Dan LeBatard on Wade Stepping Back for James

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In his latest column, Dan LeBatard talks about the relationship between Wade and James, and how it has changed from last year and this year.  It’s a good read, as usual, from LeBatard whose connections in his hometown Miami allows him unique access to the Heat organization.

If you don’t think that gulf matters, consider the tension in Oklahoma City, where Westbrook has shot this postseason more than Durant. Wade has stepped to the side, willingly, acknowledging out loud that James is better than he is even though athletes are terrible self-evaluators, which is why so many of them hang on too long. Confidence is always last to go, and the mirror is always last to know. Wade says stepping aside has been very tough for him. Within the context of team sports, it is maybe the most mature thing the big brother has ever done.

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4 Responses to “Dan LeBatard on Wade Stepping Back for James”

  1. boyer Says:

    When has wade ever even been close to as good as lebron over the past 5-6 years? Weird comments from wade, as usual. I don’t see much of a difference on the court either from this year compared to last year. It’s lebron, then wade. Quite the contrast compared to kobe and gasol/bynum, where people have been screaming for years for gasol/bynum to get more touches.

    And lebatard is clueless about westbrook as most of the rest of the media. The media has tried to make up friction between durant/westbrook, which isn’t there. Brooks has said that he likes the way westbrook plays, as has durant. The media just likes to focus on particular player from time to time to bash. It was kobe, and still is, and now it’s westbrook’s turn. Fact is, westbrook is an elite player, and helps his team by being aggressive and shooting a lot. He can create his own shot easier than durant can, and durant isn’t yet that skilled in iso and post situations. Hard to get many more shots off than he does. And it’s not like durant doesn’t get many shots off. He does get plenty.

    Not true about the self evaluator comment either. Some are and some aren’t, but this is primarily about prospects, which doesn’t involve wade and lebron currently. As far as evaluating current talent level, who would know better than other athletes that you’re playing against? They along with the coaches would be the best talent evaluators there are about current talent, which is what wade is referring to. As far as next year goes, who knows, but that’s different.

    • pmadavi Says:

      LeBatard may seem like he’s coming down on Westbrook, but he’s actually been one of the few to avoid doing that. In this column, I think he’s just holding up Westbrook/Durant as an example of how hard it is to sit back for the better player. I can’t imagine anyone arguing that Westbrook a better shooter than Durant. I certainly would want Durant shooting more than Westbrook.

      And if you watch the latest Dream Team documentary, you will get first hand, from some of the greatest players of all time, just how much their ego gets in the way of their talent evaluation. There wasn’t a single guy who didn’t think he was better than the other guy playing his position. Magic didn’t want to let go of the leadership and give it to MJ – even after losing to him in the Finals and watching him repeat. Drexler to this day won’t say that MJ was better than him.

      Don’t underestimate how much these guys rely on their egos. Remember, there’s fewer NBA players than BILLIONAIRES. Think about how hard it is to make that much money, how much has to fall in place, how hard you have to work, and how many people you have to climb over. Now realize that it’s harder than that to be a NBA player, let alone a NBA star. Egos run rampant with good reason.

      • boyer Says:

        Their egos may be talking, but not their brains. Drexler might not admit it, but he knows jordan was better than him. There’s a big difference in the two. Most of the stuff wade and james says is complete nonsense, I don’t get caught up in much of it. But, it’s just ridiculous that wade even had to say that, especially given some of the lackluster performances he’s displayed during the past 2 playoffs.

        He said tension between durant/westbrook. That’s pretty harsh, given that he has no idea if there is any tension, and he’s clearly telling us he’s clueless about OKC and westbrook. Well, people want bynum/pau to shoot more than kobe. Sure, theoretically, you probably want durant shooting more than westbrook, but that’s not how it works. You can’t just forcefeed the ball to durant. But, it’s just dumb to look at the # of shots someone takes and think you can make any clearcut conclusions about that player. This has been going on for years with kobe, just complete nonsense, just another way to bash someone. It’s about being aggressive, not how many shots or how many passes someone makes.

  2. jpalumbo Says:

    The best example of this I can remember is David Robinson stepping aside for Tim Dumcan. He mentored Tim for a season and then very clearly handed him the reins.

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