Time to earn that paycheck, LeBron.
LeBron carries win-now burden with Heat
http://l.yimg.com/a/i/us/sp/ed/experts/wojnarowski.png By Adrian Wojnarowski, Yahoo! Sports Oct 27, 4:04 am EDT
BOSTON – When LeBron James(notes) was running roughshod over the Cleveland Cavaliers, it became common for him to respond to tough coaching and differing degrees of conflict with the sheer shutdown mode. There goes LeBron, stomping off to the locker room with a staff member in hot pursuit to talk him back into practice. Come on back, King. We need you.
James would mope back onto the floor, reluctant to be told that someone disagreed with his belief on a matter. The Cavaliers’ culture of enabling, letting things go and go, exacerbated these issues. James stayed in a cocoon of perpetual adolescence.
“His coping skills,” one perceptive ex-teammate said, “had been largely underdeveloped.”
The world is watching James in a different way now, with a far more critical eye. Everything changed in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinals last May, when the private acting out spilled into the public for the first time. Without leaving the floor, LeBron walked out on the Cavaliers and so started a spiral that eventually led him on that private jet to Miami International and into the waiting arms of old man Riles and his boy wonder, Erik Spoelstra.
James had come to Miami to escape the cocoon of Cleveland, the so-so talent surrounding him, a management and ownership who never commanded his respect. He had come to find a way through the Orlando Magic and the Boston Celtics, yet suddenly it felt like old times on opening night at the Garden. Around LeBron James, Chris Bosh(notes) played the part of J.J. Hickson(notes), and Dwyane Wade(notes) had the playoff touch of Mo Williams(notes).
“Rome wasn’t built in a day,” James declared.