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List of Articles by Homer D. Sayson


 

King James or King Flop?

By Homer D. Sayson
PhilBoxing.com
12 Jun 2011



THE BURDEN of unmet expectations is eating up LeBron James, holding him down like the weight of unconfessed sin.

A member of the fabled draft class of 2003, LeBron, then a high schooler, left his quiet Akron, Ohio hometown for the bright lights of the NBA --- a 6-foot-8, 250-pound hybrid blessed with the strength of a heavyweight and the speed of a track runner.

The darling of the media, he was anointed The Chosen One, and was supposed to collect MVP awards, All-Star accolades, and enough championship rings to start a jewelry store.

But in this year's NBA Finals, in pro basketball's grandest stage, all we've seen from LeBron James is a failure that is disappointing and heartachingly massive.

In the scalding heat of this championship series, yes, LeBron James is melting before our eyes.

When we look at LeBron and marvel at the things he can do on the court, we scream at how unfair it is to have so much talent stuffed in one body. But to whom so much is given, so much is demanded.

And that is why fans are enraged when he only has so little to give.

IN THE first three rounds of the playoffs, LeBron has been magnificent, averaging over 28 points per game, but in these Finals, his scoring has dipped to 17 per. And more alarmingly, he has disappeared in the fourth quarter, where everything is on the line.

When the Heat dispatched the Philadelphia 76ers, Boston Celtics and the Chicago Bulls, LeBron was the macho in macho man --- staring down his opponents, bobbing his head, sticking out his mouthpiece, flexing his muscles and manisfesting all sorts of swagger that a winner wields.

Against the relentless Mavericks, though, most of what we've seen from LeBron is a confused, petrified look, the often sagging shoulders, and the lonely, defeated walk to the shelter of the Miami Heat locker room.

LeBron's fourth quarter production in five Finals games thus far is a puny 11 points, and he is going to the free throw line a mere three times a game, which lends ammunition to the argument that James has shrunk from the big moments.

Look, I know LeBron wants to be a facilitator to get his teammates involved, but in the final minutes of a championship game, he has to take that shot, not Mike Miller or Udonis Haslem.

That's why LeBron is in the $100 million pay grade. His talents mandate that he take over.

SO WHAT on this hoops loving earth is wrong with BronBron?

Could it be that his heart simply cannot match the size of his big dreams? Or could it be that he just doesn't have the mental toughness to go along with his supreme physical gifts?

I'm not a cardiologist, so I don't know. And I am neither a trained psychiatrist, who can make an informed assessment on LeBron's state of mind.

But I do know that should the Miami Heat somehow overcome the Dallas Mavericks and capture the 2011 NBA title, it will be accomplished largely on the will and skill of Dwyane Wade.

Because LeBron James -- The Great One -- is playing more like The Great Bust. (Homer D. Sayson)


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