All-Star Weekend 2012 is now in the wraps and so are LeBron's chances at being clutch down the final moments of a game.
After leading the East to an unbelievable fourth-quarter comeback run, LeBron seemed to be on track to have his first complete game in his basketball career. Scoring 36 points, dishing out seven assists and pulling down six rebounds, LeBron simply could not be stopped, at least until the game was on the line.
Fans will agree that the shots LeBron made in the last quarter could compare to any of the great shots in All-Star history and most importantly, it made for a great finish in this year's All-Star game.
But let's not forget, any superstar can score 36 points and lead their team down the stretch, only great players can get the win as well. LeBron may be the best player in basketball right now, but there is no way he is the greatest of all time or even in the discussion for top five, and the only argument comes from the fact that LeBron is simply incapable of hitting clutch shots at the end of the game.
If you haven't already heard, LeBron made another crucial mistake in the last moments of this year's All-Star game by turning the ball over with less than five seconds to go in the game, throwing a bad pass straight into Blake Griffin's hands which in turn led to a West victory. Had LeBron drove to the basket or made a game-winning play, the MVP would have gone to him rather than Kevin Durant who also had a spectacular performance that night with 36 points, three assists, and seven rebounds. But we are back to criticizing LeBron for his late game antics and it is now obvious that this is what we will get for the remainder of LeBron's career, like it or not.
Every great player in the history of the game was clutch, it's just a fact. Michael Jordan has his iconic game winning shots, Kobe Bryant has his and so does Magic Johnson, Larry Bird and anyone else who is in discussion of the being the greatest of all time. But what do we remember LeBron by? Please don't tell me your going to bring in one of his lone game winners against the Orlando Magic in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals, or some crazy bank shot he somehow made at the buzzer, because anyone can count the amount of times LeBron has made one with their fingers. You can't do that with Jordan or Kobe.
LeBron is one of the best specimens the game of basketball has seen in the history of the game, and it is undeniable that he is great. But what the greatest of all time have that LeBron doesn't is a killer instinct mind set at the end of the games. Where these players make plays that no one else could at the time and swing of the game.
This All-Star game is not like a playoff atmosphere so what does that tell you about what will happen when LeBron gets a chance like he did last night to win the game? Do you really believe he can just pull through after all these years of disappointment? If you do, I applaud you for being the most optimistic LeBron fans, better yet, fans the game has ever seen. Continue to replay the five or so game winners LeBron has had over the years, if there are that many, and we'll just wait and see in this years playoffs if he has "it" or not.
I am an advocate for believing that a player is either born with "it" or isn't, and it is pretty clear that LeBron doesn't.
If there is anything to take away from this pleasantly surprising All-Star game this year, it is that players like Durant, Wade, Kobe and Carmelo have what it takes to win games down the stretch and that the better player on average throughout the rest of the game, LeBron, doesn't.
Call it harsh, but please don't call it a joke because there is without a doubt enough evidence for CSI Miami to barge in and figure out that there's no cold blooded killer DNA in LeBron's body, and those are the cold hard facts that every Heat fan needs to recognize.