Are the Mavs Affecting LeBron James Mentally?

by June 10, 2011
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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?”