To say that LeBron James hasn't lived up to the hype for the NBA Finals would be like saying Harold Camping may have been a little off. Coming off of a game four in which James went 3-11 with 8 points, suffice it to say that he's left the arena and can't be found.
James has shot 34-86 in this series with an average of 39.5%, well below his season average and career high of 51% in 2011. James shot the ball just once in the 4th quarter during game four against the Dallas Mavericks, despite playing all 12 minutes. James doesn't believe his struggles have anything to do with the defense of the Mavericks. via espn.com
"They haven’t changed their coverages on me, I still got to make plays for my team, but also make plays for myself."
LeBron James isn't the only athlete with ties to Ohio that has caused some recent commotion with their actions.
Terrelle Pryor is going to be the poster-boy for NCAA compliance rules over the next hundred years, whether he likes it or not. He has taken that title away from Reggie Bush with his recent decision to leave Ohio State amidst numerous NCAA investigations. He decides to leave after saying he wasn't going to bail on his team and Ohio State. via cleveland.com
"Speaking for myself, once you pledge something, I think you got to keep your word."
Pryor's 'mini-decision' to attend Ohio State was originally put on hold during the first signing day for high school players. He actually called a press-conference to annouce that he had not yet made a decision. This sounds eerily familiar to another media event that was called to announce a decision. Ok, maybe that's a stretch as all high school athletes make decisions publicly, but the "look at me" characteristic was there along with a sense of entitlement that would prove costly in his career.
His decision to attend Ohio State brought the hope and optimism of being the next Archie Griffin or Eddie George. Instead they get another Art Schlichter or Maurice Clarett. Even back in January after the 5-game suspension was handed down from the NCAA regarding the trading of memorabilia for tattoos, he considered leaving but had chose to stay. via cleveland.com
"When we got that first little five-game suspension, it definitely crossed my mind, because it's five games. But then I looked at the Ohio State family and stuff like that and things I want to be part of as a senior. I still got a lot to learn and I can also go through the process of being a senior at this great university, so that's what I took in and thought about."
James and Pryor share the magical ability to disappear on those who count on them most when the whole world is watching. Pryor's decisions that led to these investigations put the entire University at the forefront of never-ending news cycles that constantly poked credibility at one of the most well-perceived football programs in the country. But every day a new report shows us what a facade the program had really become. This ultimately led to the resignation of one of college footballs' great coaches, Jim Tressel. What does Pryor do? He decides to leave the program in shambles that he helped create only to most likely go on to a professional career somewhere.
James explained a few years ago what exactly his role was in teaching Pryor how to cope with the spotlight and being "the guy". via espn.com
"Being that No. 1 guy, how do you adjust to it and how do you get through it and still perform at a high level? Sometimes it can be very difficult on [a young athlete]. I'm trying to be that guy who can really help him get through a lot of situations which he's never seen before but now he's seeing and understanding."
So how did James take his own advice? He left Cleveland to join a No. 1 in Dwyane Wade and is not playing at a high level in the most important series of his life thus far. Whatever kind of role model James was trying to be for Pryor, he obviously missed a few key pointers in how not to completely screw up a college football powerhouse.
James' masterful ability to be on the court and invisible at the same time in these finals would put Siegfried and Roy on the edge of their seats. To be quite honest it's made this a better finals' series. There is no reason why one of the best players in the NBA should be as big of a non-factor in this NBA finals as James has been. Over the last few days everyone has tried to find reasons as to why he "checked out" of the game four, and the series to this point. There is only one answer.
He is a magician.