There was a time about two years ago when LeBron James would have gotten killed by fans, pundits and every man that they gave a microphone for passing up on a late-game shot, even if it meant getting his Miami Heat teammates a better one.
People were mad that James was making the smart basketball play, the Ervin “Magic” Johnson-like play instead of the one that they looked for from Michael Jordan. It was as if they had forgotten the times when Jordan tossed it out to Steve Kerr and John Paxson.
James was “too passive” or didn’t have “the clutch gene.” They found all types of reasons for why he was wrong for making the right plays. Two NBA championships later, and his decisions are still being questioned. However, he seems comfortable with his answers.
“For me, I didn’t even second-guess it,” he said via ESPN. “I trust my teammates, and whoever is out on the floor”.
Around the same time James was getting criticized, Michael Beasley was being written off as the latest NBA draft bust — a No. 2 pick that was nothing but a knucklehead who couldn’t live up to the potential that fellow 2008 draftees Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook and Kevin Love were showing. Still, James wasn’t scared to hit him for the wide-open three with 30 seconds to play.
To Beasley, it was “just another shot”; but to ESPN’s Kevin Arnovitz, it was another sign of the ways James could destroy you from the triple-threat position — and this is coming from the same person who wondered why James would keep himself on the perimeter for most of the game.
If we learned anything in the past few years, it’s to just let James work and see what comes of it.
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