Should We Make Anything of LeBron Passing up the Last Shot at the All-Star Game?
I can’t remember a professional athlete that went from beloved to polarizing faster than LeBron James (maybe Kobe Bryant). Ever since ‘the decision,’ the LeBron detractors have taken glee in every one of his shortcomings as a professional. They relished in his shaky fourth quarters against the Mavericks in the NBA Finals.
Last night’s All Star Game from Orlando gave the LBJ haters more ammo. The West held a commanding lead most of the game, but the East tightened the contest in the waning moments. Trailing 151-149, the East had a chance to tie or take the lead.
LeBron took the inbounds pass with about 16 sixteen seconds. James deferred to Deron Williams, who bricked badly. The rebound was tapped back to Williams, who gave it back to James with about five seconds left. Rather than put up the last shot, James threw a terrible cross court pass that was intercepted.
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LeBron fans are largely dismissing it, saying ‘it’s just an All Star Game.’ The haters are filing away last night to their growing cache of evidence supporting the notion that LeBron is neither clutch nor does he ever want to take the last shot.
I think by now we’ve come to the conclusion that LeBron will never be Jordan, Bird, or Kobe when it comes to having the ball at the end of games. For whatever reason it drives LeBron haters nuts that he seems to lack the ‘clutch’ gene. People can’t come to terms with the fact that a two time MVP would rather be on the red carpet with ‘The Dictator’ than have the ball in crunch time.
I think the sooner we accept the fact that LeBron is an immense talent and player who would rather defer in late game situations, the better we will all be as fans.