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Our own Blade Onofre struggles to understand simply why LeBron James continues to struggle.
What do you not understand, LeBron?
What exactly is it that is preventing you from performing at a championship level on one of the greatest stages in professional sports?
You have no injuries to speak of. You have no sickness to use as a crutch. You have nothing but the most athletically gifted body ever “witnessed” on a basketball court. You have nothing but talent around you, finally.
You have nothing but an NBA championship staring you directly in the face. A ring just waiting to be slid onto your finger. You have nothing more than a large majority of the country simply wishing and waiting for you to fail. You have nothing more than a blowhard, the former owner of yours in Cleveland, laughing at the fact that your team is in a 3-2 hole. So, I want to know, do you not hear all of this? Do you not see all of this?
Do you not see that in your NBA career, you have two regular season MVPs and not a piece of hardware (conference championships don’t count on this list) in the playoffs to show for it?
Do you not see that Kobe Bryant is no longer the best player in the league and, yet, you won’t take that next step?
Do you not understand that the Boston Celtics and Chicago Bulls were inferior teams, and your defeats of them are far from an accomplishment?
Do you not understand that years of “LeBron is not clutch enough” talk didn’t just miraculously disappear for a couple of playoff series, and then resurface in the Finals? That maybe, just maybe, something you are doing (or not doing) right now is ineffective?
Do you not hear that every word from ESPN, or any other sports outlet, has been negative? That possibly, Charles Barkley isn’t just hating on you?
Do you not hear Scottie Pippen’s foolish mouth claiming you to be better than Michael Jordan, and feel the need to at least halfway justify his assertions?
Do you not remember when you scored 29 of your team’s last 30 points in the 2007 ECF and think, “Hmm, is that what’s expected of me?”
Do you not remember The Decision, the hatred and criticism that followed, and wonder exactly why that was the case? That there was a reason they treated you that way, and not Zydrunas Ilgauskas?
Do you not see a sickly, seven-foot German outperforming you, night in and night out; all while you and your teammates have a little chuckle about it on camera?
Do you not see the stats, and realize you haven’t attempted more than four free throws in a game this series, while Nowitzki has amassed one shy of 50? Does this not indicate any lack of aggressiveness, to you?
Do you not see Dwyane Wade and Dirk Nowitzki both hampered by injuries and sickness, still performing at a higher level than yourself?
Do you not even hear yourself say that Game 5 is the “biggest game of [your] life?” That the biggest game of your life may require you to shoot better than 42 percent from the field, better than an “0-for” from behind the arc, attempt more than two free throws, and not commit four turnovers?
But most importantly, do you realize that Game 6 is now the biggest of your career? And there’s no second chance for this one. Even for a king.