Check Please?

Photo courtesy of BasketSession.com.

By Josh Kramer

If you watched any of last night’s NBA Finals Game 4, you must have noticed the David Blaine like act put on by the supposed best player in basketball, Lebron James.  It was absolutely sickening to watch the man they call the “King,” defer to the real “King” of the Heat, Dwyane Wade.

You know things are bad when guys like DeShawn Stevenson, who spent a good amount of the game guarding #6 are saying that it was not the defense that slowed him down.  And guys like Chris Bosh, a man vastly criticized for being “too soft” is speaking out about Lebron’s performance. But people will always talk.  It’s a fact of life.

Numbers are where the real story is shown.  Lebron put up one shot attempt in the 4th Quarter last night.  A man who shoots nearly 18 shots a game in the regular season is only getting off one shot attempt in the 4th quarter of a close NBA Finals game?  Something is not adding up.

This was the first time that Lebron has been held to single digits (8 points) since January of 2007.  Sure last night can be called an off night.  But Lebron has had other off nights over the past 3.5 years.  It is impossible to go that long of a period without having an off game.  On those off nights though, he still managed to hit double digits.  Last night was just flat-out embarrassing.  And here is the main stat though that should be making headlines.  The “King” has 9 total points in the 4th Quarter through 4 NBA Final’s Games.  When it matters the most, Lebron has pulled a disappearing act.

As for his comparison with the true greatest of all time, Michael Jordan never fell short of 20 a game in the Finals.

Many times during the 4th quarter last night, Lebron James was being guarded by the 6 foot 2 Jason Terry. Is anyone going to try to tell me that Terry would have a prayer at neutralizing the 6 foot 8 freak athlete that is Lebron James.  Not only does Lebron have over half a foot on the guy, but he is faster, stronger, and more athletic as well.  Jason Terry continues to run his mouth.  And last night, he backed up the talk with a great 4th Quarter.  I am not sure how Lebron is not motivated to take this guy to school.  The killer instinct is just nonexistent.

Last night was very reminiscent of Lebron’s going away party against Boston last year.  The only difference this year is that Lebron has a team that can get him the title whether he decides to play or not.  In Cleveland, if he had an off night, the chances of winning were 0.  With the Heat, the chances of winning are still very good whether he plays well or not.

In Lebron’s defense though.  He has been the main guy on Miami all year-long and up until the Finals, was playing fantastic all around basketball.  But now is the time where the light is shown the biggest on Lebron and the Heat.  And he is fisseling.  The critics and the majority of the media is having a Thanksgiving like feast on this.  And they should.

Many called Lebron out back in July when the infamous “Decision” was made.  Saying that he was traveling to Wadeville to have Wade get him a title.  Now though that is not entirely true, in these Finals, it is happening.  Lebron is in a no win situation here.  If they win a title.  He got it given to him by Wade.  If they lose, well they lose.

Maybe “LeRobin” James is fine being the side kick.  Maybe he doesn’t desire to be the next Jordan.  Winning is what he wants perhaps?  James has always wanted to be a global icon.  I am not sure he realizes being the Scottie Pippen of the Miami Heat will not help him obtain that Jordan like iconic status.

Either way Lebron James appears to be just asking for a check.  He has checked out at this point, just like he did in Game 5 against Boston last year.  Only this time, he still might leave with a ring, due to the great team around him.

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

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