Thursday, May 17, 2012

It

Bill Russell had it. Wilt Chamberlain did not.  Bob Gibson had it. Roger Clemens in 1986 at least, did not.  Tom Brady has it.  Jeff George did not.

And apparently LeBron James does not have it.  Nor, collectively, do the Miami Heat.  Tonight they lost by 20 points to the Indiana Pacers.  LeBron James is one of the most talented players there has ever been, but on Tuesday he missed two foul shots in the last minute and tonight he could not make the difference.  John Havlicek, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, they all had and have it.  Somehow James does not.  On Tuesday he had an opportunity to take shots near the end and he passed on them.  Jordan and Bryant never would.

What is it?  What makes an athlete find a way to make the key play.  It goes beyond talent. If it was talent, Wilt Chamberlain would have had several championship rings.  He was the strongest big man ever to play the game. But he only won twice, and one of those times with an unusually strong supporting cast including Jerry West a player with a whole reservoir of it.

When James went to the Heat and joined Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, the thought was that they would be, for years to come, the team to beat for a championship.   The Heat has a way to go to even beat the Indiana Pacers.  Maybe they will come back.  James is an unusually talented player, but I am not sure he has it.

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