Tuesday, May 22, 2007

What Would The Global Icon Do?

LeBron needs to take that shot.

Not because he was already by Prince and is strong enough to finish, regardless of what help might have gotten there. Not because he is his team's best player and the face of the franchise. Not because he is the biggest star left in the playoffs.

LeBron needs to take that shot because he wants to be a Global Icon.

Global Icon's take that shot. All-Stars might make that pass, Hall of Famers might make that pass. But Global freakin' Icons dismiss Prince, finish at the rim and then win the game in overtime.

Don't get me wrong, there is a sound logic to making that pass. On the road, against a team that is better than you, you go for the win. Who wants to play a team that is better than you for five more minutes on thier home court? A dude who hit 6 threes in a close game a few days ago is wide open, you throw it to him and you steal homecourt. In most instances, that is a very good play.

But not when a Global Icon is the one throwing the pass. That's the exception.

Global Icons hit the game winner. They score the most points, too. If you are baseball's Global Icon, you hit the most home runs, not slap the most singles. Football's Global Icon scores the most touchdowns. If he is a great blocker, fine, but that isn't what he hangs his hat on.

And I get the LeBron is just 22. But no one asked him if he wanted to be a Global Icon. He came up with that all on his own. He raised the bar. He raised expectations. And Global Icons just do not hand in 10-point performances in the conference finals and then pass on the buzzer beater. 22-year old phenoms can, but Global Icons can't.

Hey, I have defended LeBron in the past when he deferred on the final shot, but this is different. He was a foot, maybe inches from the rim with no one in his way. Maybe if he is double-teammed, or stopped, then he passes. Maybe.

That final play, at least to me, was indicative of the game was a whole. LeBron was involved, sure, but not to any great degree and the burden of the game fell on everyone else. The Cavs ain't winning if Bron Bron keeps that up.

The thing about LeBron not scoring is that he is playing right into the Pistons game plan. Getting his teammates involved is what LeBron wants to do, but oddly enough, it is what the Pistons want him to do, too. The superstars offensive attack strategy rarely lines up so perfectly with his opponent's defensive philopshy, does it?

But when LeBron scores, it is devestating. It changes the game. Detroit gears up to stop it, realizes they can't and it has an effect. LeBron scoring - or hell, at least being aggressive - blows up the Detroit scheme. For that reason alone, he's got to.

It is a shame the Cavs blew a chance to steal home court, but this game means nothing in terms of the rest of the series. Both teams still have aces in their respective holes: The Pistons can unleash Chauncey Billups before 5 minutes left in the fourth quarter (and for that matter, just play better as a team). The Cavs, of course, can still hope Motivated LeBron shows up. If one, or both, of those happen, this series will be wildy different than that Arena League Football game we watched last night.

In a way, I kind of feel bad for LeBron. He is going to get hammered for not being more dominant, but he wants to win his way, partly, I would guess becuase he thinks it is the right way and partly to shut everyone the hell up. He's stubborn, I think, and everyone telling him that he is going about things the wrong way will only reinforce in him the notion that he has to do it his way, results be damned.

If that is the case, fine. He is talented enough to win his way - if not this year, then down the line with a better supporting cast. I just worry that he might genuinely be shying away from the spotlight. And that is a scary thought. These playoffs have made unheros out of more than a few stars - Dirk, T.Mac, Kobe - and I'd hate to see Bron Bron fall into that category. Of course, all those guys can easily redeem themselves. But still.

Game 2 should tell all. If LeBron drops another near triple-double but barely cracks double-digits...well, I don't want to think about that.

4 comments so far. Might as well add your own.:

gilbert said...

And he comes to his senses...

I would love to watch one of these games with you.

3bsaver said...

I would like to watch a game with you too, but my friends have advised me not too. I’m not making this up either… ….after reading your blog.. they said.. “with point23’s sarcasm and my smartassness it would not be safe for the two of us to be in the same place together.” Or maybe they didn’t want to be stuck with us???? They are afraid to make a comment so I made one for them…. Haha

I’ll admit it, I need to pay a little more attention to the NBA so I can make a real sports comment… I have college hoops down, now I have to work my way up…. I’ve been watching a few games at least I know who Lebron is now… I’m getting there…

twins15 said...

Yeah, I think LeBron should have taken that... I think he's just scared off getting fouled and having to go to the line in that situation, which he has looked very uncomfortable at.

I agree, I can see the logic in that pass, but he has Prince beat. Got to finish that one at the rim.

point 23 said...

I really didn't factor in the fear of the free throw line initially...but man, that is just as huge as being scared to miss the game-winner, isn't it? But it isn't like he is scared to take over games or hit game winners, last year's playoffs showed that.

The man just has me really confused right now. I wish I knew if he was scared of the final minute for some reason, or his philosophy is to get his teammates involved no matter what...I just wish I knew for sure.