The Warriors’ success and attention-grabbing season has caused LeBron James to participate in some head scratching antics.
This NBA season has been about two things. Kobe Bryant‘s retirement tour (eye roll), and the Warriors’ pursuit of the Bulls’ single season wins record. For the first time in a long time, the attention of the NBA universe is primarily focused on something other than LeBron James. He’s been in the public eye even before he entered the NBA at age 18. He’s been in every NBA finals since 2011, and made his first finals appearance at age 22. He even had a one hour TV special to let the world know where he’d be taking his talents in 2010.
But things are different now. When we turn on SportsCenter in the evenings, they aren’t talking about King James anymore. They’re talking about the Warriors and Stephen Curry, or Kobe’s last game in some arena he used to dominate in. Hell, they’re even talking about the Spurs who supposedly “don’t get any attention”.
Don’t get me wrong, nobody’s saying LeBron isn’t still a great player. James is averaging 25 points, 7.4 rebounds and 6.6 assists per game. Despite the loss of his 3 point shot he still has a true shooting percentage of almost 58 percent. His team is also +8.5 with James on the floor. The Cleveland Cavaliers are sitting pretty atop the Eastern Conference.
LeBron’s passive aggressive antics is that of a man possessed to be the BEST. It started with the open ended subtweets that had all of us speculating anything and everything. Imagine being Kevin Love or Kyrie Irving, wondering every time you see LeBron whether or not he even wants to be in “The Land”. LeBron has been known as a world class leader since he’s came into the league. As good as it gets when it comes to being a good teammate. Simply put [Drama] King James isn’t being a very good teammate right now.
On the court he’s glaring at his teammates after bad passes, and throwing mini temper tantrums after his teammates screw up defensive rotations. That being said, it’s important to know where LeBron’s cries for attention are coming from. Last season the Warriors won 67 games, and were statistically one of the greatest basketball teams of all time. LeBron took those Warriors to six games by himself, as his teammates bricked open three pointers and stood in the corner watching LeBron go to work.
The crazy thing is, the 2016 Warriors are an entirely different monster. Curry is better. Klay Thompson is better. Draymond Green is better. The Warriors went from being a top 10 team of all time to arguably the greatest team of all time, in one off-season. LeBron and the Cavs got off to a great start this season, but the Warriors took the league by storm, and best believe James was watching.
As LeBron’s prime ends, he faces a new challenge, a new rival, in the Golden State Warriors. Led by their baby faced assassin, the Warriors are threathning to dethrone the King in more ways then one. Not only are the Warriors taking LeBron’s shine amongst fans and the media, they also have the potential to stamp their mark on LeBron’s legacy. James has a career 2-4 record in the Finals, and whether it’s fair or not, when LeBron retires his Finals record will be a major point in trying to gauge where he ranks among the greatest players of all time.
The Cavaliers look like they should have a strong hold on the East for years to come (unless they lose LeBron again, but that’s a discussion for another day), meaning they could be seeing the Warriors, dynasty permitting, in the next few finals. LeBron is under immense pressure to bring “The Land” a title before he retires. Lebron put the roster together and he’s damn near running the team, and the kitchen will only get hotter as LeBron’s prime seasons wind down.
News flash, LeBron. If you want the spotlight back, you’re going to have to go get it from the Warriors.