A post-game note to LeBron following Game 5

Mr. James,

After the Heat won that title, and they argued Dwayne Wade was better than you, it used to make me angry.  When they said you couldn’t win the big one after that team of stiffs you took to the finals got swept by the Spurs, the ignorance of that comment made me laugh at the time.  When you went for 40+ in game seven at Boston, and the Cavs fell short, I looked towards the airballs hoisted by Wally Szcerbiak and asked how much more you could do on your own.  And last season, after your squad won 66 regular season games only to fall to the Magic in the ECF, I argued in hindsight that Orlando was a mismatch. 

But now, tonight, in a game where a statement from you was paramount, you might as well have been sitting next to your agent and Coach Calapari because you didn’t even show up on the floor.  This one tonight LeBron – a game 5 at home you had to have where instead you allowed your team to be blown off the court by 32 – this one is totally and completely on you.  You might have one of the best marketing teams in the world ‘Bron ‘Bron, but not even they can spin this any other way…failing to compete or provide effort in arguably the most critical playoff game of your team’s franchise history is now a part of your legacy.  And whether you care or not, that’s something you’ll be taking with you wherever it is you end up going from here on out. 

And I don’t mean to be dramatic here LB, but its pretty frustrating for us right now.  Thing is, we were all hoping for you to come out with that hunger we’ve seen in these playoffs before, however you didn’t bring that.  How come?  Do you agree with most that if you win a title here you’d have to stay?  Are you going Shoeless Joe Jackson then on us here?  If you have a foot out the door, would you mind at least trying to win one here before you take off?  Is that so much to ask?  I mean, we all know your buddy Calapari moves around alot too, but he at least tries to win wherever he’s at while he’s there.  You didn’t even try tonight.  And let’s be real about it, you didn’t try Sunday either.  Your team, and this city, we needed that fire of yours that once lit up the rim like an NBA Jam session a few years back in Detroit, but instead we were forced to watch you accept the idea of losing for three hours.  Shoot me a text next time if that’s your plan, we could have done something else.  But what we did end up doing is watch you admit defeat from the opening tip, and stand 30 feet away from the basket watching Anthony Parker try to create his own shot all night long.  Did you ever see your idol Mike Jordan stand 30 feet from the basket watching Craig Hodges create in the playoffs?  How about Kobe last year…did he spend the first quarter trying to get Luke Walton off?  I think you know those answers Bron, and you’re also the only person who knows why you approached tonight’s game the way you did.  I hope its something you choose to correct before…well, before its all over I guess.  Because for whatever its worth, you owed us more tonight LeBron – whether you think so or not – you owed us a lot more. 

Better luck next time I suppose,


Stepien Rules

Brendan Bowers

About Brendan Bowers

I am the founding editor of StepienRules.com. I am also a content strategist and social media manager with Electronic Merchant Systems in Cleveland. My work has been published in SLAM Magazine, KICKS Magazine, The Locker Room Magazine, Cleveland.com, BleacherReport.com, InsideFacebook.com and elsewhere. I've also written a lot of articles that have been published here.