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NBA Finals 2011: Will the Real LeBron James Please Stand Up?

It's all on eye on LeBron for game 6.
It's all on eye on LeBron for game 6.Chris Chambers/Getty Images
Alexander DiegelCorrespondent IIIJune 12, 2011

What should I do? 

Should I be the point guard? Hand out assists while I let my considerable offensive talents go to waste?

What should I do? 

Stand out on the corners while I let my teammates decide the fate of the game?

What should I do? 

Chuck up three-pointers instead of using my extremely strong, athletic frame to take it to the hole with the game on the line?

How about this: Do what you have to do to win the game.

Just two weeks ago, the biggest question in sports was, "Is LeBron James better than Michael Jordan?" Now, no one knows what to think, as his heavily favored Miami Heat have dropped two straight and are staring elimination, and being the laughingstock of the NBA, straight in the face. 

LeBron is reminding me of one all-time great. But it isn't Michael Jordan.

It is Wilt Chamberlain. Chamberlain had arguably the most ability anyone had ever seen, certainly in his era. Yet, he never knew what he wanted.

Should I be the greatest scorer? OK, I'll drop 100 in a game.

Should I be a passer, to eliminate this perception of me as selfish player? OK, I'll lead the league in assists (which he did twice).

What he couldn't do was beat Bill Russell, a permanent stain on his legacy.

Now, LeBron James is going through the same thing. All of the ability, without a clue how to use it with the game on the line.

Against the Chicago Bulls, I thought we had gotten over this. I thought LeBron had graduated to the player he needed to be, the player he came to the Miami Heat to be. 

You don't want to have to score 40 points per game in the playoffs for your team to win? Fine, I don't have a problem with that. Against Chicago, he was the ultimate X-Factor, dominating in the specific aspect of the game the Heat needed for him to win. 

One night he was dropping 35. Another, he handed out ten assists. The final two games, he shut down the league MVP, while hitting clutch threes. Statistics be damned, it was the most dominant five-game stretch I have ever seen from LeBron. 

Then he follows it with the worst five-game stretch of his career. He has disappeared at the end of games worse than ever before, reverting to the 'LeBrick' three point attempts. He is playing the least assertive brand of basketball I have ever seen since he came into the Association.

And it could not be coming at a worse time.

Sure, go ahead and look at the statistics, if you want to defend him. Yes, he had a triple double last game. But it only included 17 points, which is fine if it comes with a victory, or even a huge impact at the end of a loss.

Instead, he scored just two points in the fourth quarter, looking detached once again at the most important point in the game.

What should I do?

You should be leading your team to an NBA Championship. It's really 'now or never.' Your move, LeBron. 

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