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Friday, June 10th, 2011 at 9:10 am  |  68 responses

Are the Mavs Affecting LeBron James Mentally?


As the NBA Finals have progressed, with Dallas gaining momentum, we’ve seen the Mavs talk quite a bit of trash to LeBron (particularly, Shawn Marion.) According to DeShawn Stevenson, James isn’t really out to make people pay for their words. From Yahoo! Sports: “These Dallas Mavericks go to great lengths to mess with him, hurling insults and insinuations with regularity that they never would’ve dared with different superstars. Why? Because they believe it messes with his mind. They believe the words will fester within him, keep him thinking when he ought to be reacting. Terry says James can’t guard him, and so far he’s been right. DeShawn Stevenson essentially called him a quitter in Game 4. Shawn Marion appeared to call him much worse on the floor, too. James won’t get mad, and James won’t get even and make people pay a price. When opposing players hear people insist they ought to be respectful of James out of fear of retribution – be careful they don’t stir him with words – they privately giggle. ‘Different guys are different,’ Stevenson [said]. ‘Kobe Bryant feeds off stuff like that. He looks for it every time. LeBron’s a different kind of person. Obviously he’s a freak of nature, able to do a lot of things, but everybody in this league is built different.’ Built differently. Translated: Where’s the killer within? Where’s the best player in basketball, the prodigious talent that left the Chicago Bulls and Boston Celtics crumpled messes back in the Eastern Conference? Where’s the cold-bloodedness? Where is this guy?”

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  • bull22

    as much as i can’t stand lebron, his effort yesterday was pretty darn good in putting his team in a position to win game, i think the mavericks don’t get enough credit for how they slowed him down, i will give DEWADE props for giving mavs credit way before this game, but lebron and some idiotical miami fans who keep insisting its him, should give these ponies some credit for their work on lebron….

  • http://www.slamonline.com Jahmai

    LeBron is getting WAAYYY too much criticism. How can anyone live like this? This dude is getting absolutely crushed for anything he does or does not do. Yes, he has played bad games at the most important times. I don’t know what’s going on with him either, but give the man some room. Unbelievable.

  • Gman

    Hey, Lebron is the one who talked about championships. He is 2 games away, and he is playing crap. SO yes he is getting heat.

  • sigmaman

    You can’t have bad games in the Finals. That’s wat the 82 regular season games are for. Of course he’s gonna get catch some heat

  • http://slamonline.com Fut.

    As soon as it gets real, he hides in his game. Like he’s afraid to win. I kinda pity the guy now. I used to outright want him to be destroyed every time he got on the court. Funny how things change.

    As long as Dirk, Kidd + Marion get their rings I’ll be happy and LeBron and the Heatles can win it next year.

  • All Day

    @Jahmai: I agree that LeBron gets criticized for everything he says and does now and it doesn’t matter whether it’s good or bad. The hatred he’s receiving is the result of him staging one of the biggest “look at me” moments in sports history with The Decision.

  • SLG

    Completely agree with “Gman”, he deserves all the criticism, he’s brought it on himself. Personally I think he needs to lose these finals so he can check his ego at the door from now on. Yes, he is a great talent, but he needs to show respect to the other greats in the league as well. If you’re gonna be all talk all the time, you better back it up.
    I read him and Wade were making fun of Dirk and his fever after game 4, and look what happened to Wade in game 5, he got hurt. Truly great players show respect to others that deserve it, these guys don’t and it’ll make me sick if they walk away with this championship!

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    *Yawns*

  • http://www.slamonline.com Max

    @Jahmai, he can live like this because he makes millions of dollars with doing what he loves; playing ball.

  • Red Star

    Talk to me when he’s got 6 rings! LMFAO!!!

  • robb

    OK guys listen, Lebron is an awesome player but the media has been trying to make people think he’s the ultimate player, but there’s no such thing. Lebron simply isn’t as tough mentally as everyone would like, he’s not perfect. Is that a sin? I mean, the guy had a triple double! Yes he wasnt a factor during the 4th, but he had a good game. We have to understand that maybe everybody labeled him wrong, he’s an incredible talent but he’s not a cold blooded player like MJ, Kobe or even Wade. I say leave the guy alone, too much criticism and too many misplaced expectations on one person.

