Jay C. Brandriet
LeBron James has been the best basketball player on the planet for at least the last eight seasons. He just literally, carried his Cavaliers to an Eastern conference title. Now, on a daily basis he is compared to the best baller I’ve ever seen. James lives in the social media era, where he is praised and ripped on every single play. LeBron is the ultimate hot button topic with NBA fans. Some hate him, and try to belittle his place in history. Some love him so much, they are foolish enough to rip on Jordan. “King James” is a beast times one thousand. I think these four criticisms of him have to die.
#1- “JAMES WAS NEVER CLUTCH.”
Relax LeBron haters. I know James collapsed in the 2011 Finals. I know that he was too passive late in games often times in the first half of his career. My buddy Tony Abbott loves to remind me every time he splits a pair of big free throws. At the apex of LeBron’s “clutch struggles” (mostly invented by Skip Bayless), I thought he was a very good in pressure. Today, he’s one of the greatest clutch players of all time.
#2- “DRAYMOND GREEN WAS SUSPENDED FOR GAME 5.”
So a high level player in an over heated moment gets himself kicked out? So what! Draymond got himself suspended. He also was there for six of the seven games. On the road to rings, guys get hurt, ejected, or caught in foul trouble. LeBron being without Kyrie and Kevin Love for the 2015 Finals was a much bigger deal. That’s life. The Cavs beat a 73 win Warriors team. Period.
#3- “RAY ALLEN SAVED LEBRON’S LEGACY WITH THAT THREE.”
Ray Allen hit one of the biggest threes in NBA history in the 2013 NBA Finals. That part is true. It came on the heels of crucial mistakes made by James. The part where James goes on to make up for it in-game seven is not even my point. Every legend has messed up. All of them needed teammates to help them win and many times bail them out. This shot by Allen has become a micro managed subject in the Twitter universe, to take jabs at LeBron.
#4- “LBJ WAS WEAK FOR NEVER BEING IN A DUNK CONTEST.”
This one fascinates me. I heard a well-known 70-year-old sportscaster recently say, “I’m still holding out hope that LeBron completes his resume by entering a slam dunk contest.” Really? Have you not got your fill over his 37,000 combined points? I’ve never needed to see James in that circumstance. I don’t think the league needed it either. What Dr. J did helped shape the NBA. MJ and Dominique put themselves out there to duel in 1988. Vince Carter was, well Vince Carter. We need to give those players credit. James not being in that contest, is irrelevant to his story. He’s one of the elite dunkers to play the game.
Jay C. Brandriet