Time for LeBron to Start Acting Like He’s Been There Before
- Updated: May 15, 2014
The Miami Heat defeated the Brooklyn Nets in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Wednesday night in Miami. The Nets played poorly down the stretch, and the Heat showed their mettle. None of that surprised me. Nor did I think any of it really worth commentary. What did catch my eye though was LeBron James’s post-game reaction.
I can hear it already. Haters gonna hate. Don’t hate the player, hate the game. Blah, blah, blah. Stop. I am a fan of LeBron. Aside from his terrible “decision,” my list of dings against LBJ is relatively short. There is no better player on the planet. My beef? Act like you’ve been there before.
On the final possession of the game, Joe Johnson got the ball tipped away on some great help defense from Ray Allen. He momentarily lost his dribble and LeBron got another finger on it, essentially sealing the deal. The clock ticked down to :00 as the ball harmlessly rolled away from Johnson and with it any hopes of the Nets extending the series. Five-game series win in the semis over an aging and over-matched Nets team.
LeBron’s reaction? Within seconds of the final whistle, he had sprinted to the scorer’s table and leaped atop it. There he stood, adoring fans focused on him, cameras clicking away, pounding on his chest as if he’d just driven coast-to-coast and dunked on Tim Duncan to win a third NBA Championship. Sure, I’m being dramatic. But it hit me immediately. This was not a man who couldn’t contain his emotion about his team’s victory in a series. This was about The King. The King in front of his court. I WON. I JUST MADE THE DEFENSIVE PLAY. LEBRON IS VICTORIOUS.
You want to tell me it’s just enthusiasm? It’s spur-of-the-moment jubilation? That I’m reading too much into it? Fine. Agree to disagree.
LeBron is no longer a youngster. He’s almost 30 and has logged over a decade of NBA time. There is no personal honor he’s yet to garner. It should be all about the rings. All about the team. Last night’s win was simply the next step on the journey. Instead, in the aftermath of the game five win, it was all about the photo opp for one LBJ.
LeBron, it’s time to act like you’ve been there before…because you have.