Is LeBron James Trying To Prove Michael Jordan Wrong Right Now?
By now, you’ve no doubt seen the layup that LeBron James hit to lead the Miami Heat to a 103-102 overtime win against the Indiana Pacers in Game 1 of the NBA’s Eastern Conference Finals. In fact, you’ve probably seen it 100 times. ESPN and all of the other sports channels out there have played it on an endless loop for the last 24 hours. But here’s something you probably didn’t know about the shot—it may have been LeBron’s way of proving Michael Jordan wrong.
What exactly was LBJ proving wrong? Well, back in February, MJ did an interview with ESPN The Magazine that featured him offering up an evaluation of LeBron’s game. And in the evaluation, MJ mentioned that he thought he had found a fatal flaw in LeBron’s game. Specifically, he said that he would force LeBron to go left if he was forced to guard him alone.
“If I have to guard him,” MJ said, “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.”
As it turns out, though, LeBron doesn’t always shoot a J when he goes left. He’s actually proven MJ wrong on several occasions this year. He did it back in February during a game against the Orlando Magic when he drove left and hit a layup with 3.2 seconds remaining to win the game. He did it again against the Pacers on Wednesday night, driving hard to the left to hit a game-winning layup. And ESPN recently noted that on isolation plays this season LeBron went left 51 percent of the time and shot a better percentage when he did so. So is it just a coincidence that LeBron loves going left now—or is he purposely trying to prove MJ wrong?
“That theory is wrong, I guess,” he said yesterday while discussing his game-winner against Indy.
And, in turn, so is MJ.
Point made, LeBron. So would anyone else like to try and discredit LeBron’s game from the sideline? Anyone at all? We’re sure he would love the motivation.