Jerry West Gives Advice To LeBron James Through NBA Finals
If LeBron James loses, his haters cheer and celebrate. If LeBron James wins, his haters will find something else to hate on. It’s a never ending cycle with the King; With the recent back-to-back NBA Finals losses in 2014 and 2015, as well as another incredible challenge in this 2016 NBA Finals, the haters and critics of James have already begun to bash him for this series.
NBA Legend and ‘The Logo’ Jerry West spoke out earlier this week and defended James.
“That’s the most ridiculous thing. If I were him, I’d probably want to strangle [detractors],” West said. “He’s carried teams on his shoulders. He’s been to the Finals six straight times. How many times has he been the favorite? None. Zero. Grossly unfair to him.
“I don’t want to sound like Donald Trump, but it’s hard for me to believe someone doesn’t recognize his greatness. This guy does everything, and he’s competitive as hell. Frankly, I wish people would leave him alone.”
West also revealed to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin that he spoke with James directly about the struggles and scrutiny that they have both endured throughout their careers.
“I talked to him,” West said. “I did talk to him personally about that. And I said, ‘Jesus Christ, you think you’re frustrated? How would you like to get there eight times and not win?’ I told him, ‘I wanted to quit.’ In the height of my career, I wanted to quit. I was so angry, so frustrated.”
West, who has a 1-8 NBA Finals record in his nine appearances, had an outstanding overall career. He’s mostly remembered now, though, as the NBA’s logo and as the guy who went 1-8 in the championship rounds. If LeBron James is unable to bring the Cavs back from an 0-2 hole, he’ll be one of four players in NBA History with at least five Finals losses. That’s quite the blemish to have on a record, and no one looks at the fact that he reached seven NBA Finals, including six straight.
LeBron spoke about the importance of Game 3 in yesterday’s media availability.
“Obviously, it’s a do-or-die game for us,” James said. “We can’t afford to go down 3-0 to any team, especially a team that’s 73-9 in the regular season and playing the type of basketball they’re playing. So it’s a do-or-die game for us and we understand that.
All James can do it lay it all out on the line, just like West did every single night.
“You do your best, you try your best, you play your best and you’re still not good enough to get your team to where you want to go, and that’s [to be the] last man standing. And it’s not one guy. It’s a group of people.”