Thursday, May 13, 2010
The avalanche of negative criticism to LeBron James' no-show in game 5 of the series with the Boston Celtics reflects two tendencies. First, both media and fans as usual tend to overstate the importance of what happened in the last game played. You may recall that during the Thunder-Lakers series, some folks, most prominently Charles Barkely, had written Kobe Bryant off an old and washed up. Last time I checked, he was instrumental in closing out Oklahoma City and sweeping Utah. Second, James has nobody to blame but himself in raising expectations. If you're considered the best player of your generation, you had better deliver in the playoffs. In professional team sports, individual talent is trumped by championships. Look no further than Dominique Wilkins, the human highlight film, whose resume conspicuously does not contain a title.