I have seen the second part of this quote. It’s the first part that was news to me when I read it in the Akron Beacon-Journal.
‘It was a bad night shooting the ball. I think I played well,” James said, later adding, ”I’m never disappointed in my play. I feel like I could do more, but I’m not disappointed at all.”
I think I played well????????????? How did Lebron possibly say that? Of any of the league’s best players in my lifetime, Lebron just threw — situation considered — the worst playoff performance I’ve ever seen. He was miserable. Not aggressive at all. Blended in with the rest of his teammates. Stood in the corner and did nothing while plays were still going on. He was so bad he made me rethink whether he’s still the game’s best player. (My verdict? Yes, but that title could be on the line tonight. Another stinker and I will question his heart.)
Do you remember Michael Jordan ever failing to show up to a playoff game? Going through the motions like it was a shootaround for a preseason game? Shooting only four shots in the first half? Making zero? Jordan, even if he had the flu, was going to try to murder his opponents. Not just beat them, assasinate them. You could always count on Tim Duncan to give you at least his average in a playoff game, and Shaq in his prime used to slap 30 and 20s in big games like it was nothing. Even Steve Nash, who has never advanced to the finals and probably was never actually the game’s best player, never shit the bed in the playoffs. At the very least, the aforementioned superstars would leave you with no doubt that they wanted to win like that win was the only thing that would allow them to survive.
(Notice how I didn’t say Kobe Bryant there? Lebron’s performance was actually only the second-worst of my lifetime among the game’s best players: Kobe’s 2006 Game Six against Phoenix was the worst — down 15 at halftime, Bryant folded like lawn chair in half two: 1 point on only 3 shots. As bad as Lebron looked and as much as he didn’t seem to give a damn, Kobe was worse. And Kobe’s was an elimination game too.)
This was the first time in my life I’ve ever thought Lebron didn’t give a damn, and now he goes and says he didn’t think he played badly; he says he just shot badly. Well, Lebron, you shot badly — really, really badly — but that wasn’t at all the reason why everyone is so frustrated with your play. You could have missed every jumper you took as long as you at least showed us you wanted to win, desperately wanted to win. People aren’t disappointed that you didn’t shoot well; they’re disappointed that you didn’t seem to give a rat’s ass.
Somehow Lebron said he played well, even after playing — circumstances considered — the single worse game of his career.