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  1. #1
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    Default Pay attention, LeBron!- Bill Ingram , Hoopsworld

    Pay Attention, LeBron!

    By: Bill Ingram


    While most of the NBA world seems to be consumed in pondering where LeBron James will land next season, it's important for LeBron, himself, to be paying close attention to the Western Conference Finals. That's right - the opposite conference's final round.

    You see, LeBron James has been a legend in his own mind for quite some time, since long before he graced the NBA with his presence. He was "The King" right out of high school and Nike wanted us to know we were "Witness"-ing something special. It's not entirely LeBron's fault that his ego is out of control, the fact is we idolize and label young athletes far too early in this country. We want someone to be the next Michael Jordan or Magic Johnson, but there's not a player on the planet who can live up to either of those labels. Right now it looks like LeBron can't even live up to his own label. After seven years in the NBA, what exactly have we been witnessing?

    "I spoil a lot of people with my play," James told ESPN.com after a blow-out Game 5 loss to Boston. "When you have a bad game here or there, you've had three bad games in a seven-year career, then it's easy to point that out."

    See the problem? LeBron gives away his own Achilles' heel when he makes statements like that. Three bad games in seven years? Really? Here's a note LeBron - every time your team is eliminated from the playoffs it's a bad game for you, regardless of your own personal stats. You're The King, remember?

    LeBron, of course, has more than three bad games in 2009-10 alone, but instead of continuing down that path, let's take a quick look at the player against whom LeBron is most frequently measured: Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant. Notice it's not "King Kobe" or "Greatest Player Ever Bryant." Kobe has his nicknames, but none are nearly as narcissistic as "King James." Yet Bryant has proven to be, time and time again, this NBA era's gold (and purple) standard. He has four championships to his credit with entirely different casts of players around him, he's always near the top of the league in scoring, but more importantly he raises the level of play of his entire team when he steps on the floor. In those ways, Bryant is very much like Michael Jordan of the previous era, though his game is entirely his own and does not warrant a "next Michael Jordan" label. LeBron may have won back-to-back MVP's, but Kobe Bryant has been the best player on the planet for the better part of the last decade, with only Tim Duncan qualified to insert himself into that discussion.

    "I put a lot of pressure on myself to be out there and be the best player on the court," explained LeBron after that Game 5 loss to Boston. "When I'm not, I feel bad for myself because I'm not going out there and doing the things I can do. But I don't hang my head low or make any excuses about anything that may be going on, because that's not the type of player or person I am."

    Perhaps it's time for LeBron to hang his head just a bit - and perhaps he could hang it in the general direction of a TV tuned to the Western Conference Finals. Heck, I bet a phone call would land him courtside for the rest of the series. After all, he's The King. He could learn a lot about what it means to win at a championship level - or even the playoff level - from his counterpart in the West. Kobe Bryant, injured finger, knee, and all, rises to the occasion when the games matter more. After struggling a couple of times in the first round, Bryant has been simply brilliant in the five subsequent games. He averaged 32.0 points and shot 52.3% from the field in sweeping the Utah Jazz, and dropped 40 on the Phoenix Suns in a blow-out win in Game 1 of the WCF last night.

    Hey, LeBron, did you catch that?

    Regular season MVP trophies are nice. They really are. Just ask Charles Barkley and Karl Malone. Now ask them if they would trade them in in a heartbeat for a championship ring.

    Time to pay attention, LeBron. Get your head out of your own . . .rear . . .view mirror and take a look at what a real MVP looks like. It might help you when you start next season as the "savior" of some franchise, whether that's Cleveland or somewhere else.

    Every great player in the NBA has had their moment of truth. Michael Jordan didn't start winning championships right away. First he had to get over his own ability to step out on the court and score 50 on a given night and realize that he needed his teammates if he wanted to win. Hakeem Olajuwon had that moment during a stretch of games where he was injured and his team put together an impressive winning streak without him. Kobe Bryant had that moment after Shaquille O'Neal left and he realized he couldn't do it alone. Vince Carter had that moment more recently, and looked to fit in rather than star when he landed in Orlando this season.