  • flimo

    “Miami Heat’s LeBron James accepts villain role”

    Now stop complaining.

  • Anthony

    Its funny how Lebron can get a triple double and still not get credit for a good game…….. Nobody on the mavericks can get a triple double .. maybe jkidd but hes not that player anymore…….. Ever since Pippen made his statement, evrybody’s been expectn to him to do crazy number….. Evryboy needs 2 just chill……..

  • http://www.slamonline.com Jahmai

    He should be getting some criticism for his terrible game 4 performance, but turn on a sports channel and you’ll get an hour long show full of LeBron bashing, if you go to any sports site it reads something like this: ‘LeBron the worst player on earth.’ (not really, but it does start to feel that way with the way the media is writing about him). Who can get a triple double and afterward have Skip saying: He should retire (because it was that bad). Are you serious? This guy is the most scrutinized athlete I’ve ever had a chance to see.

  • Bruno

    hey lebron can get a cuadruple double but he’s not gettin the job done, he’s not winning so if he lose the finals he didnt do enough, he didnt do what he was expecting since he took his talents to south beach

  • madterps

    It’s only right that he’s getting flack for scoring only 13 points in the 4th in this series. Lebron said that he’s going to win 7 or 8 rings, did he show up in the crucial 4th quarter in this entire series? No. Dallas would’ve won this series if Mario Chalmers was called for the backcourt violation at halftime while hoisting up that half-court shot in game 3. Go Mavs!

  • Iriishspacemonk

    What’s the big deal really with a triple double when you can’t win a game. In the end, 3 double figure stats (all below 20 btw) means nothing when you can’t close out a game. Games are won in the 4th quarter and in the 4th James is absent.

  • mj23

    Lebron’s jumpshot is broke.

  • EvaJ

    I am so furious with the way the Heat played the last three games I am ready to JUMP SHIP…..what is going on in your heads Bosch you are loosing too many baskets and Lebron I guess the media will win they said you will not be successful for 3 to 5 years …Come on you know u are much better, greater than that/……SHOW ME YOUR TRU TALENT….Dwayne you are MY TALENTED PLAYER…..GET YOUR GUYS BACK TO PLAYING…..

  • mj23

    JT has a sweet jumpshot, and Lebron can’t guard him one on one. Lebron can only pass, but he can’t shoot that broke jumpshot, or Miami will lose. He needs boobie gibson or Mo Williams to pass to.

  • Eva Johnson

    Heat what is going on in your heads…I am ready to jump ship….I loved the HEAT but with the way you guys are playing is shocking….Bosch how could you loose 3 baskets in the 4th game ..thee is no excuse. Lebron the media mentioned it will take you 3-5 years to get a ring..Come on show them different. You have 2 more game to shine..wake up guys ,,,,,

  • Ali

    Defineatly! That JET 3 was sick! Right in Bron’s grill! He’s thinking about that shot foe sho!

  • Eva Johnson

    I have nothing more to add I am annoyed

  • MattM

    There is not one other player in the league who would get dissed after putting up a triple double. Also, to say he wasn’t a factor in the 4th quarter is simply incorrect. He was drawing the defense and getting guys layups and playing good D. I thought he got a bum deal on the Chandler charge as well. I think it is ridiculous the amount of flack he catches. Just for the record, I’m rooting for the Mavs.

  • Lan

    Mayhaps that Lebron peaked as far as playoffs domination? He did carry the Heat when Dwayne was kind of ‘off’ at the Chicago series.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Max

    I saw LeBron today and asked him for $1, but he only gave me $0.75, I asked him “where’s the rest” and he said “I don’t have a 4th quarter”

  • Eddie1

    Does anyone else think Bill Simmons’ Grantland website is going to be a monumental flop?

  • MattH

    @ Red Star: It’s the only argument I need!!
    Other than that, I agree LeBron is good. I don’t think he’s GREAT. Dirk is great (no, I’m not a Mavs fan). Kobe is great. I think even Dwayne Wade will be considered great. The difference I see from all these players to LeBron is that drive, that fierce, competitive desire to win, that ability to will their team to victory. Maybe he does have it, deep within, but thus far in his career I haven’t seen it.

