Derek Harper: ‘Immature’ LeBron James Lacks ‘Game’ To Win Championship Alone
NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — LeBron James left Cleveland and took his talents to South Beach to win titles, so he’d have All-Star help around him and he wouldn’t have to carry the team.
His disappointing first finals with the Heat’s “Big 3” — James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh — ended Sunday night with the Dallas Mavericks’ 105-95 victory in Game 6.
“LeBron James made the right move,” Derek Harper, former point guard for the Mavericks and Knicks, told WFAN’s Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts on Monday, “because he doesn’t have the game or the mindset to win a championship by himself.”
Harper said after blowing it on the court, James blew it in his postgame press conference.
“All the people that were rooting on me to fail, at the end of the day, they have to wake up tomorrow and have the same life that they had before they woke up today,” James said. “They have the same personal problems they had today. I’m going to continue to live the way I want to live and continue to do the things that I want to do with me and my family and be happy with that.”
“Very arrogant, very disturbing to me,” said Harper. “To me, (James and Wade) are missing it. They’re missing the boat when it comes to what the NBA really stands for and what it’s all about.”
LISTEN: Derek Harper with Joe & Evan
Harper was also peeved at a video appearing to show the Miami stars mocking Dirk Nowitzki’s recent illness before Game 5. Nowitzki said Saturday that Wade and James were “a little childish, a little ignorant” for the stunt.
Harper agrees with the Mavericks’ star.
“Dirk said it best,” said Harper. “Very childish, very immature by two guys that I feel like are very immature guys.”
Nowitzki, like James, was heavily criticized for failing to bring home a championship. According to Harper, that’s where the comparisons end.
“Dirk is a prime example of how you stay the course of finding a way to be a champion,” he said. “He failed, he failed, he failed, he failed. Yet, he stayed the course, Mark Cuban believed in him and now he’s crowned as champion. And that’s the way you want to see it done, the way Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks were able to get it done.”
James averaged just 17.8 points, few of them coming in the clutch situations that define the great players.
“I really don’t know if he knows what he is as a player,” said Harper. “He certainly can’t live by his jump shot, because it’s not good enough. And from there, what exactly is LeBron James?”
He added: “Just the overall basketball savvy, I didn’t see that from LeBron James. … I just didn’t see him being a guy that could handle the situation.”
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