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What LeBron James did in All-Star Game just doesn’t matter

Feb 27, 2012, 6:15 PM EDT

2012 NBA All-Star Game Getty Images

Not to go all Bill Murray in “Meatballs,” but:

It just doesn’t matter.

What LeBron James did at the end of regulation in the All-Star Game — deciding to try and make a pass with 1.9 seconds left rather than make the aggressive play and take a shot over Kobe Bryant (who was yelling at him to take it) — just doesn’t matter.

LeBron has been getting killed Monday by detractors for not taking that shot, for not seizing the moment. They see it as a sign of his passivity in clutch moments that goes back to time immemorial.

Of course, if LeBron had taken that shot and made it, those same people all would be saying, “it’s the All-Star Game, it doesn’t count, it’s an exhibition game not a real clutch moment.”

Which is true. That brings us to the real heart of the matter with LeBron — it just doesn’t matter what he does all through the regular season. All that matters is what he does in the playoffs — and the finals in particular.

LeBron is the clear frontrunner for the MVP right now. Sorry Kevin Durant fans, your man is certainly have a good season, but it’s not close. LeBron is putting up 27.4 points per game on 54.7 percent shooting, plus 8.1 rebounds and 6.8 assists per game. His game has matured — he is taking fewer threes and getting better shots in the post. He’s defending well. He has a Jordan-at-his-peak PER of 32.4. He has been amazing.

He can win the MVP, and it just doesn’t matter.

Only what he and the Heat do in the playoffs will matter.

Only LeBron James earning a ring will matter — and if he doesn’t play a big role in the finals even that will not silence some critics. People have decided LeBron James is not clutch. (Those people should ask Derrick Rose, who LeBron shut down on defense and completely outplayed in fourth quarters of the Eastern Conference finals about that.) It just doesn’t matter.

Right now, LeBron’s legacy has been defined as the guy who could not get it done — he didn’t win a ring in Cleveland, he left for Miami to play with better players and they lost in the finals. Fair or not, that is how the sporting public at large has defined him.

The only way he changes that legacy is to get rings. Multiple. Because of him.

So while some talk about a pass at the end of the All-Star Game and see it as confirmation of the status quo, it just doesn’t matter.

Only the games in May and June are what matter for him.

  1. bearsstillsuck - Feb 27, 2012 at 6:24 PM

    Kurt’s knees must be getting sore.

    • c0achdesigns - Feb 28, 2012 at 12:32 AM

      @Kurt. It does make some relevance on how his heart plays on getting it done. LBJ poured on 30+ points at will because it’s an all star game. but the truth of the matter is, the game is on the line here. The best player in the league today, holding the ball, the chance to tie the ball game, everyone (critics and fanatics alike) wanting, anticipating him to take the BIG SHOT,breath held, then poof, then another…poof. His heart goes to the flush.

      I for one, consider myself a hater, but I would love LBJ to take that shot, any given day, any game. Some, if not all, like me[being a hater] and all nba fans will agree with me that LBJ should have taken THAT SHOT.

  2. ogre2010 - Feb 27, 2012 at 6:31 PM

    Hey Kurt, didn’t you put LBJ in your winners AND loser category in your other article?

  3. savvybynature - Feb 27, 2012 at 6:33 PM

    “That brings us to the real heart of the matter with LeBron — it just doesn’t matter what he does all through the regular season. All that matters is what he does in the playoffs — and the finals in particular.”

    If this is true than right now he is inarguably one of the best players of all time, but not one of the greatest players of all time. He has had some good playoff moments, but too often has been inexplicably passive in the postseason. He has time to change that but his legacy is to some degree set. He’s in his ninth season; that’s half of a very long career.

  4. twtwigg - Feb 27, 2012 at 6:44 PM

    Ugh! God forbid he get a ring – you’ll never write another article about anything else.

  5. chargerdillon - Feb 27, 2012 at 6:51 PM

    This is a really weak fluff article aimed at trashing the best player on the East last night. If it werent for Lebron showing up where half the guys on his team werent the score wouldve never been half of what it was.

    Kat Williams would define Kurt Helin as a Hater, and he would be right.

