LeBron James refuses to play selfishly
by Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY Sports
MIAMI – If X’s and O’s were nameless and faceless, no one would say a word about the decisions LeBron James makes. But that’s not the world in which the NBA is played, so every move the Miami Heat MVP makes is scrutinized, especially when it appears he is too unselfish.
James makes the right basketball play at least 90% of the time. He does what every player should do and what every coach wants his players to do.
But when the Heat lose a game in which James chisels a triple-double, as was the case in Game 1 of the NBA Finals against the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday, James knows the narrative.
“I should have done more, right?” he asked rhetorically on Saturday, ahead of Game 2 on Sunday (8 p.m. ET, ABC).
When are 18 points, 18 rebounds and 10 assists from James not enough? When the Heat lose.
“I know what I say to you guys and I know the questions you guys ask me, but I don’t really read too much of what people say,” James said. “I do what’s best for the team. What’s best for the team doesn’t always result in a win.”
And that’s what rankles the people who believe that James should simply take over and lead the Heat to victory with his scoring. Stop passing to Chris Bosh. Stop passing to Mario Chalmers. Shoot the ball. They believe that is what is best for the team – for James to do it all.
They want James to be more selfish and take more shots down the stretch. They don’t understand why James is content with six points on four shots in the fourth quarter. Why not 12 points on nine shots? With all that talent, why not lead the Heat to victory by himself?
The answer: That’s not the kind of player James is. That’s really never been who he is. He isn’t going to launch 30 shots at the expense of making the right play – which could be a pass to a teammate for an open shot or pass to a teammate who then passes to … [For more on LeBron James refuses to play selfishly for Heat, click here.]