King James or Court Jester?


Is he a leader?

Lebron is king of the court; we are all just spectators.  

Lebron is the chosen one.  

Lebron is comparable to Oscar Robertson, Magic Johnson, and the greatest of all time.  

Turn on your television, listen to your local sports talk radio, or  eavesdrop on a pick-up game of basketball during a water break and you will probably hear all of these comments. Some of these statements are true. Some are gross exaggerations.  

James is rarely ever described as spoiled rotten. Sportswriters have written about the fact that James owned a $80,000 Hummer before he turned 19. Joakim Noah  would probably prefer James practiced his samba on Dancing with the Stars. Deshawn Stevenson practically stepped into a land mine when he called James’ game “overrated”. Stevenson’s small comment ignited a war of words with, arguably, one of the greatest rappers of all time and Soldier Boy. Poor Stevenson did not stand a chance.  

So, it’s understandable that few eagerly travel down the path of criticizing Lebron’s game. Sure, he is a phenomenal, one-in-a-million player.  

But if you watched the third game of the Cleveland-Boston series, you would find there is much to criticize about King James. Late into the second half, James penetrated inside with at least two white jerseys smothering him, drawing contact. No foul. James, however, did not shake his head and run back up the court as Kobe Bryant frequently does. Instead he stood looking like a stubborn child refusing to play after being tagged “it”. Except there was no one there to coax him back into the game. The result: the Celtics rushed the boards to take advantage of James’ first-grade behavior. All players get angry when they slash to the hoop and do not get a trip to the foul line; every once in a while Kobe’s ice-cold exterior melts away. But  the Cavs aren’t leading the series by three games, and this is not the regular season–the number one seed in the East are in trouble, guys. The Celtics have been here before. It’s going to be a dog fight, folks. The Celtics will not go calmly into the dark night; they might just limp and drag their way into the third round of the playoffs. The Cavs’ trouble has nothing to do with Lebron’s elbow and  a little something to do with Lebron’s maturity on the court.  

Early in the first half, Lebron hit a tough jumper that caused Mark Jackson to refer to him as “Picasso”. Lebron’s “artwork” even impressed himself; he turned to scowl at the crowd just before emitting a noise that ,if translated, would be something like: “Woo-wee! Did you see that? I mean, I did not know I could do that! It’s just  so pretty!” Pretty as it was, Lebron is going to need more than just a barrage of  awe-inspiring shots to win this series, and  a possible  match-up with the Magic. It’s the shots that we expect Lebron to make that matter. The missed free-throws. The lay-ups. This is why Kobe Bryant, even as the arthritis begins to set in as he enters his thirties, is still unstoppable. Kobe makes the shots a leader should make; no one is surprised–it’s what a leader does. Nothing fancy. Just gripping the ball, sluicing in between two competitors, and laying it up gently.  

Cue the Akron Hammer fans: but what about the injury? They’ll say surely something is not quite right about James ever since that dreaded elbow twinge during the Bulls-Cavaliers series.  Sorry, Hammer fans, but this is an easy point to refute: the leading team physician defined the injury as not serious.  Certainly, James is experiencing legitimate pain and is not 100%.  But James  has to find a way to play through the pain (See: Grant Hill, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, Kobe Bryant, etc.), but he also has to find a way to lead his team through the pain. . Teaching your teammates how to do the stanky-leg is not it. Motivating your team through your actions on the court is proven to guarantee better results.  

A king is more than just in charge of his subjects. A king has a right, a duty to counsel his subjects to make the right decisions for the rest of the group. A wise man once said: “Heavy is the head that wears the crown.” Growing up in Ohio, shining on the basketball court and football field, Lebron  knew he stood to benefit immensely for his athletic prowess. Now it’s time to mature and take on the responsibilities that come with the crown. Then, one day, he can revel in the moment and realize that it really is good to be king.

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~ by Miss Tea on May 10, 2010.

4 Responses to “King James or Court Jester?”

  1. I think your right on some points. However it must be pointed out that one man cannot be the team, he needs help, and honestly I feel you are a bit biased, perhaps like your a kobe fan. We need to be real and recognize that this man is on his own, he needs help, and even on his own look how far he’s going. Also I think that people need to stop hating on my king. Sidenote I hope he wins in all his games so people can see what I see, and that is how truly great he really is!

    • True. I think you have to compare Lebron to Kobe–they are two of the best players in the league. Everyone knows I hate Kobe, but I can’t hate his game; sometimes he is so dependable its scary. BronBron hasn’t learned this yet. I think he might get it a little later in his career. I’m still pulling (perhaps foolishly) for the Cavs and Suns. We’ll see.

  2. You can’t compare Lebron to Kobe. I hate Kobe but I respect his game. He is clutch. Lebron is not. Kobe has a killer instinct that Lebron just doesn’t have. Kobe does have a lot of help that James just doesn’t have, which affords him opportunities to take quarters off sometimes- keeping him fresh for crunch time. All that said, Lebon is King of Cleveland and nothing else. Cleveland is probably his problem. Everyone there has been on his jock since high school. He believes his hype. He is a phenomenal talent but maybe he needs to go without the home cooking for a while. Maybe when he gets his head outta the clouds he’ll be able to find that “thing” that’s missing from his game.

    • @ Khalid. Two different styles. Two different positions. But you have to compare the two because of the level at which they both play the game. Not comparing them would be like ignoring the pink elephant in the room. Lebron is trying to get to where Kobe is right now–he is going to spend his career trying to out-do him, just as Kobe is trying to catch MJ. Still, there is something spoiled about Lebron that irks me and you’re right, Cleveland has a big part in that. The move to NY might be better for him as a player because he’ll be under a bigger spotlight and those fans are very critical. I am just sick of his immature behavior–the dancing, the whole show, the elbow–just play some good basketball. Killer instinct–I think he has it. It’s just difficult to find it when everyone is telling you you’re the greatest to ever do it even when you have a lousy game.

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