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A-Rod says we’re being too hard on LeBron, winning rings is hard

Jun 15, 2011, 10:12 AM EDT

New York Yankees v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Getty Images

Alex Rodriguez, maybe more than any other pro athlete, has walked a mile in LeBron James’ shoes.

And he wants us to back off LeBron.

A-Rod is the best player of his generation (arguably, if you want, but he has put up insane numbers). He is the 12-time All-Star, five-time home run leader who could also hit for average, three-time league MVP who could not get over the hump in the playoffs. And was crucified in the New York papers for it (well, that and the steroids).

In the eyes of New York fans he became the reason the Yankees could not win more rings. (Because it could not be Derek Jeter, no. He walks on the Hudson River in New York.) A-Rod was blamed for the 2004 collapse against the Red Sox, in 2006 Joe Torre dropped him to batting eighth at one point, and in seemingly every playoffs loss he hit under .200 in key series. The tabloids shredded him.

He finally got his ring in 2009 (then stunk in the 2010 playoffs) and he told Fox Sports that we need to cut LeBron some slack.

“Winning a championship is not an easy thing to do regardless of talent,” Rodriguez said. “LeBron is a once in a lifetime player, especially the last year….

“Let’s not take the Mavericks as an afterthought,” said Rodriguez, who lives in Miami and played in Arlington, a suburb of Dallas. “They did everything they had to do to raise a championship.”

You’re right A-Rod, Dallas did win it by doing everything they had to — they stepped up and out performed Miami in the fourth quarters of game. Under pressure they kept their execution at a high level.

Did LeBron do that? You are right though, it takes more than just talent to win a ring. And it does take time. And like you, I expect LeBron will eventually get his. But right now, questioning James’ game is totally fair.

  1. tashkalucy - Jun 15, 2011 at 10:28 AM

    This article is posted and immediately get a picture and prime display space.

    The 2 sorry articles about the World Champion Mavs are now buried below.

    America is as tired f hearing about Lebron and the Heat as they were of hearing about A-Rod, the Yankees and the Red Sox years ago.

    This is not a national site about the league (as PFT is abut the NFL). This is a clone of….all Heat, all the time.

    I’m going back to Hoopsworld. Even though there are no comments, they keep readers up with goings on in he NBA. Hoopsworld does what PBT infers t’s going to do. I mean whynit change the name to ProLebronTalk? ProHeatTalk? In the main these articles surely aren’t about basketball.

    • savocabol1 - Jun 15, 2011 at 10:48 AM

      This site is crazy. I went on it all the time during the season and postseason to read the headlines/click on the articles I am interested in. Now I only come here to laugh and see how many more Miami stories they can create. You can bet that you won’t be seeing my name in the comments sections come the fall. Not that anyone cares, nor should they. All I am saying is I may not be the only one switching to another website because of all these Miami stories.

      Like people always say, if you don’t like what they have to say, don’t read it…..

      • tashkalucy - Jun 15, 2011 at 10:54 AM

        Come the Fall there won’t be any NBA Basketball. There will not even be a 2011-12 season.

        With the players and their agents running the league (deciding where they play, who the coach will be, etc.) and the national sites glamorizing those that abuse the system while dropping those that work hard in the system (as we see with these Heat vs. Mav articles) is what has 25-27 of the ownership groups wondering why they’re 2nd class citizens, when they put millions of their own dollars at risk and the players and their agents don’t take any risk.

    • willisw - Jun 15, 2011 at 11:43 AM

      I’m going to bite and check out “Hoopsworld.”

  2. throwstrikes - Jun 15, 2011 at 10:42 AM

    Questioning Lebron’s game is fair. Questioning Lebron’s head, heart or psyche is unfair.

  3. savocabol1 - Jun 15, 2011 at 10:44 AM

    I did not read this article just the headline.

    Thanks Kurt, I realize now that I should care about what A-Rod has to say about Lebron. My boss told me his thoughts on how he feels about Lebron. If you want details I can email you the story. Thanks!

