*After choking, er, losing last night to the Boston Celtics, the Cleveland Cavaliers and LeBron James are in for a long Summer and lots of disrespect and second guessing from sports fans, the media and the city of Cleveland.
For the second year in a row, the Cavaliers and James, the NBA MVP for second consecutive year, have been eliminated from the playoffs. Boston won 945-85. Once again no ring for King James.
And it didn’t take long for thue pundits to go to work. Case in point, NBCsports.com contributor Mike Celizic, who took James to task for basically being a … loser.
LeBron James took charge of the biggest game of his life like BP took charge of that oil spill in the Gulf. And there’s not an expert alive who can tell you for certain how long it’s going to take to clean up the damage.
He had a stat line that ended up looking pretty good: 27 points, 19 rebounds, 10 assists. The problem is that too much of it came too late. Then there were the nine turnovers; with one more, he’d have had the kind of quadruple double no one wants.
So it is that King James learned the hardest way possible that it takes more than a cloud of chalk dust to be a superstar in the NBA. And that MVP trophy – his second in as many years – isn’t much more than a glitzy doorstop. That was for the regular season, and it’s no longer relevant. In the postseason, there’s only one way you earn your superstar stripes, and that’s by winning.
LeBron didn’t and couldn’t do that. Cleveland fans had invested an enormous amount of emotional energy in this son of nearby Akron. They’d given him their hopes and their dreams, their yearning for something to finally celebrate after so many years of bitter disappointments.
LeBron didn’t disappoint those fans. In their minds, he betrayed them.
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