    It's time for LeBron to have that moment. Until he does, he will never be the elite player that ESPN, in particular, seems to believe he already is.




    Read more NBA news and insight: http://www.hoopsworld.com/Story.asp?...#ixzz0oOXqsvDn

  2. #2
    LeConned CHIMOCHIS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pay attention, Lebron!- Bill Ingram , Hoopsworld

    Jazz & SUNS great defensive teams

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    I say what I want, punk LBJ23MJ's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pay attention, Lebron!- Bill Ingram , Hoopsworld

    Um, pay attention Bill! Your idol hasn't even been the best player on his own TEAM this postseason, not over this dude:



    Get off of Kobe's jockstrap already. Sheesh. And yet these SAME media fools get mad at the "hyping up" of LeBron??????? They need to take off the Lakers #24 jersey and WAKE UP.

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    Savior of Humanity InBoobieWeTrust's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pay attention, Lebron!- Bill Ingram , Hoopsworld

    Quote Originally Posted by CHIMOCHIS View Post
    Jazz & SUNS great defensive teams
    +1

    Let's see how the Lakers fare if they have to take on Boston...who might have been the best team all along and you can't blame anybody for not thinking it because they didn't play like it until just three weeks ago.

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    Situational Stopper El_diablo_03's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pay attention, Lebron!- Bill Ingram , Hoopsworld

    The typical "you're not that good cause you don't have one hundred rings" argument.

    I'm tired of this crap. Basketball is a TEAM sport. Nobody win on their own.

    To me, LeBron only failed once so far in his career and it was this year because he really had the team to win the whole thing and didn't.

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    Default Re: Pay attention, Lebron!- Bill Ingram , Hoopsworld

    Look up to Kobe? The same Kobe that refused to take a shot in an elimination game to prove a point. The guy who nicknamed himself after the most venomous snake in the world? Ridiculous

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    Rising Star CzBoobie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pay attention, Lebron!- Bill Ingram , Hoopsworld

    We knew this was coming, right?

    And still I always wonder what Lebron could do with Phil Jackson, Pau Gasol, Bynum, Artest, Odom on his team...especially against such defensive juggernauts as shorthanded Jazz and the Suns.

    I have to change my avatar, I'm officially rooting for the Celtics. Nothing would give more pleasure than watching them beating Kobe to a pulp in the Finals..again.

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    Default Re: Pay attention, Lebron!- Bill Ingram , Hoopsworld

    Have to say three weeks ago we would have rushed to LBJ's defense - but after the combination of his lazy play and those selfish post-game quotes - while Bill is biased and a little over dramatic here - he's got a point.

    If any of you have read "Good to Great" (awesome business book) they define a true leader as someone that defers credit in the light of success and owns it in the light of failure. I love him and hope he's back next year - but LeBron could use a bit more maturity, humility and skills as a leader, not by talk, but by example - you just don't go down without a fight when you're the King and you sure as shit don't let your court give less than 100%.

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    Guardian of the Cavaliers Green Lantern's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pay attention, LeBron!- Bill Ingram , Hoopsworld

    My immediate reaction is I don't care if the writer is off on some of his comments..Lebron deserves a ton of criticism/heat since it appears he mailed it in/choked/rebelled/quit...and his comments certainly were arrogant ..3 bad games in 7 years????..his whole series against the Spurs was bad..dude has a ballooned opinion of his games..he's a had a bunch of bad games..the worse ones being in the playoffs.
    Before he tries to hold everyone hostage with his decision he ought to admit to himself he was a large part of the collaspe.
    I don't have his back that much right now..I know what I saw...

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    I say what I want, punk LBJ23MJ's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pay attention, Lebron!- Bill Ingram , Hoopsworld

    Quote Originally Posted by kamoflage View Post
    If any of you have read "Good to Great" (awesome business book) they define a true leader as someone that defers credit in the light of success and owns it in the light of failure. I love him and hope he's back next year - but LeBron could use a bit more maturity, humility and skills as a leader, not by talk, but by example - you just don't go down without a fight when you're the King and you sure as shit don't let your court give less than 100%.
    So tired of the "He doesn't let his team lose" argument. I'm sorry, but if you need to be told that your play isn't cutting it in the playoffs and you need to step it up your team, it's YOUR fault. There's no self-accountability whatsoever in this sport.

