Lebron James passed up another shot to win a game last night. He had a big fourth quarter, shooting 8 for 9 from the floor for 17 points and bringing his team back almost single-handedly as they trailed the Utah Jazz by 10 with 9 minutes to go. With 4.5 seconds remaining the Heat inbounded the ball to James who, after hitting nearly every shot he took including this ridiculous three, passed the ball to Udonis Haslem who missed the game winning shot.
Call me crazy, but at the end of the game I'd want my best player to take the last shot. That's on a normal night. On a night like this one where Lebron went off in the fourth there is no question in my mind that if I'm the coach, I tell him to shoot the damn ball. It kind of reminded me of the all-star game when the East were down by 20 almost the entire game until Lebron scored 15 in the third quarter and then hit this big three in the fourth, leading the East's comeback. However, in the final 20 seconds the East had 3 chances to win or tie the game and Lebron was eerily absent from taking those shots.
Maybe Lebron's just not be that type of guy, and there's nothing wrong with that. He found Haslem wide open last night and I think we can all overlook what happened at an all-star game. The thing is when you're (arguably) the best basketball player on the planet there are going to be expectations that you will not only give your team a chance to win, but you will win it for them. We see Kobe take the shot. Durant takes the shot. Dirk had the ball in his hand when the Mavs were winning in the Finals. The big possessions are reserved for big time players. I think at this point, it's not even about making it and winning the game, I think it's about taking a chance and showing people that he isn't afraid of the moment. Miss or make, I think it would be a big step for Lebron to take. Although I have to say, making it would help.
Is Lebron once again being overly criticized, or is it his job to take that shot? Leave it in the comments.