Where Is The Real LeBron James?

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Last summer when LeBron James made the epic decision to return to his home state and lead the Cavaliers, the people of Cleveland couldn’t have been happier. Gone were the days of hate and misery, erased were the tears, and forgotten was the void LBJ left in our hearts the night he left for South Beach. Who could have guessed that fateful day in early July would have been the apex of LeBron’s return. As of today, LBJ has writers and fans like myself wondering, “Where is the real LeBron?”

The Cavaliers have been a major disappointment thus far, and I know I am not the only one who thinks this. Just look at their record. It seems like David Blatt was the wrong choice as the head coach, and his days in Cleveland are numbered. I don’t really understand how this is possible, as he has three of the best players in the NBA on his roster. His players are just not responding and all of that starts with LeBron.

My argument against Blatt is going to be saved for another article. He clearly has no control of his team, and especially no control over The King. In late December, before LeBron was “injured” for two weeks, he was playing especially bad. Now, I say especially bad, but I mean for LeBron, not for the average NBA Joe. In my opinion, LeBron looks bored on the court. His play the first quarter of the season has been different then his play in the past. He is not attacking the basket, he is looking to pass first, and he only seems to hustle on certain plays.

This is very different then the player we saw on the Miami Heat. LeBron was consistently making a “top 10” play by running down opponents and blocking their fast break attempt. Has anyone seen that LeBron. I sure haven’t.

It almost looks as though LeBron is playing this way in order to see what talents his teammates have. Have you ever seen YouTube LeBron? You can pull up Kyrie and Love highlights by the thousands. It’s as though LeBron wants his teammates to earn his respect. Not a good look LBJ. If anything, it’s making him look pretentious and more important than the game. He seems disinterested and unwilling to be “all in” with this team.

Can anyone tell me why LeBron and Kyrie are not running a pick and roll every play? Kyrie can handle the ball, LBJ can set the pick, and then the magic happens. If the play breaks down, Love and Mike Miller should be standing behind the three point line. In this scenario, the defense can’t cover every option. Someone is going to be open, and some is going to score. I guess that’s why I’m a writer and not a basketball coach. Maybe it’s more complicated. For some reason LBJ is playing point guard again. When he was asked about the change, LeBron had this to say:

“And James acknowledged recently that he did not formally request permission to assume the bulk of the Cavs’ playmaking duties, which triggered Cleveland’s eight-game winning streak earlier this month.

“No, I can do it on my own,” James said of his role change. “I’m passed those days where I have to ask.”

Wow, LeBron. That is a great example you just set. Why ask the head coach permission, when you can just do whatever you want anyway. I’m sorry, but is LeBron the coach or the player? Shouldn’t decisions about this brand new team be a collaboration. Why even have a coach at all. The Cavs should just fire Blatt and make LBJ the coach. It seems that is the direction LeBron wants to take this team.

Maybe I am just being negative. Maybe I am too invested in the Cleveland. Maybe I am an idiot for hoping this could be the season that a championship comes back to this great city. I thought this time things would be different. We “re-acquired” the greatest basketball player on the planet and we signed a “top 20” NBA talent, yet, as of today, the Cavaliers are almost as bad as last season’s team. Last year the Cavs were 14-25 through 39 games. This team is only 5 games better than that. Wait, what?

Maybe the aliens from Space Jam came to earth after The Decision 2.0 and stole LeBron’s effort.monstars

Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that LBJ is bad, but he isn’t giving 100% effort every day. That just doesn’t make sense to me. Especially when this team is in struggle city. Everyone wants to compare LBJ to MJ. I will tell you this, Michael never complained about the length of a season, and at age 33 Jordan led his team to 72 wins and a 5th NBA title. I’m not buying LeBron’s “Im tired” act anymore. If you don’t want to play, then just retire. Otherwise, you need to show up every night.

Written by Rick Giavonette

Follow Me on Twitter – @CST_RickG

Image Credit:  http://www.ohio.com/polopoly_fs/1.543038.1416592050!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_440/james-lebron-hands-on-head.jpg

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