After another unfathomable loss, this time to the 18-win Dallas Mavs, and it is officially panic time in Cleveland after a 7-8 January record and the alarming injury issues of Kevin Love, who stayed behind in Cleveland to undergo an MRI on his lower back.
(I bet Cleveland wishes they made that Carmelo Anthony trade now...I’m just saying)
LeBron James is as vocal as ever in the media these days and he gets a pass for it every time. If any other player ripped their teammates and front office and made demands publicly about acquiring players, he would be fined and possibly suspended and labeled a malcontent.
James does that and even berates his teammates at times on the bench during games. Lord knows what type of MJ sh*t he’s on in closed practices, but it’s OK because he is the face of the league.
James gets whatever he wants. He wanted to win a c’hip, he got South Beach, a Hall of Fame GM and two All-Stars to help him. He wanted to go home and get Cleveland a trophy and he got a rising basketball wizard and an All-Star forward to help him.
He wanted Dan Gilbert to walk on hot coals, eat kitty litter and sign over the kingdom to him before he returned and he probably got that too.
Yet, this guy is still complaining about things people say instead of focusing on winning games with more talent than 99 percent of the league has. This is the damn Cleveland team he asked for in his part-time role as team GM during the offseason. They have the highest payroll in the sport for goodness sakes.
Unfortunately, Golden State one-upped him when they brought in Durant. Now the Cavs are puttering into the All-Star break and their leader doesn’t seem to be able to stay focused on the task and be the calm, confident presence amidst the storm.
He’s actually contributing to the drama and the negative media attention and it’s obviously affecting the team.
James is known to throw a tantrum when he doesn’t get his way. As great a player as he is, that’s been his nature at times. He’s even quit on his team a few times to get his point across. However, it seems as if this season he’s playing his heart out but the team is just coming up short. Now Love is injured in the middle of his best season as a Cav and to put it bluntly, LeBron is panicking.
Charles Barkley’s critical comments about the way LeBron’s been moving --which were cosigned by TNT crew members Kenny Smith and Shaq to a degree -- was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
LeBron, who is usually pretty diplomatic when discussing other people, couldn’t hold back his frustration.
"I'm not going to let him disrespect my legacy like that," said James. "I'm not the one who threw somebody through a window. I never spit on a kid. I never had unpaid debt in Las Vegas. I never said, 'I'm not a role model.' I never showed up to All-Star Weekend on Sunday because I was in Vegas all weekend partying. All I've done for my entire career is represent the NBA the right way. Fourteen years, never got in trouble. Respected the game. Print that."
LeBron ended by essentially questioning Barkley's comments on competing.
"Go watch the '93 Finals when John Paxson hit the shot," James told reporters. "Barkley and Jordan were laughing and joking with each other during one of the games while somebody's shooting a free throw. In the Finals. But, oh, nobody were friends back then."
I understand the King was tight, but why is he worried about his legacy anyway in the middle of his career. As my man Champ asked me, “Where they do that at?”
LeBron should just zip it and start trying to figure out what the heck is going on with this high-priced squad that he put together. And finding out if that Carmelo Anthony deal is still on the table.