  • http://slamonline.com 1982

    cosign MJ23 I guess – but just this series so far. If he can’t hit, then there’s no need to spread the floor on D. They gave him a few open looks last night too, choosing to close in to rebound or take out Miami’s shooters like Terry, JJ, and DShawn were taken out by Bron in earlier games. I have a feeling that he’s not going to be bricking at home. Game 6… I can’t wait.

  • http://espn.com ubestNOTmiss

    This is all built for TV.
    Build you up just to tear you down. but like air he will rise.
    Bron will go ghostface x rocky on your @sses come sunday.
    He’ll turn into a bulldozer with a wrecking ball attached. He aint been hungry since the 2009 Orlando series. Not even close to 2007 detroit series.
    But come sunday when the heat plays at home. No bullsh!t offensive fouls will be called not even bogus loose ball fouls on haslem. None of that.

  • hillbilly

    Body language. Look at the way the Heat players (specifically, LBJ & DWade) addressed the media after their first loss in Miami. They seemed pretty upbeat for a team that had just lost HCA. “Yeah. It’s a loss. Nobody said this was gonna be easy.” Translation: “Y’all worried? We ain’t worried. It’s a long series, but we still got this.” After last night’s loss, you could tell that more than just a little doubt/concern has mnifested itself in the minds of the Heat. During the post-game presser, Bosh looked like someone had just stolen his watch and kicked him in the jimmysack.

  • http://slamonline.com Acclaimed

    @Max nailed it! Hah.
    Lebron needs to stop passing, and start shooting. A super star takes the shot because he believes that it will go in every time. That’s what separates the Jordan’s from the James’, an unbreakable confidence in their ability to hit the shot when it matters most.

  • LeBron de Con

    Da wumen behind me is E-Boy. Come to papa, E-Boy

  • http://slamonline.com Acclaimed

    Also, Lebron had 1 made basket in the 4th.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Lebron’s jumper is off, so his confidence is shaky, the defense is good which magnifiies those problems and his teammates are good so he can give in to his natural impulse to pass when he’s not feeling it.
    It’s not really complicated. It’s maddening, but not complicated.

  • mj23

    Brah!!! Jumper ain’t just off, dat jumper’s broke!!! Needs to get in the gym and some lessons from JT. JT show BronBron how it’s done.

  • mj23

    BronBron’s gonna need a binkie after Game 6.

  • http://www.double-technical.blogspot.com Zee!

    If Rashard Lewis was crushing the mother of my children, I’d be a lil off on my game too.

  • http://slamonline.com 1982

    @Eva Johnson “Heat what is going on in your heads…I am ready to jump ship” not trying to be mean, but that’s why people hate current Heat fans.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.l.brewer3 BlackPhantom

    Either Lebron James(or D-Wade) becomes the killer or else the Mavs win. Point blank, period.

  • STAYWEIRD38

    hey EBOY you can suck on my big hairy nuts hahaha

  • hillbilly

    @Eddie1 I checked out Grantland the other day. “Monumental flop” sounds about right. Simmons shouldn’t even be allowed to call himself a sports writer anymore. All he does is release boring podcasts about stupid
    sh!t like “Who’s the biggest stank ho on Jersey Shore?’. Pass.

  • JMart42

    LeBron’s gonna be on that list of great players who never won a title…

  • http://fivemag.de Speedy

    Hating is a big problem in sports but especially here at slam.
    I read the posts after the 2006 Finals and Dirk got busted by nearly everyone. I can only remember 4 or 5 guys that defended him.
    The list of guys who said that Dirk was the softest player of them all after getting his team to the finals ( a big accomplishment itself in my opinion ) included names like Khalid Salaam or WhithotEboy.
    I don’t want to say that this justifies what is happening to LeBron right now because it doesn’t but it shows a general attitude of blasting guys that come short and it is a general problem in basketball and especially this site.
    Maybe all of us should think a second before we post and then talk about basketball. These guys are all human and they have already accomplished so much by advancing to college, the league, the playoffs and finals and then all of a sudden when they have one, two, three bad games they are loosers?????????????????????????????????
    I know that most guys here will not self reflect and go on with their usual posting and most of them will not even read this comment because I’m posting to late.
    I just wanted to share this thought.
    Nice team basketball by the mavs , by the way.

