Blog Entry

Barkley on Rome: LeBron defers too much

Posted on: February 29, 2012 5:56 pm
Edited on: February 29, 2012 6:10 pm
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Charles Barkley says LeBron defers to Dwyane Wade too much. (Getty Images)


By Matt Moore
 

Charles Barkley had more to say on Jim Rome than just wishing someone could shoot 20 percent of NBA fans. 

Rome asked Barkley about his feelings on LeBron James, and well, you know Chuck. 

 

This is the eternal debate with James. And the biggest problem, honestly, is Michael Jordan. 

You see, Jordan set a new bar for alpha dogs. It wasn't enough to make the game winning play. To be the best, you have to rise up and knock down a mid-range jumper, preferably fading away, to win the game. That's the bar. Passing may be the best play, it may be the right play, it may be considered the best thing to do the other 47 minutes of a game, but when things get close down the stretch, that jumper's what you're expected to do. Problem is, James isn't very good at it. He's gotten better at it, but he's not automatic. This, maybe more than anything else, defines him. 

Consider this. Inside three minutes to go in a game separated by five points or less, James has seven of the Heat's ten total assists in that range this season. By comparison, James has 11 field goal attempts, the same as Wade and just one more than Bosh, in that same situation. He has made just three of them. (Wade is 5 of 11, Bosh 7 of 10.)

So James is handling the ball a lot. He's just not hitting. And he's passing the most as well, at least on made buckets. The assertion remains that James is the best player on the team, and he keeps deferring to lesser players. But it's entirely possible that James simply isn't the best player in these situations. At least not right now, with this team, with where his game is at now. 

(For comparison's sake, Kobe Bryant is 9-35 this season in that same situation. He also has seven assists in that situation, though the Lakers have been in far more tight games than the Heat.)

("ROME with Jim Rome" debuts on CBS Sports Network April 3rd.  You can follow him on Twitter @JimRome.)
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Comments

Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: March 3, 2012 3:30 pm
 

Barkley on Rome: LeBron defers too much

Do you like it or is hard dealing with crooked people all the time?

A little of both.  I'm not a cop though, I'm federal.    First rule of thumb is "everybody cries".  They've all got a lot to lose, so it's a little different than dealing with the true down-and-outs because they can afford to take their chances a little more.  It's rewarding though - I can make a case on evidence, but I'd always rather have a confession to make the AUSA's decisions easier. 



Since: Sep 4, 2007
Posted on: March 2, 2012 10:36 pm
 

Barkley on Rome: LeBron defers too much

I always thought it would be pretty cool to be an interrogator!  Do you like it or is hard dealing with crooked people all the time?  Due to where I grew up I never trusted cops much so I stayed away from the profession.  I do a mixture of sales and recruiting so I observe, talk with, and question people in everyday settings.  I also played with some pros when I was younger.  I never really thought about how important that is to being able to understand the unspoken signals players give off.  You were spot on about Crawford.  I totally forgot about him.  




Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: March 2, 2012 6:16 pm
 

Barkley on Rome: LeBron defers too much

montsho, what do you do that involves the body language analysis?  I'm an interrogator, so I do a lot of it myself, but that's in an entirely different setting.  I don't have any confidence that what I've learned works on the court.  Personally, I think I'd rather have Jamal Crawford shooting a last shot for me.  ESPN did an analysis a couple of years ago that showed Carmelo Anthony as the most effective late-game shooter, but I'd be surprised if Jamal Crawford isn't in that same level.

Living in the LA area, I'm convinced much of the Kobe mystique is just unwarranted reputation.  They call him "clutch", but I did the math on him in elimination game situations (when his team is facing elimination).  He's a 38% shooter for his career, in a situation a clutch guy would step up his game, not disappear.  This year he's a less effective late game shooter than LeBron James, but James' clutch rep is the polar opposite of Bryant's, even if he's actually better.  That kind of goes along with everyone legitimately recognizing James' fourth quarter disappearance in the finals, but failing to accept his absolute 4th quarter dominance in the Celtics series or solid late game play in the Bulls series.


To me, I guess clutch is the desire to want the ball late in the game, whether to shoot or pass, just to make the winning play, but also the ability to consistently deliver in that situation.  In my mind, guts without performance is just runaway ego - and that's what the Bryant has been this year.  People won't remember the 26 misses as much as the 9 makes, but they'll remember James' fewer misses and forget his higher assist numbers in the same situations.  Perception is just a funny thing. 

By the way, I noticed what you said about Bryant's seeming to "get it" one day and forgetting it the next.  It seems like every time he takes less than 20 shots, he's guaranteed to take at least 25 or so the next game - even if his team won the game before.  I don't think he can help himself - his ego just won't let him.     &
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Since: Sep 4, 2007
Posted on: March 2, 2012 3:58 pm
 

Barkley on Rome: LeBron defers too much

I agree that Kobe appears to slow down the offense. They dont show the coaches reaction enough for me to see if that was the play that was called or not.  I also agree that he shoots his team out of games at times.  Kobe appears to understand what it takes to inspire his team mates in one game then turns around the next game and turns them into his personal cheerleading squad.  I cant judge how great a team mate he is but I would rather he shoot the ball with the game on the line than anyone else in the NBA.  By the way I personally dont care for him as a player for the above stated reasons.




