LeBron James is one of the greatest athletes of all time... from the neck down.
Truly he is head and shoulders above almost any other athlete when it comes to his physical talents. His strength and speed, complemented with his overall athleticism and aggressive nature make him exciting to watch.
Any game that LeBron gets on the court, he has to be widely considered the best player on the court. Some have even compared James to the great Michael Jordan.
Nothing could by further from the truth. While James certainly has the physical tools to become the best player ever, it is apparent that he doesn't want it as much. Going back to the 2010 playoffs, when the Cavaliers were on the brink of elimination by the Boston Celtics, James didn't show up. It almost appeared that tiny aliens had stolen his talent like Charles Barkley in Space Jam.
Fast forward to right now, James has all but disappeared in the finals versus the Dallas Mavericks. James has scored all of two points in the last 10 minutes of four straight games. Consistently, "King James" as he calls himself, has deferred to Dwyane Wade, relegating himself to little more than an overhyped Lamar Odom.
As if that weren't bad enough, this may be the door to a championship closing in James' face. Wade is rapidly approaching his 30s which will no doubt be the twilight of his basketball career, and The Heat may be forced to trade Chris Bosh, depending on what the new salary cap looks like. The rest of Eric Spoelstra's roster are career bench and role players assembled in hasty fashion.
Indeed, James may never win a title and forever make himself one of the greatest players in history. At least not with the Miami Heat.
Furthermore, James' late-season meltdowns prove that he doesn't have the drive necessary to make him even able to be mentioned in the same sentence as Jordan. He didn't win in Cleveland because he was waiting for a "secondary hero" to come and make all the big shots at the end of the game.
In Miami, he has that, and doesn't realize, that HE needs to be that guy, the clutch performer that dominates at the end of games. Isn't James supposed to be "The Chosen One"? The ink on his back says so, and yet the rest of the world is skeptical at best.
The most puzzling piece of the "King's" second playoff meltdown is that this time around he had a clear advantage that perhaps no other athlete in basketball has ever had. James chose to sign with a team that had two established NBA Superstars on it.
He went to a team that already possessed two of the top 15 or so players in the league. Even if James wins a ring, his legacy will forever be tarnished, and he will forever go down as a guy that sat around during crunch time and let Wade win him a ring.
James may very well go down on a list with other NBA Hall of Famers who never won an NBA Championship. Any comparisons to Jordan or even Kobe Bryant can and should be diminished by the one stat that will forever leave him off the list of NBA Greats. Kobe Bryant has five rings; Michael Jordan has six rings. LeBron James doesn't have any.