  4. randysavage4ever - Jun 15, 2011 at 10:55 AM

    that might be the smartest thing Alex Rodriguez has ever said – seriously – not sarcastic…

    but on the other side, you do play for a star filled Yankees team & Lebron is also playing for a team with 2 other all-stars…

    for whatever reason I think Lebron was better in Cleveland – his offense was still relevant. During the Finals , it was like a struggle for him to score – weird…

  5. tashkalucy - Jun 15, 2011 at 11:26 AM

    He finally got his ring in 2009 (then stunk in the 2010 playoffs) and he told Fox Sports that we need to cut LeBron some slack.

    “Winning a championship is not an easy thing to do regardless of talent,” Rodriguez said. “LeBron is a once in a lifetime player, especially the last year….

    Another pro athlete talking down to the masses.

    Excuse me, was it the fans or the media that danced around genuflexing on a WWF mat and telling the crowd that he and his buds were going to win “not 2, not 3, not 4, not 5, not 6, not 7….championships.

    THIS is the guy we have to cut some slack for?

    As they said in Blazing Saddles — “blow it out your ass, Horace”.

  6. yournuts - Jun 15, 2011 at 11:31 AM

    I don’t think that Lebron is a offensive juggernaut like a Duane Wade. I didn’t think that the Heat would get this far this year. Next year it might even be harder for them with other NBA teams learning how to play against the Heat and improving their rosters. The Heat were still playing against the best basketball players in the world and have done an incredible job this year.

    I think that everyone is upset with Lebron because he went to Miami. If he would of stayed in Cleveland all would be forgotten. The problem is the television program “The Decision” and what we all perceive as his attitude after proclaiming 7 or 8 championships. He will never regain the love he once had as a player and human being. We used to cheer his play at Madison Square Garden, and Chicago, now we despise him because of his decision to play in Miami.
    Whoever is giving him public relations advice is doing a real bad job. He should hire someone else. I’m sure his marketability is way down too, especially after his last comments.

  7. willisw - Jun 15, 2011 at 11:42 AM

    Is this a news article or a ‘commentary?’ I wanted to read what A-Rod had to say and not the writer (I will not say journalist) Helin.

  8. thetooloftools - Jun 15, 2011 at 11:57 AM

    You mean from one choker to another.

  9. samsjmail - Jun 15, 2011 at 1:31 PM

    Yeah, he’s great. How many homers does he have THIS year? Funny, those home run number just aren’t the same since they’ve been monitoring his urine.

  10. berbes - Jun 15, 2011 at 1:36 PM

    all i had to see was the headline to know who wrote it.

    reallllly, kurt? realllllllllllllllllly?

  11. dirtybird2020 - Jun 15, 2011 at 1:54 PM

    Arod is a bum now, who cares what the overpaid on a star studded team has to say! Bums stick together! Lebron is a choker, and has no competiveness in his soul! Lbj for life he makes it hard on his self!

  12. willymy1 - Jun 15, 2011 at 2:50 PM

    If Lebron and his mates hadn’t made a spectacle out the contract signings he wouldn’t necessarily be under this barrage. His “Decision” reality show started all the negativity. I don’t recall anyone else having a tv special to announce where they will be making their millions. He and the Heat got what they deserved

  13. originalkingjames - Jun 15, 2011 at 3:06 PM

    Rod is a Yankee that lives in Miami. LeBron lives and plays for Miami and is a huge Yankees fan. What a shock that Rod wants us to leave his bud alone.

    You want your current generation Jordan or Kobe and so far it hasn’t happened. I sit here and read articles about how LeBoob will be a laughing stock if they didn’t win the finals. Instead I hear more excuses. His last two years with Cleveland it was because he didn’t have a supporting cast. His first year with the Heat it has been said he doesn’t have a supporting cast. I guess there is no one in the league good enough to be his supporting cast.

    News flash, he is the supporting cast. We have ourselves what is considered a great regular season player. He can perform in the big nationally televised regular season games because there is nothing at stake. It seems the deeper he gets in the playoffs the worse he plays.

    Maybe a couple years in a college program would have done him a load of good. Problem is it wouldn’t have got him out of the slums with the big dollars which, in my opinion, is all that really matters to him.

  14. lucky5934 - Jun 15, 2011 at 3:35 PM

    Lebron brought this on himself. Hard to back off of a guy when he continues to ask for it with his actions and words.

