What is the Truth about LeBron James?

What he is.

The best physical Specimen in NBA History, if not all of sports history.

What he’s good at.

Really? Watch a game or just skip over this article and go back to the WNBA Home Page.

He does what he does at a very high level, and he is obviously one of the best to have ever done it. Don’t forget he’s done “it” for a very long time. He has been Cal Ripken consistent and Alex Rodriguez great.

I’m just NOT crowning him like everyone else. Kevin Durant is obviously better offensively and defensively. Durant is a more versatile player when it comes to being able to adapt his game to a different style system.

Could LeBron take his skill set and do what Durant did in Golden State? I don’t think so. Physically he probably could, but he won’t because he is accustomed to doing what he wants and there isn’t a coach in the league that can check him. I’d even take a “Unibrow” over a “King” if I had the choice. However, this article isn’t about choosing or even arguing about who is the best player in the league.

It’s about renouncing the throne and circumventing the common folk that consider this incumbency the greatest of all time.

“King James: The One Man Show”

Lebron James’s stats are deceiving. You would think a guy that averages nine assists a game would be considered a team player. Think again. Let’s look at a typical Cavaliers possession. It either starts with a pass to LeBron or him crashing the boards off of the wing to steal a rebound from his power forward. “Power Forward Killing James” may be a more suitable nickname than “King”.

Back to the possession; which proceeds as such. Hold ball, pivot, hold ball, jab step, dribble dribble dribble dribble dribble dribble dribble, attack, shoot or pass, layup, dunk, brick, swish, record an assist or end with a turnover. For all of you “Erik Killmonger’s” out there using the turnover stat in your quest to challenge the KING’s reign is a common theme. Just about five a game for his career. I won’t mention the mediocre mid range game, low career three point percentage, sub par free throw numbers, and keen sense of deferment to other players in the most crucial points of the game. Oops, just did.

Meanwhile, back to the possession, everyone is in awe from LeBron’s rim-rocking attack or perfectly placed pass. Yes, indeed he attacks like none other has ever seen, maybe even better than Jordan. And yes, he sure does make a precise pass in which the shooter usually gets a super clean look.

What people don’t realize is that same breath-taking possession the ball is stagnant. “No Ball Movement James” sounds like a great nickname too. The shooter has to shoot whether it’s a clean look or not because there’s not much time left on the clock to move the ball around to anyone else. How about “LeBron, The Extra Pass Killer”?

Defenses don’t have to work hard. There is no rotating or closing out. The defense doesn’t have to move back and forth, from one side of the court to the other. That also means they are in good rebounding position and can break quickly after misses.

Do you think LeBron sprints back? He does when he thinks he can fool the common folk again with a highlight reel swat that sends the ball into the 17th row or pinned against the backboard so hard it almost simultaneously shatters the glass and deflates the ball. Hold that thought, but first let me finish the point about his ball-holding, team chemistry-killing style of play.

How about the fact that when LeBron dominates possessions he ruins team synergy? Ever played basketball with the older kids back in the day? How did you feel after the seventh or eighth up and back and you still hadn’t touched the ball? Insert anyone that has ever played with LeBron James HERE. It’s happened to me, and I know it’s happened to a ton of readers out there. It actually sucks, and after a few games like that you don’t even feel like playing basketball anymore. Try having it happen 82 times a season. Insert anyone that has ever played with LeBron James HERE. If you are not what LeBron considers the teams second or third option, good luck touching the ball, never mind getting a shot off.

Let’s look at the players that have come and gone and are still playing with the King. We’ll start with a couple of the most recent acquisitions: Rodney Hood and Jordan Clarkson. They were averaging about 17 and 15 points per game respectively with their old teams. Then they joined “The Land” and shazaam, they can’t even combine for ten a game. Coincidence? I think not. Let’s, for the sake of argument, throw out Clarkson because even I could average 15 a game while playing 38 minutes a game for the Lakers. However, Hood in my opinion was the best piece coming in that trade. He also averaged 17 PPG in the West on a highly competitive playoff team. What happened to Rodney Hood? LeBron James, that’s what.

As a matter of fact, anyone (outside of Dwayne Wade and Kyrie Irving) that has played with LeBron has taken a serious numbers hit. As mentioned DWade and Kyrie have been great with and without LeBron. Both are transcending players who excel on isolation plays. LeBron would actually share the ball with them because he understood they were great, and for some reason his ego allowed it. He probably needed a rest so he let Kyrie put the sauce and jelly on display. Plus he needed them to bail him out in the clutch. Anyone else just isn’t lucky enough to sit in the King’s court.

How about Chris Bosh or Kevin Love? People forget Love was a 26 and 12 guy in his final year in Minnesota. Let’s not count the 18 game year in 2012-2013 when Love was riddled by injury. Love posted 26.1 PPG and 12.5 RPG in 2013-2014, and had 26.0 PPG and 13.0 RPG in the 2011-2012 season. Since he’s been with LeBron, in his prime mind you, he’s averaged 17.1 PPG and 8.1 RPG. Did I mention Love and James teamed up when love was 26 years old?

I’m not doing the same number-crunching thing with Chris Bosch, but take a look for yourself. The guy went from Hall of Famer to almost forgotten when he left Toronto to team up with LeBron and the Miami Heat back in 2010. Poor Chris didn’t know what he was signing up for.

“LeBron: the Highlight Reel Defender

What else would you expect from “LeBron, The Me Guy”? He’s an overrated defender, but because a handful of Highlight Reel defensive plays overshadows his lack of effort, the common folk once again fall victim to betrayals from the throne. In all actuality, in most cases he takes off more plays than Randy Moss and Manny Ramirez combined! Maybe that’s a slight exaggeration, but you get the point. “Go Hard or Go Home James”, is all I’m saying.

No big deal, it’s all forgiven because he blocks a shot or two in dramatic fashion. That should definitely make up for the fact that he doesn’t get back in transition, (usually crying to a ref about a non-call), close out on shooters or rotate on defense.

Well, he shuts people down right? No. Evident by last year’s Finals when Durant dropped almost 40 every night. What’s the argument now? He didn’t cover Durant that much? Why not, King James? Shame on you for letting someone else on your team guard, the other best player on the planet. It’s not just Durant either. Pretty much every small forward that he goes against has averaged the same amount of points for their career or more when head to head with the King. Don’t believe me? Google it! I’m not doing the work for you!

With all that said, he’s obviously very good at what he does, but his greatness doesn’t make anyone on his team better. His style of play allows defenses to focus on him and not have to exert themselves by over-rotating. He needs another iso player to help him reduce his turnovers and give him a break once in a while, so all the stress isn’t on him. He should team up with PG3 in LA or Westy in OKC. God knows he’s leaving his kingdom defenseless once again.

We have all heard the Spurs rumors, and honestly James going to a team that actually plays team ball, dare I say it, would actually make that team worse. Picture the King in San Antonio or trying to hog up the T.O.P in a Celtics uniform. “What you mean Pop you want me to catch and pass?” or “Hey Danny Ainge, Brad is really asking me to do a lot with this whole swing it thing, let’s get D Fish in here”.

If the King just played Stevens, Kerr, or Popovich type of ball, he could have created a true dynasty that surpassed Michael Jordan’s teams. That is what Durant is doing in Golden State. That is why “Durantula”, in my opinion, is better than Bron Bron. Instead, the King’s Dynasties are short-lived, as players leave his super teams in search of new lands to conquer, on their own, or at least with team players that are not sitting on a condescending throne as a shadow casting self-indulged KING.

Aaron Matteos
@haildigital on twitter

2017 NBA Finals - Game Four