Child's Play: Lebron James' Maturity, or Lack There Of

Austin SchindelAnalyst IIMay 12, 2010

CLEVELAND - MAY 11: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers looks on while playing the Boston Celtics in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2010 NBA Playoffs at Quicken Loans Arena on May 11, 2010 in Cleveland, Ohio. Boston won the game 120-88 to take a 3-2 series lead. 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 Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

In all my time watching Lebron James play, never before did I see him as the doe-eyed kid that he looked like last night in Game Five. 

Upon arrival into the professional game in 2003, James was instantly assigned the savior of the Cleveland Cavaliers, and a "King" that would be the eventual successor to Michael Jordan’s thrown as the greatest to ever play the game.

While young men his age were making life altering decision as to where they would pursue their higher education, or what branch of the military to join, James had the honor or deciding what his first Nike shoe would look like.

For Lebron, there was no time for him to grow up. He had to learn on the job from players that he could not relate with, because none of them were prodigies like him. Kobe had Shaq, Jordan had a far superior coach in Phil Jackson, and Duncan had "The Admiral" David Robinson.

So why would we be surprised by any of the antics that Lebron has pulled in the past? Between the video that he hid of him being dunked on by Jordan Crawford, to not shaking hands after his Game 6 loss to the Magic a year ago, to dancing on the sidelines during a game, Lebron has shown he is still a kid.

We forget that he has never played with pain before, we forget that his upcoming free agency has to have taken a toll on him, no matter how well he has handled it, and we forget that at 25, most of the world is still finding themselves.

For the first time, Lebron James truly put down his guard. He looked tired, mentally fatigued, and when it counted most, his "retooled supporting cast" looked like the looney tunes Michael Jordan had to play with in Space Jam.

The media has portrayed him as the best player to ever play, when he is yet to even win an NBA Finals game.

Both his body and robotic interview style make us think that he is well beyond his years, but instead of constantly badgering the man, let him breathe a little.

He will let you know who he is going to sign with when he is ready. He will find the best situation for him and when he does decide, don’t scrutinize it, because no matter what he chooses to do he will be put under the microscope.

Most 25-year-olds don’t have to make decisions like he is about to make, and if he is to lose this year, it does not mean there is not next year, or the year after that.

I will never call him "King James" because he does not deserve it. He hasn’t won a thing yet and when he does, we can always reevaluate.

So stop being so hard on the kid, because like a judgmental parent, if you are always yelling at the kid, you will miss all the good things that happen as he grows up right before your eyes.