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Wade on LeBron: `He didn't quit.''

Jul 15, 2010, 9:32 PM EDT

Thumbnail image for d-wade-king-james.jpgDwyane Wade already has LeBron’s back.

“He’s not a quitter,” Wade said. “He didn’t quit.”

That’s what Wade told the AP Thursday, referring to Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert’s post-decision rant about LeBron James, saying he quit in the Celtics playoffs series. Wade will have none of hat.

“LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Kobe Bryant, guys like that understand what Boston’s defense was about,” Wade said. “Their defense was built on not letting one player beat them. You either settle for the outside shot or you pass to your teammates. LeBron had one bad game in the playoffs. Other than that, he did what he could do with the defense all watching him.”

Yes, Wade just referred to himself in the third person, but we’re going to let that go for now. And we’re not going to get into the debate about if LeBron quit of not. Okay, yes we are — he didn’t. And while he may have had hopes of the SuperFriends getting together in Miami at that point he was not going to tank a series to make it happen. Cleveland lost because Boston had matchup advantages and executed better.

Wade there is doing what a leader should do — get your teammates back. And Wade could be the real leader on this team: His city and he has the ring. What’s more, he is more of a killer than the other two. He has that fire. He wants another chip like competitor who has tasted success. And we’ve seen before he can drag a team with him.

  1. Salty - Jul 15, 2010 at 9:48 PM

    Not so Wade. We all saw him give up.You can’t penatrate the defence unless you try.He did’nt try. He quite.

  2. Craig W. - Jul 15, 2010 at 10:06 PM

    Unless we have played against Boston’s defense, we can’t really say Lebron quit. As a Laker fan, I have watched that defense for the last 3 years and it is good. Kobe had a hard time with it, but there were others who could take advantage of Kobe double-teams and then the Celtics were somewhat stuck. Even so, the Lakers only won that series by beating the Celtics in the toughness game, in game 7.
    Lebron was outgunned, out-coached, and outplayed. He apparently doesn’t have the killer instinct that Kobe or Dwyane have – that we can say – but we can’t say he quit.

  3. Cordae - Jul 15, 2010 at 10:12 PM

    What the hell do you call the past seven years of carrying a whole franchise from horrible to a contender!??? where the hell have you been? Look at his stats! if that isn’t trying you must be retarded

  4. Cordae - Jul 15, 2010 at 10:18 PM

    and this “Killer instinct” you speak of comes with a team. I could use the same argument in his favor. The same pistons that smacked Kobe in the finals are the same pistons LeBron single handedly destroyed to get to the playoffs. And their defense was just as good if not, better than the Celtics. That point has no value…

  5. Cordae - Jul 15, 2010 at 10:19 PM

    He destroyed them to get to the finals, sorry

  6. . - Jul 15, 2010 at 10:21 PM

    “His city and he has the ring.”
    Come on, Kurt Helin. Get your grammar right.

  7. Craig W. - Jul 15, 2010 at 10:25 PM

    Lebron looked lost in his series with the Celtics this year. I stand by my comments about ‘killer instinct’. Lebron had a team around him – I think calling them ‘mincemeat’, like the great ESPN did, is not only disrespectful, but wrong. This is still a team game, but there are a few individuals who can take over a game when it needs it – Lebron was touted to be one of those people. Well, if he is then he doesn’t do it enough when the game needs winning in the playoffs. Call it what you will.

  8. fred - Jul 15, 2010 at 10:26 PM

    Dude only has a 2nd grade equivalent in English writing and grammar. Ease up.

  9. GW - Jul 15, 2010 at 10:32 PM

    Sportswriters are always trying to turn someone into a hero or a goat. Wade stuck up for his friend its that simple. Not saying that Wade isnt a leader, but that isnt some great gesture he made. You guys are hyperbole kings.
    Craig you sound like all the sportsradio guys with that crap about killer instinct. Lebron defers more than most superstars do but thats his game. Would you say that Steve Nash doesnt have the killer instinct? Next thing you know you will say that his move to Miami damages his brand and his legacy. Formulate your own thoughts people.

