LeBron James: ‘I’ve Got to Be Better’

by June 06, 2016

After two games, the NBA Finals have become an affirmation of the Golden State Warriors’ sustained excellence and dominance, but also something of a referendum on LeBron James’ skills as the de-facto general manager in Cleveland.

James and his Cavs are down 2-0 and appear to have zero answers for the defending champions; the four-time MVP places the blame for his team’s woes squarely on his own play so far in the series.

LBJ has averaged 21 points on 42 percent shooting from the field against the Dubs’ hounding defense, to go along with 10 rebounds and nine assists.

Per the NY Times:

Before excuses are made for LeBron James, before the bulk of the blame for consecutive horror shows at Oracle Arena is heaped on a supporting cast of Cleveland Cavaliers that has turned to dust when removed from a comfy Eastern Conference refuge, it must be reiterated that this was the team the King himself courted. […] This was the crew he left Miami for, the one he reconfigured with back-room leverage upon returning home and then stood by approvingly when a coach with an impeccable (albeit limited) N.B.A. record was dismissed for a replacement with no head-coaching record at all.


He called himself out for carelessness with the ball, for committing seven of his team’s 17 turnovers in Game 2, for not making life easier for his overwhelmed teammates. […] “I’m not disappointed in our guys or frustrated,” he said. “I’m one of the guys who kind of always wants to shoulder the blame and take the blame when we don’t play as well as we should. It’s just who I am and I’ve got to be better.”


Sloppy as he was, James was still the best performing Cavalier, with Richard Jefferson, a 35-year-old role player, as the runner-up. Against the Warriors, that was a formula for the disaster Game 2 became in the third quarter, the Cavaliers sending most of East Coast America to bed early with an unconditional, emotionless surrender. […] After Game 1, (Tyronn) Lue said it was mandatory that the Cavs pick up the pace on offense. After Game 2, James cited the turnovers, the inability of the Cavs to get back and set up their defense.