Since: Sep 4, 2007
Posted on: March 2, 2012 3:31 pm
 

Barkley on Rome: LeBron defers too much

No mind reading involved.  Besides body language is mutch more effective.  I make a living dechiphering body language so I can guesstimate pretty acurately.  There is a big difference in clutch and taking the last shot.  Plenty of people take the last shot and hope it goes in.  Very few take the last shot and are genuinely suprised if they miss.  Like I said 25% results has to count.  Would you rather bet on someone that is 100% confident that his hard work and practice will pay off and enable him/her to complete the task or someone that has little to no confidence in their abilities?  My money is with the person that is confident because I know that even if he/she fails this time they will adjust what they are doing to be successful the next time.  The person without any confidence will feel validated in not being confident and do nothing to improve.  Look around you.  The world is filled with people who dont have confidence in their own abilities.




Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: March 2, 2012 1:58 pm
 

Barkley on Rome: LeBron defers too much

Interesting take, Montsho.  So, even if a guy fails more often, he's still more clutch because he expects a better result?  You're a better man than me.  For all the basketball I've watched I still haven't mastered the mind-reading thing.  I guess arrogance can have a positive effect in that you expect a great result every time, but if you fail more often than the next guy, maybe you SHOULD start deferring to teammates. 

That's where I think Kobe is hurting the Lakers now.  I see just about every Lakers game and in my opinion he's killing their offense.  For whatever reason, he refuses to acknowledge that the team will only get back to the upper tier when he recognizes the team is slow and unathletic and NEEDS to play through the post to succeed.  It seems like in his attempt to be clutch he's killing his team slowly.



Since: Sep 4, 2007
Posted on: March 2, 2012 12:02 am
 

Barkley on Rome: LeBron defers too much

In clutch situations this year, Lebron has been more effective than Kobe but shot less.  Does that mean he's choked less because he missed fewer clutch shots?  Does that make Kobe the bigger choke artist because he's missed more clutch shots than anyone this year? <br /><br /><br />Excellent point.  To me clutch is 75% expectation and 25% result. I would call it your expectation that you can deliver when its all on the line.  I would call Kobe more clutch than most because he expects to succeed.  Everything in his posture and body language transmits confidence that he can succeed in most of the games I have watched him play.  (There has been a couple of big games when you could see the doubt.)  I often sense Lebrons doubt and thats because he is letting what other people think get to him despite his outward show of arrogance.  There are only 2 players I never saw doubt creep across their face in the games I saw.  Jordan and Bird.  The horn had to blow before either of them conceded the game was over.




Since: Sep 4, 2007
Posted on: March 1, 2012 11:49 pm
 

Barkley on Rome: LeBron defers too much

 i would define choking as making a mistake or being indecisive <strong>in the face of pressure real or imagined</strong>. For example in Wades failing to secure the ball before attempting to score the go ahead basket and Lebron throwing a cross court pass that had at best a 50/50 chance of getting to his teamate.  Maybe I was a little to harsh on DWill but he should have hit that last shot.  That was an outstanding play and remember he had hit his previous 2 jumpers before that.  Of course this is all just my opinion and that is what makes this board fun.  People being able to speak their opinions in a respectful manner.




Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: March 1, 2012 6:31 pm
 

Barkley on Rome: LeBron defers too much

You have to admit that was a terrible pass for any moment in the game.
Absolutely!  No doubt about it.  But I don't see how that's a choke.  A choke to me is the 90% free throw shooter missing two with his team down one.  It's being indecisive and travelling because you can't decide what you want to do with the ball.  It's calling a timeout when your team doesn't have one.  Players make mistakes all the time, and have bad games all the time, but that doesn't mean they choked.  I don't even understand the comment about how Williams choked.  His shot was off all game.  To me, that's all there is to it, nothing more, nothing less. 

In clutch situations this year, Lebron has been more effective than Kobe but shot less.  Does that mean he's choked less because he missed fewer clutch shots?  Does that make Kobe the bigger choke artist because he's missed more clutch shots than anyone this year?  Not in my mind.  Guys will make some, and they will miss some, and the guys who shoot more will miss more.  I just don't see a missed shot or a bad pass as choking.  Either way, it's just a player trying to make a play and not making it.



Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: March 1, 2012 6:24 pm
 

Barkley on Rome: LeBron defers too much

I can recall some games during Lebron's Cleveland days where he not only closed but as stated above carried the team as well.

You don't have to look all the way back to Cleveland.  Just watch the replays of last year's Boston series where he stuck a dagger in the Celtics over and over again - when it mattered most.


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