  • toinefan88

    Let’s go Mavs!

  • http://fivemag.de Speedy

    All guys that compare James, Wade to Jordan please think twice before you say that Jordan did this or did that better than they do.
    Jordan, Scottie and the Bulls needed a lot of tries to win it all.

  • David

    @speedy what are you talking about? Jordan is 6/6 in the finals…

  • fruizm

    @Speedy…..WORD.

  • cball

    I dont know why you guys are felling sorry for him he gets payed 20 mil to play basketball he doesnt care

  • Don

    “Triple double”/schmipple bubble. What an asinine remark that No maverick can get a triple double”. Triple doubles were created by analysts and number-phobes. I doesn’t mean s#it if it doesn’t assist your team in winning. LBJ/”The King” isn’t even the best player on HIS OWN team. He is a fantastic athlete, physically. He is being exposed as a fraud otherwise. Nuf sed!

  • r2j

    I know who’s beating LeBron mentally, it’s himself.

  • Don

    WTF is a “looser”? Opposite of a “tighter”?

  • http://facebook.com/tronjohnson Chief

    how many useless triple doubles have we torn into Lebron for?
    Everyone cramping on the heat needs to know one thing mike miller needs to step up. He steps up and plays like the consummate professional he was supposed to be and this arguement is a moot point. Lebron, Wade and Bosh still don’t have a bench.

  • john

    lol at the dudes sayin miami doesnt have a bench. chalmers, haslem, and miller isnt a bench? what a bunch of dumbasses. lebron hasnt been aggressive in the 4th this series. plain and simple, stop making excuses for him

  • http://fivemag.de Speedy

    @David
    But he needed like 2-3 tries to get there because the Pistons stood in their way. So he actually lost the ECF and got blown by some media people for it.

  • backboard

    Sure, there is a lot of hate. Hate from people that probably havent passed their 18th birthday. Kids diss whoever is down……….. BUT: i have a real problem with ppl defending Lebron James. Again: in 5 game he has totaled 13 4th quarter points. 13 !!!!! I dont care if he posted a quadruple double. The fourth quarter is go-time. And when your co-star dwayne wade is hobbling around with a injured hip it is even more go-time. You can say Lebron is a playmaker for his squad and i agree he is doing a great job of getting ppl involved. BUT THIS HERE IS THE NBA FINALS. LEBRON HAS TO DO SOMETHING. He is the best player to currently play, so he has step up. I am watching him closely and most of the time he is playing point forward at the top of the key. Hardly ever driving to the hoop, rather passive. Apologists might say that Dallas is packing the lane. So why is it that D-Wade always finds a way to the hoop?

  • backboard

    And i am really really really dissapointed with Eboy!!! He is the first one to bash anyone loosing to his mighty squad, critizing the other team and players left and right. But here we go – Miami is down 2-3 and Eboy is nowhere to be seen. I am amazed at myself. I am amazed at the fact that i somehow believed that Clifford would show pride and sportsmanship. But i should know better…. the last couple of years should have taught me that Eboy is just like the team he is rooting for: Arrogant, obnoxious, classless and a sore looser.

  • backboard

    and just like speedy, i remember Khalid S. talking a lot of sh!t about Dallas and Dirk after the loss in 06. Well Khalid, küss meinen dicken weißen Hintern, du arroganter Kasperl!!!!

  • http://slamonline.com Acclaimed

    Who started this trend of saying lose and loser with two O’s? ITS ONE O! LOSER AND LOSING.

  • http://www.fiba.com Darksaber

    Well THAT remark by backboard (wilkommen zurück) was hilarious.
    Too bad Kha never shows up in comments anymore though.

