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NBA Legend Jerry West Comes To LeBron James’ Defense, Fires Back At His Critics

LeBron James has had a career full of success, putting up incredible performances, passing all-time greats on statistical scoring lists, and winning rings. And yet, losing this NBA Finals and having a 2-5 Finals record would be the only thing fans and the media will see.

No one knows more about what James is going through than NBA legend and ‘The Logo’ Jerry West. West, now a member of the Golden State Warriors front-office, has an NBA Championship, but a Finals record of just 1-8. West was asked about the criticism LeBron James is getting for having a 2-4 Finals record and said what he would do if he were in James’ place

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Brian Windhorst of ESPN reported on West’s comments, and he fired back at the haters who constantly criticize 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.”

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If James comes up short, which the media is already predicting, James will 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.

“It’s no fun to get there that many times and not get the results you want, regardless of how you played,” West said. “In the playoffs, the best players are supposed to play better. I did. It made no difference.”

As Windhorst notes in his piece, James has spoken in the past about entering stages of depression after Finals losses. It’s not something he takes very lightly at all, but James is a competitor, and all he can do is come out and give it all he’s got on the court.

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“I think it bothers me in the fact that’s how competitive I am,” James said. “[Going] 3-1 still bothers me in state championships [in high school]. It’s just the competitive side. If I lose in a game of H-O-R-S-E to my son, it’s going to bother me. But as far as how people look at it and things of that nature, that doesn’t bother me. I mean, my career will speak for itself when I’m done with it, no matter what my Finals record [is]. Some people never get here at all. I’m at seven up to this point. Heck, that’s over half my career I’ve been in the Finals. So that doesn’t bother me. What would bother me is if I went out there and didn’t give it everything I’ve had.”

LeBron James and the Cavs will try to tie up the series on Sunday night.

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