As I’m busy with moving out today at college, today’s post is a guest feature from fellow USC student Alejandro Madrid. Check out his daily blog about the San Francisco Giants and USC sports, Protecting the Pandoval, at http://waldoplodder.wordpress.com.
Last night, LeBron James wilted under the spotlight, as the Boston Celtics routed his team to take a 3-2 series lead. Throughout the game, he seemed lackadaisical and tried to be a distributor instead of the two-time MVP. At the end of the game, the Cavaliers fans booed James in what might have been his final home game in Cleveland.
Superstars are bound to have off-nights over the course of their careers. After all, they are human beings. That said, if LeBron wants to cement his legacy as one of the greatest in history, he can’t perform poorly in crucial playoff games. Shooting 3-14 from the floor and scoring fifteen points is not going to draw comparisons to Michael Jordan.
Not only did James fail on the court, he also failed miserably when addressing the media. During his press conference, LeBron told he reporters he wasn’t the kind of player that makes excuse for his play. However, in his very next sentence, James remarked that he had spoiled America with his play and that it is easy to criticize him for having three bad games in his seven-year career.
Let’s pretend for a second that LeBron only has three poor performances in his career. Even so, two of those performances have come in this postseason. In his final year before free agency, LeBron has yet to fulfill his promise of delivering a championship to Cleveland. He needs to take the criticism in stride and show up for Game 6 with unmatched focus and intensity. Instead, he is whining and complaining about fair questions from the media. The greats shine under the lights and the pressure.
LeBron’s immaturity poked through last night, and the world has now seen a side of his personality not quite out in the open yet except in his storming off the court after losing to the Magic in the Eastern Conference finals last year. Given this new side, it stands to reason that maybe a source of Cleveland’s failures has been neglected. Previously, pundits blamed the team’s ownership for not surrounding LeBron with enough talent and Mike Brown for not being an elite coach. But perhaps America has been blind to a third piece of the puzzle: James for his lack of strong leadership.