Note to LeBron James: Shut up already. If you put as much energy into the 4th quarter of the Finals as you did blowing hot air up our back sides, maybe Miami would have enjoyed a good parade instead of Dallas. You didn’t take your talents to South Beach, you took them on vacation instead.
You went to Dwayne Wade’s team. Not the other way around. If anyone had the right to be talking during the Finals, it was him not you. He’s the one carrying the bling. Maybe you needed to learn from Mark Cuban–actions speak louder than words. Your pre-game pep talks? Worthless. Why were you delivering them, anyway? What exactly have you won in your career that makes you the expert on pre-game psychology? How many rings did you take the Cleveland Cavaliers to in your seven seasons there That’s right. Zero. None. Nada. Ziltch. That’s why you went to Miami. You couldn’t handle the pressure of doing it yourself.
First of all, you have plenty to still learn about the intensity of the Finals. Hint: It’s even higher than the other three rounds. “There was no celebration at all” you said after Game 2 when you and Wade celebrated a 13-0 run that caused Dallas to call a time out. Whatever you want to call it, your actions on the court were a celebration. A premature one at that. All you managed to do is piss everyone off on the other bench. You know that adage about the NBA, the one that says “everyone makes a run”? Dallas ran over, around, and through you in the last 7:15 of that game to the tune of a 22-5 run in that half quarter and one of the greatest comebacks in NBA Finals history. Congrats on your fine defensive play!
You tweeted “Now or never” before Game 5 in a tied series? Really? Again, it sounded like your Twitter feed was writing checks your shooting motion couldn’t cash. When you make statements like that, at least do something to back it up. That was the worst excuse for a triple-double I have ever seen, Finals or otherwise. Did you join the witness protection program? If only you put the effort into your game that you did finding the cameras to mock Dirk. Perfectly healthy you couldn’t come close to putting together the kind of game that Dirk could with a torn ligament in his hand and a 101 fever. Yet you chose to make fun of that. Dirk’s play is what’s called desire, effort, grit, and determination. Look them up cuz you obviously haven’t mastered any of them.
The team across the court from showed how you’re supposed to act in the Finals. They were all business. They didn’t play for the cameras or their Twitter followers or ESPN. They played for each other and the fans in the arena. They came with a purpose and it wasn’t to increase their celebrity. They did nothing to draw attention to themselves other than play hard and with a united purpose. Magic Johnson said it best: “Ten beats three.” That’s why, more than any other reason, they’ll get to raise the banner to open next season. That’s why David Stern will be there to hand them rings. That’s what hard work and sweat will earn you. God-given talents will only carry you so far. You have to work and earn the rest.
You haven’t yet learned that since you decided to take your “talents” to South Beach, you were going to be under the microscope all season long. This series epitomized that more than any single moment of the last twelve months—“The Decision”, the Party, the 9-8 start, “Bump-gate” between yourself and Coach Spoelstra earlier this season; none of those moments mattered once the ball was thrown up in Game 1. There was a chance at redemption and you chose the easy way out. You chose to give into the pressure. Everyone, me included, would have been forced to shut our pie-holes if you had managed to play even to your season averages. That’s how close this series was.
Maybe, just maybe this long layoff with the lockout will give you time to reflect. Maybe it will allow you to realize just how humbling the game of basketball can be; just how humbling living in the spotlight is. You chose to make your decision public. You chose to take on the challenge of the role as the villain. Yet when the lights were the brightest, and the pressure had never been higher, you wilted. You wilted and now you keep talking. It’s time to man up, shut up, show some humility. Maybe you’ll come back next season as a better man.