

Stevenson agreed. “If you have a player like Dwyane Wade or Chris Bosh and they have it going, you tend to defer… You go back and look at film and TV, you can kind of see he’s deferring.”

The player who came to James’ defense more than any other, surprisingly, was Mavericks guard Jason Terry, who questioned James’ defense earlier this week. Terry said on Tuesday that James can dominate a game even without scoring and seemed to imply that the criticism of James' Game 4 performance was overkill.

“Pick your poison,” Terry said of James as a scorer or as a facilitator. “Him getting a triple double, that will help them. They’ll win the game. He almost had one last night, and they almost won the game. LeBron is unique. He’s a unique character. If you want to categorize him as just a scorer, you’re doing it all wrong. He’s like Magic. He’s a guy who can affect a game without scoring 30, 40 points. He can get it done on both ends.”

Terry did get in one subtle dig, though.

"I don't really care what to expect from him [in Game 5],“ Terry said.

In other words, this series won’t be decided by James alone.

Stevenson and Marion, despite the trash talking throughout the week and during games -- which Stevenson calls "jaw-jacking" -- did make an outward attempt to distance themselves from the back-and-forth.

“Great players just need a little thing to get it going,” Stevenson said. “You don’t want to say anything bad or anything, but he’s talented enough to use anything in the paper to boost his ego.”

“Y’all gonna gas up anything we say regardless,” said Marion said just hours after Deadspin.com posted a video of him scoring on James and directing a taunt at him. “I don’t get into that talking smack. We’re competitors, and we’ve got respect for each other.”

At the eye of the storm, James said he’s trying to tune everything out, including the media reaction to the worst game of his playoff career.  

“I haven't read anything that was written,” James said. “I didn't play well, especially offensively. I know that. I've got to do a better job of helping this team win basketball games, especially late, no matter what it is.” 

Besides, James said he doesn't need to listen to others criticize him. He is already doing that to himself.

“Eight points is definitely inexcusable for myself,” James said. “I hold myself up to a higher standard. I had to do a better job of putting myself in situations where I can benefit myself and my team, no matter how many minutes I'm out on the floor.

“I was hard on myself all last night,” James said. “Anytime I feel like I could have played better and the team loses, that's what it's all about. If I have a bad game and we win, I'm hard on myself, but at the end of the day we win the basketball game. That's ultimately what it's all about. When we lose and I don't play well and I feel like I could have did one or two more things to help our team win or get over the hump, you're definitely hard on yourself.  That's just me. That's just the make‑up of who I am.”         

After four games of this NBA Finals, hours of talk, and thousands of words, we couldn't have less of an idea of who James is. His demeanor, his play and his confidence all fluctuate by the day.

We'll see which James shows up to Game 5 on Thursday night.

Comments

Since: Feb 11, 2007
Posted on: June 9, 2011 6:12 pm
 

LeBron James takes heat, from himself and others

Another case of oversensationalizing.  Stephenson DIDN'T call out Lebron.  Watch the interview.  Poor excuses for journalists have to "create" stories when there is none.  



Since: Jun 9, 2011
Posted on: June 9, 2011 3:11 pm
 

LeBron James takes heat, from himself and others

Another AAU Basketball fan. How much fun is to see the top players in the league running up and downn the floor dominating the league. I'm a LA Lakers fan. I don't think the Lakers should be able to put Chris Paul and DHoward on a team with Kobe Bryant. I'm a basketball/sports fan first from the Ol Skool.



