LeBron James' Phantom Elbow Injury

Aram KhayatpourContributor IMay 10, 2010

BOSTON - MAY 09:  Fans try to distract LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers as he tries to shoot a free throw in the first half against the Boston Celtics during Game Four of the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the 2010 NBA playoffs at TD Garden on May 9, 2010 in Boston, Massachusetts  NOTE TO USER: User Expressly Acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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I really didn’t want to write about this. I just wanted to ignore it until it went away; like I did with Carlos Mencia. (Thanks again Comedy Central, for canceling that travesty of a show.)

But when I saw someone on ESPN compare LeBron’s Game Three performance with the Jordan flu game, I had to express my opinion on this whole thing.

LeBron James does not have an injured elbow.

Lebron’s Game Three was nothing close to Jordan’s flu game. Jordan was throwing up all over the sidelines and had to be carried off the court by his teammates. LeBron might have had a little owie.

A guy who has an elbow injury doesn’t shoot his best percentages in the playoffs, and doesn’t miss 25-foot jump shots because they are too long. It’s funny, LeBron’s elbow always seems to be hurting more when the other team is playing good defense, and when they aren’t rotating quickly or defending the middle (Boston in Game Three) the elbow seems fine. What a convenient injury.

I’m willing to agree that his elbow may be a little banged up—not injured—a little sore. But everyone is banged up right now, LeBron probably less so than most. Everyone has a bad knee, or a turned ankle, or a broken finger; some even have all three (not to name any names).

What LeBron had was an incredible amount of pressure, and what he needed was a way to curb the pressure. It’s been a long time since someone has had as much pressure to deliver a championship; he could be leaving Cleveland, he has a championship caliber team, he is supposed to be the best player in the sport (I still don’t buy into that), the Lakers are looking older, Orlando doesn’t present the same match up problems without Hedo—all the pieces are in place for LeBron to win one, and the entire world is expecting him to.

Add in the pressure of playing in Cleveland, a city that wants a championship more than Jamarcus Russell wants another cheeseburger.

As a young man who has always disappointed when it comes to the playoffs, it can’t be a relaxing time in the James household. What the phantom elbow injury affords LeBron is a built in excuse in case he can’t pull off an NBA title—a way to curb the pressure for a guy who has never been all that good when the pressure is on.

All of that I can understand, but I don’t respect it—especially when he won’t stop talking about and bringing up his fake injury. What’s worse is that he keeps referring to himself as a warrior.

You can’t call yourself a warrior; your actions speak it for you. If you call yourself a warrior, especially when you just have a little booboo on your elbow, you probably aren’t one. It’s like when the middle-aged guy who grows a ponytail to complement his receding hairline tries to tell everyone he’s cool. No dude, you aren’t, and saying it doesn’t make it true.

So LeBron need to just shut up, suck it up, and stop getting outplayed by Rajon Rondo.

Best player in the world? He hasn’t been the best player on the court.