"I knew deep down in my heart, as much as I loved my teammates back in Cleveland and as much as I loved home, I knew it couldn't do it by myself against [the Celtics]”
LeBron said this Tuesday night after his Miami Heat beat the Celtics and advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals. When I read this Wednesday morning on ESPN I didn’t really know how to react. I’ve been a LeBron fan since he came into the league so I was glad for him and his teammates to advance, but now he was pretty much saying that he needed the Super Friends to be able to beat the Celtics.
The player that many said was the next Michael Jordan was saying he couldn’t do it alone. That takes a lot of humility, and I can respect that. But as sports fans it makes us squirm a little, because we never want to hear players admit that X team or Y player is just too much for them. In sports we idolize the underdogs. We cheer for the Butlers, the Richmonds, the Rudy’s of the sports world. We like the idea of Heart and we want our sports heroes to show it. We like the gutsy play of a winner who just can’t lose, who puts his team on his back and carries them to victory. We saw that from LeBron in 2007 when he dropped 25 straight on the Pistons and we loved him for it. But now that same LBJ is saying that he just isn’t good enough to take the Celtics. While the Cavs may not have been underdogs to everyone else when they played Boston, it’s clear that at least to LeBron, they were and maybe always would be.
So what else could he do except leave? If he really just never expected to bea ble to beat the Celtics or the Lakers or any other elite team as a Cavalier than I can understand why he felt he needed to leave. Maybe carrying the Cavaliers on his back for so long was just too much for him. Maybe the championship expectations were getting to him and he couldn’t handle it anymore. When he fled to Miami to join Wade and Bosh a lot of people thought he was a coward. Many people in the media said he was a coward for leaving the Cavs and joining Miami. They were saying that MJ wouldn’t have done it, that Kobe wouldn’t have either. And now it turns out that they were right. By his own words, LeBron admitted to needing help and that he needed to run to find it.
I don’t know how I feel about that. I can appreciate the humility it takes for a superstar like LeBron to admit to needing help. But as a sports fan, I just feel disappointed that he would admit it.