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For King James, Off with His Head

BOSTON - MAY 13:  LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers wipes the sweat from his face in the fourth quarter against the Boston Celtics during Game Six of the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the 2010 NBA playoffs at TD Garden on May 13, 2010 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Celtics defeated the Cavaliers 94-85.  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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Peter LomuscioCorrespondent IJuly 12, 2016

A solution may finally have been thought up to solve the Cleveland Cavaliers' supporting cast issues. 

And as surprising as it may be, it doesn’t look like finding a Robin for the Cavs is the solution. It is the fact that the Cavs are still in search of their Batman. 

If LeBron is satisfied to play through the biggest games of his career in a passive role, than he is never going to live up to the "king" label that he has been prematurely given.

There were way too many instances in this series where LeBron James simply shied away from the moment and the opportunities to take hold and charge of the series.

It is a shame that the only thing James can hang his hat on after this critical Game Six is his back-to-back three pointers with 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter, which were the only two shots he made outside of the paint all night.

His lack of aggressiveness was again quite evident and as much as it may be getting old to hear it, it looks true that LeBron lacks that “killer instinct.” 

It may be confusing for all those who didn’t watch the game and just read LeBron’s stat line, but his triple double was far less effective as it looks on paper (27 points, 19 rebounds, 10 assists, and 9 turnovers on 8-of-21 shooting).

James needed to step up and shoot and take it to the basket to effectively control this game, but instead he altered his game to a Jason Kidd-like style of play.

Not taking anything away from Kidd, as he is obviously a future Hall of Famer, but that isn’t James’ role and job on this squad. It is James’ job to dominate the scoring load and live up to the label of being the most electrifying scorer in the NBA.

Despite the fact he had 10 assists, his 9 turnovers pretty much cancelled that out due to the fact that many of his giveaways were unforced and rather sloppy.

James made a habit of simply stopping his dribble around the free throw line and slowly searching the halfcourt for any option to get the ball out of his hands. This is not the James we saw throughout the regular season. 

LeBron clearly was burnt by his hesitancy to shoot and his complete absence of a mid-range game. Missing these factors is what forces James’ game into a predictable style of play. It takes him from an uncoverable physical monster to rather easy guy to cover.

It is tiring to hear that winning or losing this series was the decider of LeBron’s next move. Why?

What decides his next move is his decision to leave his sacred home state and leave them stranded for his own selfish wants. Yes, James wants to win a Championship, but he certainly didn’t prove that with his effort in this series. 

His decision is pending on his willingness to step up to the challenge of bringing a title to Cleveland.

His decision is pending on his ability to work hard and raise his game in the offseason to push his team to the next level. 

James needs to look into the mirror because there are still aspects of his game that need improvement. He needs to dump this image of himself as the perfect basketball player, constantly focusing on his own individual talents and mature enough to learn how to win while gelling with his team in the biggest moments.

Why did it become acceptable to have the thought that if Cleveland loses then LeBron should bolt? 

This just continues to show that LeBron is shying away from another challenge like he did in Game 5 and arguably most of Game 6. And we all know that when you quit once, it starts a pattern and becomes easier to quit in future tough spots.

Looking at the positives, LeBron did man up and shake hands this time after the devastating series loss. He also showed up to his media session and answered all questions directed to him in a professional manner.

He also has the opportunity to prove that he is a man willing to step up to the challenge of avoiding the temptation and staying in his home state and bringing them a championship in the future. This crossroads is going to decide how LeBron is viewed as a man.

LeBron can stay in his home state and push the Cleveland front office to go out and get a premier NBA coach to help take them up a notch off the court to help his cause on the court.

Given salary cap factors, it is unlikely to see much of a change to the roster, but then again the supporting cast isn’t the issue anyway. James has admitted that Cleveland is willing to do whatever to win, so there is no reason for him to bail.

In leaving Cleveland, is LeBron finally admitting that he doesn’t have what it takes to carry the load?

Is he admitting that he needs a Dwyane Wade to carry the weight and handle the pressure situations? 

Is he willing to dethrone himself and permanently knock his legacy down a notch by basically admitting that he can't live up to the MJ-Kobe standard?

LeBron needs to shake this image of falling short and he has no better opportunity to do this than now, with his decision looming on where he will play for at least his next three seasons. 

So for now it is on LeBron to help us interpret this famous saying and how it ties into his career: When the Going Gets Tough, LeBron James Gets Going.

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