Miami’s Loss Falls On the Shoulders of One

By Chris Fedor

The 2010-2011 season was one that belonged to LeBron James and it was a season that would’ve seen him climb near the top of the pantheon of NBA greats with his first ever championship. It was a story that looked like it was about to have a Fairy Tale-like ending. First he sent his arch rivals packing by slinging daggers from deep in front of their bench. Then he made the reigning NBA MVP look more like Mo Williams in the Eastern Conference Finals. His stifling defense and overpowering offensive arsenal helped his team become the kings of the Eastern Conference.

It was right there for the taking. The stage belonged to him. It was supposed to be the coronation of LeBron James. It was the moment that he had been waiting for since getting swept out of the NBA Finals in 2007. LeBron James was back on the game’s biggest stage and this time he had the supporting cast to put some ice on his finger. Instead, the clock struck midnight on the final chapter of LeBron’s story this season.

After all the premature celebrations, the declarations, the emphatic dunks, the clutch shots throughout the playoffs, and all the big talk during the NBA Finals, LeBron James crumbled under the pressure once again and ran from his moment without a whimper. When the clock struck zero, LeBron left the court in South Beach with his tail tucked between his legs as the Mavericks celebrated in the self-proclaimed King’s castle.

Unlike his tenure in Cleveland, this time LeBron had no one to blame but himself. Obviously the Dallas Mavericks deserve a ton of credit as well. Their will to win, their passion for the game, their ability to make all the plays in the most crucial time of the games, and their never-say-die attitude is something to be admired…and something that Miami can learn from. I give the Mavs a ton of credit for taking the championship out of the hands of the Miami Heat and LeBron James, but this one falls at the feet of the “Chosen One.”

LeBron James wasn’t good enough. Offensively and defensively he shrunk. There is no way around it. The best player in the NBA needs to play better when the season is on the line. When he looks in the mirror in the next couple of days he will see the reflection of a basketball player who let himself and his teammates down. He will see the reflection of the most talented player in the NBA and also the reflection of the player most responsible for Miami not winning a championship.

All Miami needed to win the series was LeBron James. They didn’t need Kobe Bryant. They didn’t need Michael Jordan. They didn’t need Magic Johnson. They needed LeBron James to be LeBron James. They weren’t asking him to do anything more than what he is fully capable of. Yet when the lights were shining brightest on the most supreme talent in the game, LeBron played his worst. A bad shooting series is one thing, but his struggles in the NBA Finals go way beyond that. He wasn’t aggressive, he never imposed his will on the Mavericks, he backed down from Tyson Chandler countless times, he was punked by DeShawn Stevenson and Jason Terry off the court and on, and in the moments when Miami needed him to play like a King, in the moments when Miami needed him the most, he either stood 25 feet away from the basket like he was Eddie House or James Jones or he passed the ball as if it was a ticking time bomb. He didn’t want the ball with the game on the line and he looked like he was scared of handling the responsibility that comes with losing.

The Miami Heat have some weaknesses. The point guard position, the center position, and the bench were the target of much of the criticism through three playoff series’ and 82 regular season games. Truth is Chris Bosh was plenty good enough. Dwyane Wade looked like a Hall-Of-Famer for much of the series. And the bench, led by Mario Chalmers and Udonis Haslem, gave Miami plenty enough to win. LeBron James did not. 18 points per game is not good enough. Getting outplayed by Dirk Nowitzki is one thing, but to get outplayed by Jason Terry, Shawn Marion, Tyson Chandler, and JJ Barea as well in the biggest games of the series is not good enough. And disappearing acts in the fourth quarter are unacceptable for a player with his talent. The series was hanging in the balance. It was there for the taking. LeBron James’ moment was staring at him in the face and he couldn’t capture it. He has deflected criticism well throughout his career and he was always able to point the finger at his teammates in Cleveland. However, after the Miami Heat faded away in Game Six of the NBA Finals, the only one left for LeBron James to blame is himself.

 

 

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2 Comments

  1. Dude is a jerk that lacks any shred of humility . It must kill him that his idols of Barkley, Magic and MJ all diss him. You are richer LeBron but I am not hated, I can still live in the great city of Cleveland and my memories though not perfect are not those of a scum bucket….that is even if you DO win a ring. You are a year older with a bullseye on your back. You are handcuffed with a high salary cap and no draft picks so, uhhhhhhh, enjoy your wait. Tick, tick, tick, tick ……. ANYBODY BUT MIAMI ABM BABY !!! LOL !! HAVE A NICE LOOOOOOOOONG
    SUMMER LOSER !!! LOL !!!!

  2. Well written, Ned. LeQuit will have to suck it up for another Summer and should know that it did not have to be this way. The proverbial “you made your bed and know he gets to sleep in it”.

    As far as the Dallas series, they did not even have their 2nd leading scorer from earlier in the season, Caron Butler. In two games versus the Heat prior to his injury, he averaged 18+ points per game. Funny how you hear so many media types saying how NOBODY picked Dallas to win the series (like Rizzo mentioned several times yesterday…why???) over the “heatles”, but I see more that DID pick Dallas all the time. John Telich, Michael Reghi, some woman from ESPN on the DVR this morning, me (I tweeted a 6 game Dallas win – obviouisly lucky in my case) and others.

    Now we get to revert to gloom and doom (Negative Ned) as the Cav’s get ready for the draft! Oh boy…the only worse – actually waaaaaay worse, is Aaron. Let’s get ready to hear Ned & Aaron taking the opposite view of Rizzo every day, all show long. No other LOCAL sports talk choices from 9am-1pm…nothing like a good old fashioned monopoly to give a station the right to hang up on everyone (Aaron) and the rest of it…


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