Let me be clear, if the Miami Heat continue to lose and become the laughing stock of the NBA, I would not lose sleep over it. As an avid Cleveland fan, “The Chosen One” broke my heart and I will never forgive him. But, the Heat have an opportunity to make basketball history and if that’s the case, for this experiment to work, LeBron James needs to learn the art of submission.
Eric Spoelstra is doing something no coach has yet to do in LeBron’s career. He is holding the King responsible. He is demanding that he learn and run a specific offense and has chastised him for “going off script.” He has called #6 out in front of the team, asked him to be serious, and wants him to lead. But, he wants him to do it within the team concept. Something Mike Brown had trouble getting him to do while in Cleveland.
It is probably very difficult to be “the best” at something from the time you were a child. To be adored by many and given few rules and constraints. When adults bow to you as a child, how can you expect anything less when you become a man? Well, this can’t fly anymore. LeBron needs a little humility. He needs to understand that he is a piece of a larger puzzle now and winning games, winning titles and winning championships require work and sacrifice.
LeBron would do well to take a long hard look at Kobe Bryant. Nobody works harder on his craft, has sacrificed more of his game and left behind childish ways to become a winner more so than him. He is a great basketball model and although not quite unique, is relevant enough to imitate. The window of opportunity to form cohesive bonds with teammates and coaches to forge a path to success is small. Attitudes and culture are born quickly. Miami has invested in Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh and LeBron James for the next six years. Those six years can be like heaven or hell, it’s up to them.
What we can clearly see now is that this marriage requires work. The team needs a coach and Eric Spoelstra is the man for the job. It is now essential that the players buy in to what he’s selling, especially LeBron. Sure, it was a shock and disappointment that Wade didn’t speak up for Spoelstra this week when criticism came his way. It is a shame that the video with LeBron shoulder bumping Spoelstra has gone viral. But, this year is far from over.
Now it’s up to LeBron. In any event we are all “Witnesses”, and although I am fine with witnessing the fall of a king, if he changes his ways, for the next few years some of the best basketball the NBA can produce could be in South Beach.