Since: Apr 5, 2007
Posted on: June 9, 2011 1:54 pm
 

LeBron James takes heat, from himself and others

THIS SITUATION REMINDS ME OF THE MOVIE "FOUR BROTHERS" WHEN VICTOR SWEET SAYS "I ORDERED OUT OF TOWN SHOOTERS AND WHAT DO I GET FOR MY MONEY IN TOWN SHOOTERS AND IN TOWN TROUBLE"  LEBRON HAS PLAYED FINE BUT SPOELSTRA IS CORRECT WHEN HE SAYS THAT HE HAS NOT PUT HIM OR HIS TEAM IN POSITION TO SUCCEED.  DALLAS IS PACKING THE ZONE AT THE END OF GAMES
AND WHAT DO WE DO. WE WASTE THE WHOLE SHOT CLOCK TRYING TO BREAK THE ZONE AND THEN HAVE OUR INSIDE "INTOWN" SHOOTERS
HOISTING BAD OUTSIDE "OUT OF TOWN" SHOTS.  MEMO TO SPOELSTRA: WHEN THEY PACK THE ZONE HAVE YOUR OUTSIDE SHOOTERS JAMES JONES WHO WON GAME 1 AGAINTS BOSTON WITH 25 POINTS AND IS THE CURRENT 3 POINT KING, EDDIE HOUSE WHO SCORED 35 POINTS IN THE LAST GAME OF THE YEAR TO GIVE YOU HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE IN THE FINALS AGAINTS DALLAS. 

THIS HAS BEEN A TEAM EFFORT ALL YEAR LONG SO WHY THE HELL WHEN SOME OF YOUR PLAYERS ARE OBVIOUSLY STRUGGLING ARE YOU RIPPING "THE TEAM" APART AND NOT RELYING ON YOUR GREAT OUTSIDE SHOOTERS JONES & HOUSE.  THIS IS A TOUGH DEFENSIVE SERIES BUT GUESS WHAT THE BEST DEFENSIVE TEAM ON THE PLANET WILL NOT STOP NOWITSKY AND TERRY FOREVER AND THE ADJUSTMENT OF J.J.BEREA HAS BOOSTED THEIR OFFENSIVE FLOW A LITTLE BECAUSE THE ATTENTION HE DRAWS TO HIMSELF ON DRIVES TO THE HOOP.

I KNOW RILEY LIKES SHORTEN ROTATIONS FOR PLAYOFFS AND IF HE IS PUSHING THIS IDEA ON SPOELSTRA RIGHT NOW IT IS KILLING US!
PLEASE, PLEASE HEAT COACHING STAFF IF YOU WANT LEBRON TO STEP UP STEP YOUR GAME UP!  YES LEBRON NEEDS TO BE MORE AGGRESSIVE AND GO TO THE HOLE BUT HE NEED TO HAVE HIS SHOOTERS IN THE GAME THAT CAN KNOCK DOWN SHOTS! 




Since: Dec 2, 2008
Posted on: June 9, 2011 1:16 pm
 

LeBron James takes heat, from himself and others

How did Stevenson call him out???  He was asked a question and he answered it.  He even went on to say that the 4th Quarter Lebron wasn't the real Lebron and how when he attacks he is tough to defend.  He didn't call the guy a choke artist or call him garbage.  He didn't put Lebron down -- he said the same thing EVERYONE is thinking -- THAT is why he was asked the question.  The media is the one blowing things up. 

If anything -- where is the talk about Lebron saying 'no one man can guard me'???  You don't think that lit a fire under the ass of the Mavs???  What has Lebron done since?  His comment was MUCH WORSE than what Stevenson said.

@MikeD - Your exactly right.  This interview was on Jim Rome yesterday and Rome was leading him to DeShawn Stevenson to talk about what happened in game 4.  All DeShawn said is what all of us already saw.  LeBron James took one shot in the fourth quarter.  He let himself get taken out of the game or took himself out of the game.  DeShawn kept it classy.  Funny that LeBron acts like this is about the Cavs v. Wizards matchup of yesteryear.  If anyone lacked class and was disrespectful it was LeBron knocking down threes and taunting DeShawn with his own face-guard celebration.  LeBron has no credibility in his interviews at this point.  This is the guy who said they didn't celebrate too early in game too?  Really, because I think we all saw Dwayne Wade leaving his hand up for a ten count while Heat players chest bumped in front of the Mavs bench.  LeBron didn't quit at the end of Game 4?  When's the last time a future hall of famer took one shot in the 4th quarter of game 4 of the NBA finals?  If LeBron acts right on the court then he doesn't have to poorly defend himself to the media off the court.  Take care of your business LeBron...




