LeBron James has obviously been reading his own headlines. Sunday night, after his Cleveland Cavaliers lost Game 5 of the NBA Finals, 104-91 and fell behind 3-2 in the series, LeBron had this to say to reporters when asked about his level of confidence (email subscribers click here to view media):
I sometimes criticize basketball for being an individual sport masquerading as a team sport. There is an overemphasis on individual play, especially at the highest level. LeBron James is the best basketball player in the world. So, what?! He was the best player on the floor in last year’s NBA Finals too. That’s why he’s in Cleveland now.
It doesn’t matter what the Internet memes or so-called experts say. LeBron is not doing it by himself. The Cleveland Cavaliers are a team. They will win as a team or lose as a team. The same goes for the Golden State Warriors. Who cares if LeBron wins the NBA Finals MVP award and the team loses the series?
What gets lost in all the LeBron for MVP talk is that the Cavaliers are playing a historically great team in terms of regular season record. Only five teams in NBA history have won more games during the regular season than the 2014-2015 Golden State Warriors and four of them were Lakers, Celtics and Bulls teams. For context’s sake, the Lakers team on that short list did not include any combination of Shaq, Kobe, Magic, Kareem, or Worthy. That’s how good these Warriors are.
No man is an island and no one man makes a team. In basketball, it takes five players on the floor working toward a common goal – not four guys waiting on one to save the day. The Cavaliers and LeBron are going to learn that one way or the other.