“I wanted to take the jumper,” LeBron James said of his failed attempt against the Charlotte Bobcats. “I wanted to take the last shot.”
Ignore whatever preconceived premise critics — and ESPN’s Skip Bayless — have tried to feed you over the years. You know, the one that says James is afraid to take the last shot. Or better yet, the one that says he’s not clutch enough to make one. People know that that talk is all noise because they have witnessed him hit his share of game-winners. But for some reason, James and his buddies keep trying to end things in walk-off fashion.
I’m really not sure if it is the allure of Michael Jordan pumping his fist while watching the ball rip through the net, but it seems like you see an NBA star aim to recreate that type of magic every night. But why not just drive to the hole? Especially when you’re built like an Akron armored truck? James has settled for the long fadeaway at the end of regulation too many times for it not to be questioned.
Conspiracy theorists will tell you that James’ .748 career free throw percentage has a lot to do with his decision to settle for off-balanced jumpers. According to them, the Chosen One is afraid of getting fouled and having to step to the line and sink two from the charity stripe. However, that sounds pretty unbelievable for a four-time MVP.
Perhaps James was right when he told Jason Jackson that the Bobcats “packed the paint” on the play, yet it would still be nice if he ducked his head and attacked the rim like he did last year against the Indiana Pacers and Orlando Magic.