Since: May 29, 2009
Posted on: June 9, 2011 11:32 am
 

LeBron James takes heat, from himself and others

i am convinced that players are completely ratards these days.

1 why call out a guy who is possibly the best player in the game? at worst he is 3 or 4, right?

2 that Terry comment is mind blowing. you really don't care what their superstar is going to do? is that because you can't stop him if he decides to try?

3 i realize people take quarters off, or games early in the season, but in the finals? wtf is LBJ doing? he quit in Cleveland. now he checks out of game 4? again, he checks out in Jan, big deal. but that game was there for the W. what if Wade were to get hurt early in game 5? and you just gave away a game? he also could have caught some heat for his game 2.

i keep going back to the first 2 and wonder wtf? maybe we should force these players to go to college...AND GRADUATE! lol

1.  How did Stevenson call him out???  He was asked a question and he answered it.  He even went on to say that the 4th Quarter Lebron wasn't the real Lebron and how when he attacks he is tough to defend.  He didn't call the guy a choke artist or call him garbage.  He didn't put Lebron down -- he said the same thing EVERYONE is thinking -- THAT is why he was asked the question.  The media is the one blowing things up. 

If anything -- where is the talk about Lebron saying 'no one man can guard me'???  You don't think that lit a fire under the ass of the Mavs???  What has Lebron done since?  His comment was MUCH WORSE than what Stevenson said.

2.  So let me get this straight -- Game 4 of the NBA finals and you think Lebron DIDN'T TRY????  And Terry's response was smart -- Why does he care what Lebron is going to do next game?  Why give the media any fodder to turn around and give James bulletin board material?  Terry is the guy who defended James after Game 4.  In the end though -- Terry can only worry about what he is going to do in the game.

3.  Now you have me lost -- In #1 you call him the best player in the game, In #2 you basically said he didn't try in the 4th quarter, In #3 you basically say the guy has no heart and how he quits when the pressure gets to be too much (citing the finals this year, times with Cleveland, etc.)  A guy who you would consider the best in the game does not take time off when you are playing for a ring.  I don't even think Lebron is the best player on his team.  Wade has shown in this series who the best player on the Heat is.





Since: Nov 20, 2006
Posted on: June 9, 2011 11:04 am
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Since: Nov 20, 2006
Posted on: June 9, 2011 11:02 am
 

LeBron James takes heat, from himself and others

Yeah...oh wait, Lebron never went to college. Hmmmmm



Since: Sep 27, 2006
Posted on: June 9, 2011 10:55 am
 

LeBron James takes heat, from himself and others

What happened is really no mystery at all.  D Wade and LeBron are in a major ego battle.  Wade has surfaced as the team leader (at least in his mind) and as a result, LeBron has decided that he is just going to watch and see if D Wade can win it without him.  Wade is only a leader in his own mind, but really has no clue how to motivate a top superstar like LeBron, without losing LeBron.  Wade lost him.  You simply can't get in the face of LeBron and humiliate him in front of a national audience and expect him to have a positive response.  What was Wade thinking?  Think of all of the great players in NBA history.  Have you ever seen any teammate ever get in the face of Bill Russell, Larry Bird, Julius Erving, Charles Barkley, Magic Johnson, Kobe?  NEVER!  NEVER!  What was Wade thinking?  Wade is no leader.  Leaders motivate.  LeBron was humiliated and this is his response.  These guys don't need a game plan, they need a shrink.  Have them call me and I think I can get them straightened out before tip-off.


bluegray213
Since: Dec 21, 2007
Posted on: June 9, 2011 10:54 am
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Since: Nov 21, 2006
Posted on: June 9, 2011 10:50 am
 

LeBron James takes heat, from himself and others

Stevenson just ruined it for the mavs he has just awaken a sleeping GIANT in James and the rest of the Heat who are now gonna back him up and finish this series up in 6 games........BYE BYE MAVS!!!!!

Isn't that what everyone said after game 3, after Doyle criticized him for disappearing in 4th and Terry trash talking to him? Rather, I think LBJ reacts worse to criticism. I wouldn't be surprised if he suck even more than he did in game 4.


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