  15. laserw - Jun 15, 2011 at 3:39 PM

    I’m sorry, but we aren’t being ROUGH enough with LeBrick James.

    Afterall, he is the one who ran his trap about being a “King of Basketball”.

    He is the one who created the stage show of his move from Cleveland to Miami. Most responsible athletes just make the move and let the news follow. LeBrick made the circus sideshow, cultivated attention, and bragged about winning Eight championships.

    And lets deal with the fact that many basketball pundits say he is the best player in basketball right now.

    So with all those factors, LeBrick has placed himself on the center of the stage and must now deal with the fact that he will be held to his standards. The problem is that when you look at his career, he is simply fantastic when games mean little, he’s average in playoff games that aren’t meaningful, and when there are must win games in the playoffs, he is simply INVISIBLE.

    Many think that calling LeBrick a choker is mean and unwarranted. But sports history doesn’t put an asterisk beside players names that suggests “he has a difficult time handling big games and should be viewed with some compassion”. Winners win! Losers fail to make the big plays in big games. Losers fail to put their team on their back and will their teams to win.

    So in the end – LeBrick can be judged by average standards and then he looks a bit above average. Or he can be held to what his trap says and then he’s a complete and utter failure. The Miami Heat would be better served buying two average players who play above their competence than one player who continually and repeatedly falls flat on his face when he is needed.

  16. linedrivehit - Jun 15, 2011 at 5:33 PM

    A-Rod says this because he is also a LOSER that took a shortcut to try to get a ring. He couldnt do it, so he wanted to ride the coat tails of all the all-stars on the Yankees. Sorry if I dont feel sorry for you LOSERS that give up on WINNING a ring and decide to hope someone else will get it for you (see Karl Malone).

  17. babyjesus69 - Jun 15, 2011 at 7:48 PM

    Who knew choke artists are so loyal to each other

  18. jaypace - Jun 16, 2011 at 4:11 AM

    A bum, 30 hr and 100 RBI for like 14 straight years. Let’s not be stupid.

    • berbes - Jun 16, 2011 at 9:49 AM

      yes, an unfaithful, a-hole CAN hit 30hr & 100 RBI for 14 straight years and STILL be an a-hole. true story.

  19. basketballfan4life - Jun 16, 2011 at 10:54 AM

    I would have to say if anyone is a LOSER, it is the sideline jackasses that make dumbass comments without having true knowledge of what they are taking about. Through the history of this sport(basketball), we can count the numerous GREAT players that have made amazing contributions to the sport and haven’t won rings. I am a fan of many of them. Lebron James is am amazing basketball player. In his 8th season in the NBA, he failed to win the championship he has worked very very hard for. But contrary to what many of u jackasses seem to hold true, Lebron didn’t lose the championship, The Miami Heat lost the championship and Dallas won it.

    It is amazing how Lebron is held responsible for the loses and everyone else is praised for the wins. Basketball is a team sport. Basketball is also played over 4 quarter and 48 minute.

    It is obvious to me that the hatred held towards Lebron is one of envy and jealousy. The desire of a pro ball player is to win and to he seen as a winner. Lebron was in a position to garner where he felt was the best place for him to win. He has a right to go where he wants to go. He fulfilled his contractual obligations with My Favs and found a position with another company that was more conducive to the direction he wants his career to go. People want to throw “The Decision” up as a reason to attack him, but u are missing is Lebron raised 2 million, yes, 2,000,000 for the boys and girls club of America with “The Decision”. How much did u give for the betterment of others live when u made the decision to leave McDonald’s to go work for Wendy’s? When u left Wendy’s to go work for IBM? Along with the 2 million kickoff, he has used his fan and money to build new boys and girls clubs around the country to keep kids off the streets and doing productive things. What did u do with or 15 minutes? Lebron is also using his fame and connections with Sprite to build and repair basketball courts around the country. When was the last time u did anything for someone else that didn’t benefit U.

    A-Rod was right, but not just because it is hard to win a championship, but because he is a person that is more that just a basketball player that lost a game. He is just like u and I. His life is just polarized because of what he does for a living. It is a game I love, but it is a game all the same. What u ass jacks need to do is start holding ur elected officials to the same scrutiny as u hold a man that plays a game. They affect ur life more than Lebron.

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