    This is a hate-piece, nothing more.

    • jjordannba - Feb 27, 2012 at 7:19 PM

      Woah!!! You must got it twisted Kurt doesn’t hate on Lebron, that’s his boyfriend, he’s always on Lebron’s jock

  6. redbullenergydrink - Feb 27, 2012 at 6:52 PM

    LeBron has been getting killed Monday by detractors for not taking that shot, for not seizing the moment. They see it as a sign of his passivity in clutch moments that goes back to time immemorial.

    Of course, if LeBron had taken that shot and made it, those same people all would be saying, “it’s the All-Star Game, it doesn’t count, it’s an exhibition game not a real clutch moment.”
    ——————————
    Couldn’t have said it better myself. Haters will hate.

  7. crimhollingsworth - Feb 27, 2012 at 6:52 PM

    And when Lebron chokes in the playoffs again, Kurt will say, “It doesn’t matter.”

  8. steelerswin6 - Feb 27, 2012 at 7:04 PM

    LeLoser proves it again. He can’t deliver when it counts. Even Kyrie Irvimg of the Cavs WANTS to take the last shot. LeLoser wants anybody but himself to take it. The weasels are in his head. No championship for the Heat….

    • ibleedaquaorange - Feb 27, 2012 at 7:10 PM

      “Kyrie Irvimg” should probably sign with IMG immediately, no? Unbelievable marketing/cross-promotion potential.

  9. 6164linc - Feb 27, 2012 at 7:08 PM

    LBJ is not the MVP. If you took him off the Heat, they would STILL be a top 1 or 2 seed in the East. He’s putting up 27/8/7 with Dwade and Bosh including the rest of the circus.

    If you took KD away from OKC… where would the fall? Ill be waiting .. until your next article.

  10. dafranchise03 - Feb 27, 2012 at 7:16 PM

    I am one of the people who clown on Lebron for everything he does wrong but even I respected what he did in the second half of the all-star game. That is until he passed up a chance to close out AGAIN. Lebron continues to add fuel to the flames for haters like me.

    Your right that winning the MVP award wont matter to haters like me. He needs to prove he can win what matters most and that’s a ring.

  11. acdc363 - Feb 27, 2012 at 7:32 PM

    Glad I took LBJ over Durant with the 1st pick in fantasy

  12. cosmicatomic - Feb 27, 2012 at 7:41 PM

    LOL Kurt. Soooo predictable. My gosh.

  13. Gboi - Feb 27, 2012 at 7:54 PM

    I know the writer in the final seconds of the game had thought what millions had thought as well, for Lebron to take the last shot, but was just severely disappointed because he will have to write lame stuff like this to defend Lebron.

    It was an opportunity, and yes what he did does not matter, but it shows as well that when the spotlight on him was at the brightest, he will kind of shrink at the moment and cower in fear that he might not make it.

    Millions that have wacthed the All Star Game wanted the same thing what everybody wanted, and even Lebron himself admitted that he should’ve took the last shot and kind of said that, “If I could only turn back time, I could’ve shot it over Kobe.”

    The man himself admitted that it mattered to him, so your article saying this does not matter is just a waste of time, maybe just to make a post just for the sake of posting something no matter how weak the argument is.

    Do not get me wrong, I am a fan of Lebron and I wish he could’ve killed Kobe for abetting him to shoot.

    And really? Do you need to mention Derrick Rose? For what? Just to show that Lebron can own a superstar in a game that has no correlation to the moment at the ASG that was presented to him?

    Yes he has all the otherwordly skills on the “KURT,” but he does not have the humanly desire to rise above and own it.

  14. butterednuts86 - Feb 27, 2012 at 8:03 PM

    Ok.. So you dont think its fair to LeBrick to receive all this criticism?? Well maybe he shouldn’t have a championship parade with his other 2 teammates before they even step on the court together… Maybe he shouldn’t have nicknamed himself “The King” before he had a couple rings.. Maybe he shouldn’t have gotten a full back tattoo that says “CHOSEN ONE” before he even won an nba game… So you know what… I dont wanna hear about poor lil lebrick being picked on when he brought all this on himself.. He’s a choker… We ALL KNOW THIS AND HAVE KNOWN THIS FOR YEARS.. WHY ITS IT WHEN HE CHOKES IT BECOMES MASSIVE NEWS?? He does it every year..