  10. Cordae - Jul 15, 2010 at 10:34 PM

    He had a tripple-double in that game WHAT MORE CAN YOU ASK FOR FROM A PLAYER! That case is still invalid. Every good player has not taken over every game within the final seconds or minutes in the playoffs. Kobe doesnt do it in the playoffs, the finals was a prime example, he averages 26 points the first 6 games and shoots 30% in game 7???? yea RIGHT and if thats the case wade would have taken over the celtics in the first round right? And STILL if thats what your basing it on, LeBron had the best Closeout game ever when he beat the pistons back in the ’07 Confrence finals the final 25 points by yourself??? Come on now Craig if that isnt “killer instinct” then what do you call it???

  11. mars tbow - Jul 15, 2010 at 10:36 PM

    Of course he quit. I just can’t imagine anyone watching that series and saying he didn’t. He was disinterested and half assing it. Two of the biggest games of his life. Is he an unbelievably talented player? Absolutely. Has he ever won single finals game? No. Will he ever win a ring? Probably, with this all star team that has been assembled, but only after Kobe is over the hill.

  12. James - Jul 15, 2010 at 10:37 PM

    Agreed. You here all of these talking heads that like to speak in absolutes like they are in the locker room when they’ve probably never even met the guy they are trashing. What they said about Kobe is exactly right. Kobe had a horrible game in Game 7 of the Boston finals in ’08. The Lakers got blown out by something like 40 points, but you didn’t hear that Kobe quit or wasn’t a “closer” or didn’t have “killer instinct”. Kobe is great, LeBron is great, Wade is great and they all have different games. They also have bad games here and there, it’s that simple. Doesn’t mean they quit.

  13. Anonymous - Jul 15, 2010 at 10:46 PM

    game 6 29 points 19 rebounds 10 assists. if that’s quitting then I would like to know what he could do if he tried.

  14. Rob - Jul 15, 2010 at 10:47 PM

    All you haters better hate now while you can cuz when the Heat win the title THIS YEAR, that’s right, this year, you’ll be swallowing all your words.
    This has to be the best Trio that has ever collaborated in the modern era and not counting Bosh, the best duo comparable to Jordan (Wade) and Pippen (LeBron). They also have the advantage against those championship Bulls team because they have Bosh which the Bulls didn’t have. They also have great role players now with Miller and Haslem. More will come because they know this is the new paradise if they want to win a championship! Heat Champs in 2011!

  15. Obi-wan - Jul 15, 2010 at 11:06 PM

    “These are not the droids you’re looking for.”

  16. tdot11 - Jul 15, 2010 at 11:15 PM

    can’t wait to see bosh and the interior of the heat getting destroyed on a nightly basis.

  17. Dirk Simmons - Jul 15, 2010 at 11:16 PM

    You idiots that bring up Kobe’s Game 7 performance forget to mention one thing. HE HAS 5 RINGS! 5! We have seen him takeover games time and time again. He has the most killer instinct of anyone on the court. If you actually watched the game in question, it was evident that Lebron was lackadaisical and withdrawn. It was embarrassing. His post-game comments were equally puzzling: “I guess I’ve spoiled the fans with my game these past seven years.” What!? What the heck does that mean? This dude needs to grow up. Tell me one time you saw Michael or Kobe quit on a game. And to Anonymous…I don’t think Game 6 is the game in question. It was Game 5 that he gave up on. Game 5 stats: 15 pts. 6 reb. and 7 asts. He shot 3/14. Nine of his points came from the free throw line. Every guy has a bad game. That’s understandable. But to be the best, there are expectations. And that night, Lebron was for all intents and purposes a quitter. He’s an awesome player, but he gave up in that game. Now he’s put himself in a position to win multiple titles. Maybe even 5-6, but he’ll play Robin to Wade’s Batman. It’s already written in stone. That is Wade’s city and Wade’s team. Wade or Lebron or Bosh can say whatever they want, but the sportswriting community has already made up their minds.

