“If I were him, frankly, I’d probably want to strangle you guys. It’s ridiculous.”
These were the words Jerry West had, when recently asked about the perception of LeBron James shared by many members of the media and fans. The four-time MVP is now playing in his seventh NBA Finals and sixth straight, but with his Cleveland Cavaliers in a tight spot against the Golden State Warriors, his record in the final round is likely to drop to 2-5.
West, the inspiration for the dribbling silhouette in the league’s logo, certainly understands the weight of criticism that can come from that statistic. He himself was 1-8 in the Finals over his storied career with the Los Angeles Lakers. So, even despite his current involvement as a basketball executive with the opposing Warriors in the Finals, he has sympathy for what James is going through:
“There’s no question he kept them in the series…
“Now we’ll see what happens with a full complement of players. I think that’s what makes this more interesting than a year ago.”