First off, the Celtics victory over the Cavs was no fluke. They are a better team than the Cavs top to bottom and dominated the series in pretty much every phase. The media and fans are coming down on Lebron pretty hard and for good reason. It's not so much that the Cavs lost the series, because like I said the Celtics are a better team when they are playing at their best. Rather, it's HOW they lost the series. Or more specifically, what Lebron showed in defeat.
Lebron James is a remarkable player that eventually will win a championship or two. However, in my opinion he will never be Michael Jordan or Larry Bird or any of the truly great ones. The reason for this is simple; he lacks a killer instinct. Every great player in every sport has had an insane drive to win everything. Larry Bird walked into the locker room before the 1986 Three Point shootout and asked who would be finishing second. Jordan would turn everything into competitions from board games to black jack. These guys hated to lose more than they loved to win. Lebron seems content with just making a lot of money.
Also, Lebron typifies the modern day coddled athlete. Larry Bird played injured half his career. He could barely bend down after games yet still played his heart out and sacrificed his body diving for loose balls. We all know MJ had the flu so bad he was practically throwing up on the sidelines during Game 5 of the 1997 Finals. Yet he still willed his team to victory. Lebron would've been at home getting a foot rub probably. All in all, players these days just aren't as tough, and Lebron is the poster child for it.
Don't get me wrong, you can't get to this level without being competitive. However, killer instinct is something you either have or you don't. It's not something that can be taught. I'm sick of all the people saying "well Lebron didn't have enough help." Is that so? He seemed to have enough help when they had the best record in the regular season. Or "well Lebron's elbow was hurting." Was his elbow hurting when he scored 20 points in the first quarter of Game 3? I didn't think so. Stop making excuses for the guy and realize that at the end of the day he's won nothing in the NBA. Until he does that let's stop calling him the King and making the Michael Jordan comparisons.
Lebron is now the biggest free agent in sports history. From now until July 1st the pundits will be debating if he should go, where he should go, and who he will take with him. But, I wouldn't just assume Lebron is going to win multiple championships. Sure, he's still young, but if he goes to a place like the Knicks or Nets that is going to take at least 3 years to build a contender. Even the Bulls won't be championship caliber overnight assuming they don't also bring in an Amare or Bosh type of player. Besides that, until Lebron shows that insane drive to win that the other champions of the past did, he may very well turn into the next Karl Malone. Let's all remember before a person can be King they have to reach the top of the mountain first. Karl Dillinger 5/14/2010 01:00:00 PM Tweet