  15. ispysomething7 - Feb 27, 2012 at 8:09 PM

    All that matters is what his peers think. And with Kobe and Carmelo looking at him with a puzzled look and Kerr, a former player, questioning his decision…..well that says it all.

  16. rhetoric1 - Feb 27, 2012 at 8:12 PM

    if lebron passes the ball, he’s passive, scared of the big moment.

    if lebron takes the shot but misses, he’s not clutch.

    if lebron takes the shot and makes it, the game is meaningless, do it in a real game.

    if lebron takes and makes the shot in a real game, do it in the playoffs.

    if lebron doesn’t win the championship, can’t get it done in the biggest stage.

    if lebron wins the championship this year, he couldn’t do it without dwade.

    any way you cut it..

    • southbeachtalent - Feb 29, 2012 at 4:44 PM

      now your catching on..

      Bron if you do, Bron if You don’t. I coined that phrase..

  17. surly1n1nd1anapol1s - Feb 27, 2012 at 8:15 PM

    He has displaced Scottie Pippin as the best second-fiddle or all time. Give him credit.

  18. xdirtybirdzx - Feb 27, 2012 at 8:18 PM

    I am so sick of all these writer’s for PBT, they all stick up for LeBron, and never give Kobe any respect.

    • chargerdillon - Feb 27, 2012 at 8:22 PM

      You think Kobe needs these writers respect? The 5 rings on his hand says all the respect he needs to have for them, and it goes without saying their respect for him.

      There’s lots of ways you can hate on Lebron because he hasn’t won it all. Kobe won it all, then he won it again…..and again…..and again……and again.

      Respect and Kobe don’t even need to be in the same sentence anymore, and if you want to hold a grudge against hack reporters who carry on about him, you’re caring about it more than Kobe does

      • xdirtybirdzx - Feb 27, 2012 at 8:32 PM

        I dont understand what you are trying to argue. I completely understand that Kobe does not care what anyone thinks about him. But I dont get what your trying to get at here, I am a Kobe fan.

  19. SOSB - Feb 27, 2012 at 8:28 PM

    Kurt is right on here. His legacy as a guy who wilts in the clutch is well deserved, but what happened last night has absolutely nothing to do with it.

    I mean, it was an all-star game.

  20. bobdabruin - Feb 27, 2012 at 8:36 PM

    Meaning-less All-Star Game…get over it. Let’s have this discussion come playoff time

    • c0achdesigns - Feb 28, 2012 at 1:57 AM

      We saw the decision last Finals, it happened again.

      You want to know what winners looks like on any game, anywhere, anytime(doesn’t matter what game)? –> MJ at age 40 took winning shot of ASG but Kobe erased that because Kobe took the shot, he thought of winning the game and ended taking free throw after a (KG) foul.

      This is why the BEST are separated from the GREATS.

    • pardontheerruption - Feb 28, 2012 at 6:11 AM

      Why do we need to wait until playoffs again? We’ve seen this same story every year since he’s actually made the playoffs…Dude just doesn’t have “it”, he is more concerned with being the most popular kid in the school.

  21. raidmagic - Feb 27, 2012 at 8:40 PM

    I’m sorry but I think it futher reenforces the point he shys away from the moment. Even in a pointless all star game he couldn’t take the shot and he was the hottest player on the floor, he couldn’t miss in the 4th.

    • SOSB - Feb 27, 2012 at 8:49 PM

      But why does it need any further reinforcement? The guy went from 30 a game in the first three rounds of the playoffs to 17 a game in the finals. He was outscored in the series by Jason Terry, a bench player. He was essentially invisible in the last 2 games. He’s been on three teams that were considered the favorites to win the title and found a way to lose every time.

      Far as I’m concerned, it’a done deal. The guy isn’t a winner until proven otherwise.