  • http://fivemag.de Speedy

    Even if Dallas wins it all. What i hope for Dirk it will not take away from LeBrons talent. He is a great young!! player that will develop and grow mentally as he gets older.
    His mental game is his only weakness right now.
    What I find interesting is that MJ got bashed by the media for being a one-dimensional-scorer type of player when he lost to Detroit twice in the ECF and LeBron gets bashed because he is a team first player without that killer scorer gen.
    They are all not perfect!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://fivemag.de Speedy

    Sorry @ Don & Acclaimed sometimes I’m making mistakes when I talk in a foreign language.
    Don’t hate. I’m human. ;-)

  • michael

    i feel sorry for spolstra, role players and bench of miami, they catch all the heat from miami fans when miami lose, but when miami wins its because of the big 3

  • BostonBaller

    Everyone is entitled to have an off series and so far LBJ is NOT having a terrible series. He has enough talent to effect the game in other ways than score. with that said, he is in need of at least 1 monster game or he will get crushed by media and fans even if they win the chip. People put players on mount olympus for 2 reasons, to worship and to whip. I’m not a Heat fan (Go Celtics!) but I’m not going to hate them or hold it against them that they bought the best talent that money could buy. Dirk was not soft then and he is not soft now. He is however much better now.

  • BostonBaller

    Yes CHI was 6/6 in chips and yes they got beaten before that by Detroit but those Detroit teams were young and strong. The bulls bench was better than The Heats bench is now but The Heats starters are better as a team. You have 3 guys with the Heat that were THE MAN on their team last year and The Bulls only had 1 guy who was THE MAN or could be the man on any other team. Scottie proved that when he went from team to team and was NOT the man on those teams. (I still love some Scottie though)

  • http://fivemag.de Speedy

    @BostonNaller
    Scottie would have been the man on any other team if he would have been traded in his prime.
    I once read an article, when scottie had beef with the general manager of the Bulls, in which it was said that the heat wanted to trade nearly there whole starting five for Scottie. So his value was pretty high at this time.
    When he finally went to another team in 98, after his 6th chip, he was 33 years old and not the same in my opinion.

  • http://fivemag.de Speedy

    Sorry BostonBaller

  • Nik

    LeBron James is still the best player in the NBA. He will be until he retires. He is a 2 – time league MVP, and has taken two of his teams all the way to the NBA finals. This shows that he is a one of the best players on both a personal level and on a team level. And these are just some of his many accomplishments. It is so sad to see how the media is wrongly portraying him (just a cash grab), and even sadder to see basketball fans buying into the media’s lies. The media is laughing all the way to the bank when the naive public reads, watches, and spreads their gossip and slander about LeBron. Many NBA players have left teams as free agents before, and many will do it again. James is no different than them. If you don’t like how it was aired on tv, blame LeBron’s management and blame Jim Gray, the host, as they were the ones who planned the whole ‘Decision’ event. but don’t blame LeBron for agreeing to donate millions if dollars to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America through participating in the ‘Decision’. And don’t blame him fir announcing where he was going to play in 2010 on national television – you watched it, didn’t you?!?! So obviously you wanted to know too! Most athletes would have done the same thing, however most athletes aren’t sought after the way LeBron was last
    year. Heck, every team was waiting to get him on their teams since he first stepped on an NBA court. LeBron is not this disrespectful person that people are making him out to be. The media built him up and are partly responsible for turning him into a super idol, now they want to capitalize on him again by tearing him down??? Don’t believe them! Members of the media just want to get famous themselves! LeBron has answered all the media’s questions with integrity, even when the questions were more like opinionated jabs and didnt deserve an answer. If you want to see an example of disrespect, look at DeShawn Stevenson saying LBJ is “overrated”. I’ve never ever heard LeBron say that about anyone! Or Shawn Marion trash-talking James on the court. LeBron is a clean player and doesn’t do that either. If trash talking is what you want to see, fine. But then don’t point the “disrespect” finger at the only person in this situation who IS the one being disrespected. I hope the people expressing their hatred of LeBron is only a very small proportion of our society. Because these “haters” and their attitudes are not the kind of world I want my children growing up in. I was taught
    decency when I was growing up, which wasn’t that long ago. It seems like people speaking out against LeBron fail to
    see that even though he has super-natural talent, he is still a human. Try and put yourself in his shoes. He is more than one of the best basketball players of all time. He is also a father, son, spouse, friend, and mentor. He has never been in trouble for anything. He had committed no crimes. Deciding to go and work somewhere else, and telling everyone who wants to know your answer all at one time is not a crime. He didn’t go to the team you wanted, so get over it. But for goodness sake, grow up and quit trashing someone for no good reason. He may not be perfect, but nor are you. Not one person on this earth is. Stop being a follower, clear your head, gain a kittle maturity and decency, and think for yourself.

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