LeBron James is the reigning NBA MVP and NBA Finals MVP and considered by many to be the top player in the league. He has dominated this month and became the first player in league history to score at least 30 points on over 60 percent shooting in six straight games. Though James is playing outstanding ball, Michael Jordan thinks he has found a flaw in the Heat star’s game.
ESPN’s Wright Thompson wrote an excellent piece about Jordan ahead of the Hall of Famer’s 50th birthday on Sunday. The lengthy piece discusses MJ dealing with aging and harnessing his competitive drive. Jordan discusses how some of the current players would have fared when he played, and he said LeBron, Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, and Dirk Nowitzki would have done well. He also analyzed a part of James’ game while watching the Heat play the Jazz in Utah Jan. 14. According to Jordan, LeBron has a tendency to shoot jumpshots when forced left, and he drives to the hoop when he goes right.
“I study him,” he says.
When LeBron goes right, he usually drives; when he goes left, he usually shoots a jumper. It has to do with his mechanics and how he loads the ball for release. “So if I have to guard him,” Jordan says, “I’m gonna push him left so nine times out of 10, he’s gonna shoot a jump shot. If he goes right, he’s going to the hole and I can’t stop him. So I ain’t letting him go right.”
Check out Dr. Dre and Lebron James on the cover of EPSN‘s upcoming “Music Issue“. Grab your copy when it hits newsstands February 8th.
Go behind the scenes with LeBron James and Dr. Dre as they shoot for the upcoming ESPN The Magazine music issue.
LeBron James has some fun at Battioke performing Michael Jackson classic “Rock With You” before being joined on stage by Dwyane Wade to perform Shai’s “If I Ever Fall In Love”.
You might not like him, but after his performance this postseason and especially in the Finals even the biggest hater has to respect him.
Of course we’re talking bout Lebron James, the man whose move to Miami from Cleveland has been scrutinized from day one.
James led the Heat to a Game 5 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder to bring the title to Miami.
On the biggest night of his young career, James delivered a triple-double, scoring 26 points with 13 assists and 11 rebounds to lock up his first Finals MVP award
Eight of his 13 assists were converted for 3-pointers. The Heat shot a mind-boggling 14 of 25 from downtown, tying the record for 3-pointers in a Finals game.
“It means everything,” James said moments after the win. “I made a difficult decision to leave Cleveland but I understood what my future was about … I knew we had a bright future (in Miami). This is a dream come true for me. This is definitely when it pays off.”
Wade scored 20 points with 8 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 blocks. Bosh notched 24 points and 7 rebounds. But while the Big Three put up big numbers as usual, so did their supporting cast, combining for 51 points.
Seven players scored in double figures for the Heat, including 23 points from Mike Miller. Still dealing with back issues, Miller hit 7 of 8 3-pointers after missing all three of his 3-point attempts in Games 1-4. No one has ever hit as many threes coming off the bench in a Finals game. Shane Battier scored 11, and Mario Chalmers scored 10.
“Thank you for your patience,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra told the home crowd while the team was accepting the Larry O’Brien Trophy after the game. “We remember last year, we wanted to make up for it.”
Kevin Durant led the Thunder with 32 points and 11 rebounds, but could not pull his team to victory. Russell Westbrook followed up his 43-point Game 4 performance with a disappointing outing, scoring 19 points on 4 of 20 shooting
It looks as though Alicia Keys brother, Cole Cook, is following in her philanthropy footsteps. This past weekend he celebrated his 21st birthday with Alicia Keys, Swizz Beatz and friends while raising $250,000 to go towards his sister’s charity, ‘Keep A Child Alive’. Swizzy also laced him with 21 bottles of Ace of Spades during the celebration
Jeremy Lin has picked apart some truly focused defenses, but until Thursday night, he hadn’t faced anything quite like the Miami Heat. Miami shut down Lin’s pick and roll game, held the New York Knicks to just 39 percent shooting as a team, and built an insurmountable lead in the third quarter. They kept the Knicks at arm’s length throughout the second half to emerge with a 102-88 victory.
New York’s game since Lin has taken over the point guard reins has been all about making things happen off the pick and roll. The Heat, unlike any team the Knicks have faced in a few weeks, made it so that nothing could happen off that pick and roll. Mario Chalmers and Norris Cole hounded Lin mercilessly in the backcourt, and defensive mastermind Joel Anthony prowled around the paint to cut off Lin’s passing lanes and play goalie when he found a roller. Lin finished with just eight points on 1-11 shooting to go with an unsightly eight turnovers and just three assists. His preferred pick and roll targets, Tyson Chandler and Amar’e Stoudemire, got only seven shot attempts apiece — a testament to just how brilliantly the Heat closed off the paint.
On their own end of the floor, Miami started somewhat slowly, but got Chris Bosh going early and often. Bosh gave Chandler all kinds of problems with his left-handed attack and excellence from medium range, and he led the Heat with 25 points. Dwyane Wade added 22, while LeBron James, middling in pretty much every aspect of the game, finished with 20 points, nine rebounds, eight assists, five steals, and [deep breath] two blocks. My, that’s a lot of things.
The Heat as a team made their big push in that third quarter. They held New York to just four field goals in the period and, on offense, got themselves heaps of second opportunities, while burning the Knicks from the perimeter. Miami’s lead cracked double digits early in the third and didn’t drop below six points the rest of the way.
The Miami win was, incredibly, their eighth double-digit victory in a row, and they’ll head into the All-Star break as the best team in the Eastern Conference at 27-7. New York dropped to 17-18, back below .500, with the loss.
Guess the #KobeSystem really does work
Not only is Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant currently leading the NBA in scoring (30.2 ppg as of 1/26), he also tops the League in player earnings according to a report by Forbes.com. According to Forbes, Bryant’s earnings from his NBA salary and endorsement deals is over $53 million for 2012. Unfortunately a large portion of that money will be going to his soon-to-be ex wife Vanessa in a divorce settlement.
Following Bryant on the Forbes list is LeBron James at $49 mil, with $33 mil of that total coming via endorsements. Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard is a distant third at $28.9 mil, with Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade ($27.7 mil) and NY Knicks forward Caremlo Anthony ($26.5 mil) rounding out the top five.