  22. metalhead65 - Feb 27, 2012 at 8:43 PM

    glad the president of the I worship everything lebron is back to his usual lebron is god mode after his brief detour this morning into almost so close to saying a negative word about him. the fact is all the other all time greats who have you know actually won championships as well as individual awards would have found a way to get a shot off in that situation. and because it was a game featuring all the best they would have demanded the chance to prove they were better than anyone else there. but once again lebron does not want to be the guy who loses the game but ends up doing it anyway. try and spin anyway you want kurt it does matter in that it keeps his legacy of never being clutch when it matters in tact. make no mistake if he hits that shot you are first in line claiming him as game mvp and saying this puts him up there with the greats.the difference is those greats would have actually taken the shot.

  23. uscfan1988 - Feb 27, 2012 at 9:46 PM

    LeBron didn’t choke in the playoffs last year just the finals he was actually very good in the Philly, Boston, and Chicago series and then sucked in the finals vs Dallas.

    • slowclyde86 - Feb 27, 2012 at 10:33 PM

      Not only did he choke last year, but his choking will go down as one of the greatest choke jobs of all time. Sure he did well In the first three rounds with no pressure, but disappeared when the series got tight and the stakes were highest.

      I imagine he gets over this sometime soon, but in the meantime, yesterday did matter. The fact that people are talking about another fold late only adds to the pressure next time.

    • slowclyde86 - Feb 27, 2012 at 10:35 PM

      Not only did he choke last year, but his choking will go down as one of the greatest choke jobs of all time. Sure he did well In the first three rounds with no pressure, but disappeared when the series got tight and the stakes were highest.

      I imagine he gets over this sometime soon, but in the meantime, yesterday did matter. The fact that people are talking about another fold proves that it does.

    • c0achdesigns - Feb 28, 2012 at 2:00 AM

      EMPHASIS ON ‘SUCKED IN THE FINALS’

  24. glink123 - Feb 27, 2012 at 10:04 PM

    So a 6’8″ 250 pound forward, who happens to play on a team with two other max-contract All-Stars, defensively “shuts down” a 6’2″ 190 pound guard who plays on a team without anyone else who can get off their own shot, and that’s supposed to be some magical accomplishment?

    • ibleedaquaorange - Feb 27, 2012 at 10:09 PM

      Considering that 6’2″ 190 pound fraud was league MVP, yes, it was a magical accomplishment.

      • kinggw - Feb 27, 2012 at 10:20 PM

        Bazinga!!

      • tyronebrown - Feb 27, 2012 at 11:33 PM

        Yeah..i kinda remember that player being Derrick Rose..I wonder if some people even watch the game of basketball.

    • c0achdesigns - Feb 28, 2012 at 2:22 AM

      6’8 v.6’2 and D.Rose(on a bad ankle) still scores 23.4 points a game on the Eastern Conference Finals. Is that what you call a ‘shut down’?

      – SARCASTICALLY, THEN IT’S A HANDS DOWN FOR LECHOKES MAGICAL ACCOMPLISHMENT!
      LOL

  25. charlutes - Feb 27, 2012 at 10:17 PM

    If you aren’t someone who hates Lebron for no reason, then I think you give him a massive amount of credit if he hits a last second shot to cap off a massive comeback, that he led, and that would surely also make him the MVP of the all star game.

    Instead he’s the goat for turning it over. What’s wrong with that?

    • mr9teen - Feb 28, 2012 at 10:24 AM

      No one hates LeBron for NO reason. People don’t like LeBron for several reasons that his apologists don’t want to hear about so I will run them down. He’s has all the ability in the world and does just enough with it. He’s 6’8 265 and runs like a gazelle which means small players can’t cover him and big players can’t stay with him. Aside from that he’s a frontrunner. That is clearly obvious by his decision to bolt Cleveland last year. Let me say that he had EVERY right to leave Cleveland last year. However the manner in which he did so was classless and lost me as a fan. I’ve been watching LeBron since high school so I had a chance to see him before most. As a fan you expect players to develop more each year. Maybe some of us are spoiled by Magic, Jordan and Kobe. LeBron has not lived up to the promise.
      The turnover is not so much the problem as much how terrible a pass it was. He was on fire. NO ONE would have had a problem with taking the shot.

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