  18. Rob - Jul 15, 2010 at 11:32 PM

    Maybe LeBron quit maybe he didn’t but his game 5 performance is looking a lot like Kobe’s game 7 performance against Phoenix in 2006. But all that is irrelevant now that he’s with Wade. He won’t have to worry about shouldering all the load by himself so all the pressure is off.

  19. SUPERFAN24 - Jul 15, 2010 at 11:45 PM

    Wow…OK. Where to start…I agree with Wade defending LeBron. That’s what he should do. However…
    1. Did JeBron Lames quit during the playoffs? Depends on your perspective. I’m willing to bet a shiny penny that most of the Cleveland fans think he’s a quitter. The two sides to this scenario are A: His stats reflect alot of effort on his part. BUT, does this mean he didn’t quit? Of course not. Let’s just say that basketball is a TEAM sport. If you pulled all the weight and felt that your teammates weren’t doing enough, wouldn’t you feel a bit frustrated? On the flip-side, you really couldn’t ask for much from your star player in the stat department, but maybe he could have shown a little more heart.
    2. Does LeBron have this “Killer Instinct”? Again, this depends on your perspective. LeBron has a killer instinct when it comes to every play he has the ball. However, compared to KB and MJ, he can’t will his team to win. He hasn’t developed that yet.
    3. Did he leave because he wanted to win a championship? No. Not winning a championship was just a great excuse to move since Delonte West was banging his mom and everyone on his team knew, but him. Wouldn’t you move away from your team if one of your teammates was banging your mom and everyone was talking about it behind your back? It’d be kinda hard to trust your teammates in that situation.
    4. Is Miami gonna win this coming season? Depends on how quickly their team can get along. You can put all Hall of Famers on your team, but it doesn’t mean you’ll win a championship, as the Lakers tried years ago. Miami still needs to beat the likes of Orlando and Boston in order to get a chance at the championship.
    5. Will Miami ever win a championship with their superstar trio? I hope so. I hope they win multiple championships. However, if they don’t, they’ll be known as the biggest failure in basketball.

  20. DK - Jul 16, 2010 at 12:05 AM

    I don’t think any great player should hide behind stats alone. The killer instict and the will to Win amid adversity combined with great talent is the hall mark of once in a generation player. We have two such players in last two decades and they are Kobe and Wade, definitely not Lebron.

  21. Brian - Jul 16, 2010 at 12:41 AM

    You really need an editor for this site. All the typos and grammar issues are very distracting.
    Otherwise this is the best site I’ve found for basketball news. Tighten it up!

  22. Doug Palindro - Jul 16, 2010 at 12:54 AM

    LeBron knew his team was outmatched against Boston– everybody could see it. Not only did he not have another star on his team he didn’t even have guys that would start on most NBA teams. He knew his team was overmatched. Look at his stats and tell me he didn’t produce. He practically averaged a triple double in the playoffs. Lebron did the right thing and went where he’ll have help.

  23. Mick - Jul 16, 2010 at 1:12 AM

    I dont know why people are so upset about LeBron getting out of OH-HIGH-OH and going to the much better Miami. Hell be on a better team, in a better city, with better fans, and way better management.
    Keith Evans said it best:—decisions-decisions-the-king-escapes-hell.html
    Anyone else would have made the same move!

  24. Mick - Jul 16, 2010 at 1:14 AM

    I dont know why people are so upset about LeBron getting out of OH-HIGH-OH and going to the much better Miami. Hell be on a better team, in a better city, with better fans, and way better management.
    Keith Evans said it best:—decisions-decisions-the-king-escapes-hell.html
    Anyone else would have made the same move!

  25. Yes he did! - Jul 16, 2010 at 1:52 AM

    He flat out, quit on the Cavs so he could move on and have an excuse. It doesn’t matter, he’ll never be what he could’ve been…

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