    As for LeBron not leading his team by example? Everyone saw happened in the ECF last playoffs right? At some point, people need to start asking guys like Mo Williams what the heck they're doing out there on the floor, not LeBron.

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    Default Re: Pay attention, Lebron!- Bill Ingram , Hoopsworld

    Quote Originally Posted by LBJ23MJ View Post
    So tired of the "He doesn't let his team lose" argument. I'm sorry, but if you need to be told that your play isn't cutting it in the playoffs and you need to step it up your team, it's YOUR fault. There's no self-accountability whatsoever in this sport.

    As for LeBron not leading his team by example? Everyone saw happened in the ECF last playoffs right? At some point, people need to start asking guys like Mo Williams what the heck they're doing out there on the floor, not LeBron.
    I don't disagree with what you're saying here - but while LeBron can do nothing to help Mo make a basket - he can definitely (a) lead by example in terms of intensity and (b) get in the face of the guys that don't follow. I just don't think we can underestimate the affect by osmosis that LBJ's attitude alone has on the rest of the guy. MJ (I'm only comparing attitude) would have ripped Pippen's head off for walking up the court or taking an early in the clock 25 footer.

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    I say what I want, punk LBJ23MJ's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pay attention, Lebron!- Bill Ingram , Hoopsworld

    Quote Originally Posted by kamoflage View Post
    I don't disagree with what you're saying here - but while LeBron can do nothing to help Mo make a basket - he can definitely (a) lead by example in terms of intensity and (b) get in the face of the guys that don't follow. I just don't think we can underestimate the affect by osmosis that LBJ's attitude alone has on the rest of the guy. MJ (I'm only comparing attitude) would have ripped Pippen's head off for walking up the court or taking an early in the clock 25 footer.
    I can't count the amount of times I've seen people yells in the faces of those who need a swift kick in the rear and they don't do anything differently from before.

    I'm not saying at all that it's not important to have a leader for guidance purposes, but people keep mistaking it for the WILL to improve. The best leader and the best person that can bring about the necessary change to better himself and his team starts with the person looking in the mirror.

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    Situational Stopper Quavvy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pay attention, LeBron!- Bill Ingram , Hoopsworld

    This article is so very ordinary. Ric Bucher could think farther outside the literary box than this. Hell, even I could, lack of creative writing skills be damned.

  14. #14
    Team Player GreasySpread36's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pay attention, Lebron!- Bill Ingram , Hoopsworld

    Quote Originally Posted by kamoflage View Post
    Have to say three weeks ago we would have rushed to LBJ's defense - but after the combination of his lazy play and those selfish post-game quotes - while Bill is biased and a little over dramatic here - he's got a point.
    He absolutely has a point when it comes to criticizing LeBron.

    It's the whole, "Let me tell you about a guy named Kobe..." angle that throws things into a cocked hat.

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    Team Player LUPE FRESH's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pay attention, Lebron!- Bill Ingram , Hoopsworld

    Quote Originally Posted by LBJ23MJ View Post
    So tired of the "He doesn't let his team lose" argument. I'm sorry, but if you need to be told that your play isn't cutting it in the playoffs and you need to step it up your team, it's YOUR fault. There's no self-accountability whatsoever in this sport.

    As for LeBron not leading his team by example? Everyone saw happened in the ECF last playoffs right? At some point, people need to start asking guys like Mo Williams what the heck they're doing out there on the floor, not LeBron.
    Great post. It is terrible that Game 5 will define his career. He arguably had the most dominating performaces in the ECF last year, and we all remember Game 5 of the detroit series. For all of the flare, Lebron is easily one of the harderst working players in the NBA today and is one of best leaders in the NBA today.

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