LeBron on Doing Whatever It Takes

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When asked about his 4th quarter play in this year’s NBA Finals, LeBron James said:

“I told you guys, last year I didn’t make enough game-changing plays, and that’s what I kind of pride myself on. I didn’t do that last year in the Finals. I’m just trying to make game-changing plays and whatever it takes for our team to win.”

Now I know that we normally use the LeBron Explains What Happened as prime internet space for making fun of Mr. James and his bizarre mix of too much self-consciousness without enough self-awareness (which is what happens when you’re super-duper-uber-famous from the age of 13). Today, however, I want to praise the Chosen One for taking responsibility for his failings and identifying how he has changed his approach to correct past mistakes.

“Game-changing plays” is a very general description of what LeBron feels he needs to do to help his team win at the highest level, but it’s tough to get much more specific in a two sentence soundbyte. James needs to get big stops, create good shots for others, snag rebounds, make tough shots under pressure and keep his teammates on the same page through crucial moments when momentum swings or games are decided. He has done that this year by keeping his aggression level high and putting pressure on the Thunder at both ends. Even the play at the end of game two where I criticized the officials for not calling LeBron for an obvious foul on Durant in the post, the aggressiveness was still there for LeBron. He wasn’t an observer. He didn’t hope Durant missed the shot. He got his hands on KD and made sure. That has been the significant different between this year and last. LeBron has not allowed himself to play passive basketball. He might not be playing perfect, but he is playing tough, and that’s what the Heat need to pull out these tight games against the Thunder.

How often does a star athlete admit that he didn’t do the best he could in a playoff series and then come out and rectify that the very next year? I’m not calling LBJ an inspiration or anything, but I’m impressed that he has accepted responsibility for what he didn’t do against Dallas and done the work on the court to show that he’s learned from his mistakes and isn’t going to make them again this year.

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2 Responses to “LeBron on Doing Whatever It Takes”

  1. pmadavi Says:

    As someone who has been rooting for years for LeBron to put it all together, watching this playoffs and Finals has been a pleasure (all I didn’t enjoy was that first round thumping on my beloved Knicks). Nothing caps a Finals like winning on your home court, in a blowout, with a triple double. Holy Cow.

    Last night had to be what Riley imagined when he put this team together. James, Wade, and Bosh clogging the lane, and the shooters knocking down threes at an alarming rate. It also had to be what James was looking for. Six players for the Heat last night hit double digits. 20+ from Wade and Bosh each.

    • jpalumbo Says:

      As a Cs fan, I haven’t exactly been rooting for Miami, more like making voodoo dolls with their jerseys driving needles through the knees, but I’ve definitely been intrigued by the possibilities. And all the vitriol and heavyhandedness that has been dealt to these guys for getting together in the most arrogant way possible has slowly turned me in their favor just because I can’t stand to see the media and fandom in general demonize people who aren’t committing crimes or harming the common good.

      James has been at his glorious do-it-all best. This performance reminds me of Jordan’s first title in 1991 when he averaged 30 points and 11 dimes.

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