He sort of sounds scared, doesn’t he?
LeBron James certainly doesn’t sound like the best player of this generation or the defending NBA champion — even though that’s what he is.
But he’s not acting like it. No, James is acting, oh I don’t know, like he just gave up a 25-point lead in the Super Bowl or something. Or maybe a guy who blew a 3-to-1 lead in the NBA Finals.
First, it was a profanity-laced complaint to Cleveland Cavaliers beat writers about needing a playmaker. Then he was dissatisfied with Cavs ownership. Something about how the highest spending franchise in the league wasn’t spending enough for James’ taste.
Then it was a highly publicized verbal tit-for-tat with a TV analyst. While James wasn’t wrong about Charles Barkley (and it was extremely entertaining), he didn’t answer any of the questions Barkley raised about his behavior or his team’s performance.
Now James is insulting well-respected reporters for simply doing their jobs.
Why? Because James is scared and frustrated. It’s the only explanation. He looks across the league playground at the Golden State Warriors and wants to know when he gets his Kevin Durant. He knows the Warriors are coming his crown.
Do the Cavaliers need another “playmaker” to win a second straight championship? Did Barkley over-step his bounds with his criticism of James? Did the New York Daily News’ Frank Isola get his information about a potential Carmelo Anthony-for-Kevin Love trade (which would be stupid for the Cavs) from motivated sources in the New York Knicks organization?
Probably. But why act like a big baby about it? Why show your frustration? These are the rules of engagement when attempting to become the greatest of all-time in the highest level of hardcourt competition.
James is the best player of his generation and the defending NBA champion. His job is to avoid stooping to their levels.
His job is to exude confidence, ignore the media, use criticism as motivation, rally his teammates, keep his cool and dominate his opponents every night.
He’s just not doing any of that right now.
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