Yahoo Contributor Network
This article was created on the Yahoo Contributor Network, where users like you are published on Yahoo every day. Learn more »Yahoo Contributor Network
Psychoanalyzing LeBron James: A fan’s view
The consensus on LeBron James(notes) seems to be that he shrinks at the most important moments. Filled with either self-doubt, nervousness or some combination of both, the best ball player on the planet somehow suffers from last minute yips and buckles under pressure.
I don't buy it.
We all seem to have forgotten his jaw-dropping fourth quarter performances against the Boston Celtics and the Chicago Bulls already, so I'm going to humor everyone and pretend they never happened too.
So here's what I want you to do: Put yourself in LeBron James' shoes. At this moment, it might not be the most comfortable place in the world, but I have a sneaky suspicion that a lot of us wouldn't mind being his type of uncomfortable.
Yachts. Palaces. Gorgeous women. Private jets. Succulent food. Constant attention.
Sure, you have to deal with negative press, but it's nothing you can't get overcome when you're driving in your Ferrari as you pass a 70 foot billboard with your likeness on it, on the way to your multimillion dollar condo on South Beach. And no, that's not your house, you just like the hot tub spa in the master bedroom better than the one you have at home.
What did you do to deserve all of this? You were born with a gift: ungodly talent at the game of basketball. From the instant you learned how to ball, you outclassed everyone in the playground. When you played at school, you dominated '"even the older kids. Your talent appeared to be boundless. School, city, state, nation, no matter which level, you were always on top.
And before long, there was no doubt that you were the best in the world at your craft.
Do you doubt yourself? After a life of such exaggerated individual success and everything it's brought you, can you even conceptualize insecurity?
It'd be hard for me.
I don't think people realize how small all of this noise must be to this man.
You see him bow his head after a loss and you think he questions himself? I sincerely doubt it. If LeBron James wanted, he could average 40 points, rather easily. All he'd have to do is hog the ball as much as Kobe Bryant(notes) did in 2006, put up 30 shots, get to the line 10 times and it's a done deal. But, he doesn't need to prove anything to you.
LeBron came to the Miami because he views himself as a winner. Because everything that surrounds him suggests he's winner and because he was tired of being part of losing situations.
After 40 minutes, the Miami Heat were beating the Dallas Mavericks by 9 while LeBron James had only 8 points. Chris Bosh(notes) and Dwyane Wade(notes) were exploiting their match-ups so efficiently that there was absolutely no reason for LeBron to assert himself other than to fulfill some role other people have for him.
Then, as the game got closer, rather than give LeBron the ball and call him a savior if he succeeds or victim of misguided hero ball if he misses, the Heat decided to run their offense and try to find the highest percentage shots available or feed Dwyane Wade who had already established a rhythm and was exploiting his match-ups all night.
We lambasted LeBron for not giving the ball to Dwyane Wade down the stretch in Game 2 and now we're blasting him for deferring to Wade much down the stretch in Game 4.
Rest assured, however, LeBron James doesn't care what you think.
He's going to make whatever decisions he thinks are best for his team. Whether that means score 38 points and that last ten in the fourth because Dwyane Wade is struggling or score 8 because Wade and Bosh are on fire doesn't really matter to him. Self-doubt has absolutely nothing to with it.
The Miami Heat lost Game 4 because they turned the ball over six times at the most important point in the game and missed too many open shots.
We just want to blame LeBron James because he's so good, we can't help to romanticize him all out of proportion. To mythologize him.
In the Boston and Chicago series, he was Hercules. In Game 2, he was Icarus. In Game 4, he was Achilles.
Who will he be in Game 5?
More from the Yahoo! Contributor Network:
Follow Charles Joel on Twitter here: @Charles_ Joel.
Note: This article was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Sign up here to start publishing your own sports content.