With 7:54 left, following a 26-foot bomb by Paul Pierce and back-to-back Cavs turnovers to make it 83-74 on Thursday, LeBron James slammed the ball to the floor and walked back to the Cleveland bench without giving any high fives or even making eye contact with his teammates.
King James spent the timeout muttering to himself and staring at the floor with a DGF style that prompted me blurt out: “LeBron’s LeGone!”
Just like that, LeBron’s a goner.
Sure, LeBron got his triple double in Thursday’s 94-85 loss to the Boston Celtics in Game 6, but when was the last time you saw James attempt just six shots in the fourth quarter of a closeout playoff game?
And he scored, or went to the line on four of those six attempts, which makes you wonder, why was he dishing, and dishing, and dishing?
Reminded me of Kobe Bryant in the 2006 playoffs when he refused to take a shot in the second half of that 121-90 debacle to the Phoenix Suns.
You know, the game the homers at NBA.com described as a “puzzling disappearing act, (where) Bryant deferred to his teammates in the second half Saturday, taking just three shots and scoring one point on a technical free throw.”
Also reminded me of the crap Manny Ramirez pulled before being traded to Los Angeles by the Boston RedSox, refusing to hustle in the field, leg out fly balls, or interact with his teammates, or the fans, for that matter.
I mean, when have you ever seen LeBron defer to his teammates, in a situation like this? The whole thing is crazy. This is the best team James has played on: winning 60+ games for the second straight season: and there’s no guarantee he’ll be on another team that produces this many wins.
This was his chance. I don’t care how hurt he is, or what beef has come up in the locker room.
Your time is now, LeBron, take advantage of it. Just look at all the greats before you who were never able to win the big one (they’re all on TV calling your games, so it’s not like they’re hard to see â€“ Charles Barkley, Chris Webber, Reggie Miller).
But, hey, at least LeBron will get more exposure in New York. ‘Cause we all know LeBron loves being the man, and could care less about the little people: like the poor ballboy.
While there’s a chance the Knicks could do what the Boston Celtics did a couple years ago, going from worst to first thanks to the addition of two HUGE signings, there’s also a chance LeBron doesn’t ever get to the Finals because his teams don’t have enough cap room to add another solid player.
As it stands right now, here are the odds for what team LeBron goes to next season, according to BoDog.com:
- Cleveland Cavaliers: 1-2
- Chicago Bulls: 5-2
- New York Knicks: 9-2
I think the only way LeBron returns to Cleveland is if the Cavs get rid of Mike Brown, and they bring in some help — because it’s clear an aging Shaquille O’Neal, Antawn Jamison and an overrated Mo Williams aren’t going to get it done.
The Cavs need to handle this signing with care, just like the Lakers did for Kobe, after Phil Jackson took the year off in 2004-05, in preparation for the signing of guys like Lamar Odom and Pau Gasol.
Myself? I’d rather have Dwyane Wade on my squad, along with a capable big man like Chris Bosh.
Will it happen? Probably not, but it would be better than what happened during the Conference Finals.
Maybe it’s a good thing the Cavs aren’t in the Final Four, because if it’s been a nightmare for me, I can’t image what it’s been like for Cleveland Fans.
“A friend of mine told me today, after the game,” LeBron said, “that I guess you have to go through a lot of nightmares before you finally accomplish your dream. That’s what’s going on individually for myself right now.”