Tuck: LeBron James Gets Selfish

I asked for LeBron James to impose his will on the Eastern Conference Finals.  Be the MVP.  He obliged last night.  Big time.

Secretly, it’s what all of us want for LeBron.  We want him to realize his incredible potential.  We want to the King to assume the thrown.  Part of the reason so many people make fun of, ridicule, criticize, and sometimes hate James is that we know how good he is, how good he can be, and he hasn’t taken over and won a title with his great skill.  Yet.

I think it’s great LeBron James talks about playing the game the right way.  Hitting the open man.  Passing the basketball and trusting his teammates.  He is saying all the right things.

But he needs to realize, and perhaps he has, that he is the best player on the floor and sometimes the best thing for the team is him not passing the ball.  They guard you one-on-one?  Destroy them.  You are better than whoever they put on you.  They bring help?  Shoot over the double team.  Drive through the double team.  Score on the double team.  Part of playing the right way, is the best player getting the ball, and going to work.

LeBron has had no problems scoring.  He’s won a scoring title.  He’s scored plenty of points in this series against Boston.  I don’t even care about the stats.  It’s the attitude and approach to the game.  It was different last night.  He made you and me and Boston take notice.

LeBron needs to be more like Kobe Bryant and more like Michael Jordan to win a title.  We’ve said that without saying it.  We’ve made fun of his shying away, his passing on shots, and his fourth quarter failures.  He needs to take over and be unguardable.

Kobe, Michael, Hakeem, Bird, and I can go on and on…the best players always knew when to assert themselves.  They wanted the ball.  They wanted the shot.  They wanted to be the one to intimidate and crush their opponents wills.  At the beginning of the game, in the middle of the game, and at the end of the game.

Sure, they’d make big passes in their careers.  Trust their teammates in key situations.  For Kobe and Michael, that’s what they had to learn how to do.  They always wanted to do it on their own.

LeBron, he wants to trust and involve others.  He is learning to trust himself.  Be the man.

Again, it’s not even about the final point total.  It’s about the willingness to shoot and shoot and shoot until the other team adjusts.  Force Boston to send another player.  Send three players.  Do anything to make you pass.  And then you pass, LeBron.

For most of this series, Boston has doubled Wade, and played LeBron one-on-one.  They know he wants to be a play-maker.  He needs to destroy one-on-ones.  He should be insulted by the Celtics strategy.  And he should light them up, punish them, for doing that.

I loved the way LeBron James played last night.  I think all basketball fans have to appreciate that killer instinct.

Were Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant sometimes called ball-hogs?  No doubt.  But they are also called champions.