Congratulations, you did it!
You shut the haters up…for today, anyway.
Last night in Boston you were remarkable (19 for 26 from the floor for 45 points, 15 rebounds, 5 assists in 45 minutes), the late Wilt Chamberlain would be proud!
Entering game six in Boston the Heat were facing an early summer vacation but LeBron, your amazing performance forced a game seven Saturday night in South Beach.
Just so you know, I have been in your corner over the years. I defend you as much as possible. (Not that you need it)
I was in the house the night in Cleveland when Boston torched your team 120-88. I sat there behind Boston’s bench and listened to the fans boo you late in the game. I actually saw a middle-aged man wearing a LeBron James jersey, screaming at you. I shouted to him, “yo, why don’t you go to the table and check into the game!”
Some guy Skip at ESPN has ripped you from day 1; who cares what Skip says, guy lied about his playing career.
I have heard other media members bash you and fans have ripped you to shreds.
All that doesn’t matter.
For some strange reason you didn’t look like the old LeBron last night. The LBJ we know is a guy who looks like he’s having a good time out on the floor. One who’s smiling, talking trash, singing along with the arena DJ during the lay-up line before games, complaining to refs, and not involved in the offense.
As for last night, I witnessed the LeBron James I watched a few years ago tear the Detroit Pistons apart in the 2007 eastern conference finals. (remember that marketing word in your camp, ‘Witness’? You didn’t need that)
That Cavalier team was down 0-2 in the series against the Pistons and you managed to carry your team to four straight wins.
In Game 5, you finished with 48 points. You scored 29 of your team’s last 30 points, including the last 25 points of the game!
During that game I watched you catch the ball in the post and back Tayshaun Prince down and score on him.
I have to be honest, I have never seen anyone like you on the court.
Actually I have, I have seen Michael, Magic and Larry do the things you do; they were special players. You do things with the ball that not many could do in their dreams. It’s not fair to compare you to those three guys, they have 14 rings combined. They competed every night. Their will to win was strong.
Last night you took the game over from beginning to end. That’s what those three guys did.
The look on your face was classic. You had “the eye of the tiger.”
I really don’t know how one gets that look, but believe me, not many over the last 25 years have been able to perform with ‘the look’.
Other guys like Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan, and Kobe Bryant all played with ‘the look’. The Look that enabled them to win 10 rings total.
Last night I watched you make plays. Big plays!
You scored 30 points in the first half!
Hey look, I’m just a blogger who is a high school basketball coach, you know better than I do. I’m sending this letter to tell you what you need to hear.
And that is to ditch all the bullshit (laughing, dancing, complaining, whining, etc). Save all that for the bus, hotel, and even the summer time.
I’m not one of these guys that sugarcoat things. I don’t care about anyone’s feelings when it comes to basketball. I’m passionate about it, it pains me to see talented players like yourself not dominate.
A player’s girlfriend, mom, and even close friends will tell a player what they WANT to hear; a coach will tell a player what they NEED to hear.
LBJ, you need to take over games over like you did last night.
Do you see Kevin Durant in game six? Do you see him bring the ball up the floor and score a huge bucket when his team needs it?
Do you see him run to the ball and demand it?
Hey, I understand playing with another superstar, maybe you feel it will upset him; maybe you don’t want to hurt his feelings. But later for that. You need the ball in your hands. I have watched you get double and sometimes tripled team and give it up. That is the right thing to do but there comes a time late in the game when you need to tell yourself, “no one is stopping me.”
This is your team! Anything that happens, win or lose, it’s on your shoulders.
If D-Wade has a poor game, no one says a thing – God forbid you play poorly, you become a human punching bag!
Here’s a tip; if you find yourself in the corner or out on the wing and someone else shoots the ball, maybe you should crash the offensive glass like that one play in the 2nd quarter last night where you slammed back the missed shot by Chris Bosh; you were so high up my guy Black Jack Ryan would say, “You were talkin’ to the Lord.”
When grabbing a defensive rebound maybe you should push the ball in transition and ignite the break you guys are known for.
We can sit here and talk about the things you should and can do when you are not scoring; but the bottom line is it doesn’t matter what I say, any media member says or writes, or even anything a fan on sports talk radio says… this is all on you.
You wanted this. It was your choice to leave Cleveland and head to South Beach to win multiple rings.
You make the millions of dollars to produce.
Before games the camera shows you in the Heat locker room relaxing and reading a book, I would suggest grabbing a basketball history book (Bill Simmons ‘Book of Basketball; would be an excellent read) and read about the players before you. Jerry West and Oscar Robertson who won one ring in their careers. Wilt won two. Elgin Baylor never tasted champagne in the locker room. Stockton, Malone, and Charles Barkley never won either.
They called West “Mr. Clutch” the guy stepped up late in games. He by the way is the only guy to ever win the MVP of the playoffs and his team lost the series!
To conclude, I wish you luck in game seven Saturday night. It’s not going to be easy because the Celtics have a lot of pride. They have tenacity and a ton of mental toughness. They will bounce back and give you everything they have. They will enter the game with the mindset that they can raise a championship banner once again. What you need to do is bring the same mentality you brought last night.
It is up to you LeBron, up to you whether the Heat open Tuesday night with the Thunder in the Finals or go fishing.