Thus, the so-called King feels or thinks he can do anything he wants.
Bottom line—Lebron is uncoachable, at least by these guys. He tried to manipulate and intimidate coach Spoelstra at Miami, another small white guy who’d never played in the NBA, but iron-willed Pat Riley had Spoelstra's back, and Lebron had to be coached, and had his two dear friends, Wade and Bosh provide him a cozy womb of pampering after the emotional bloodletting he experienced after failing to win a championship in Cleveland and then deserting his downtrodden state.
All great players, from Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain to Kareem Abdul Jabbar to Magic Johnson and Larry Bird to Michael Jordan to Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant need tough, smart, resolute coaches uncompromising as bosses to hold down their strong personalities and propensity to think THEY own the game and can run the team and pick its players.
Lebron has become too big, his ego now so expanded that he is a brand, an institution, a corporation, a future billionaire possibly achieving things nobody coming from his background has ever done before, and rightfully so, more power to him, he deserves it, and it’s pretty obvious that as an individual he is brilliant, an all-time great.
But he can’t control everything, and he can’t keep getting what he wants at every turn if he wants to win a championship. Okay, he got Bosh and Wade and won two and lost two and felt perhaps that they were getting old and decided to return to Cleveland to “give back” to where he came from, a marvelous overture…
But his team has no cohesion, and Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love are NOT Duane Wade and Chris Bosh—not even close. Already this exemplary human being, unselfish, regal, steeped in social conscience and humanity and his compassion for the underdog, must realize they can’t beat Golden State or San Antonio and maybe not Oklahoma City with the crew he’s playing with now. He must also realize that his best days are already starting to slip away, that his outside shot is crooked because he doesn’t have the same lift, so that he is confined to post up and drive. And just how long can this magnificent specimen carry a team like he did in last year’s finals as he moves into his thirties?
What will he tell his GM—trade this guy, get that guy?
This time Lebron, slyly manipulative and deliberately intimidating, has outsmarted himself.
Blake Griffin is a child in a massive man’s body. He has little leadership ability and has transformed himself into a TV ad darling, which has to irk his teammates as well as opposing players not considered superstars. Great an individual player as he is, and accomplished passer, he is not a big moment guy. He’s still a pouter and whiner, and when Draymond Green chugs alongside him and trash-talks and sticks his tongue out, Blake, not a street guy, not a tough guy, becomes flustered, and Green knows it.
It is almost as though Green, street tough in every way, has made a psychological study of Griffin, has peered into his soul and observed an empty shell and human frailty within the pretty-boy Adonis making cutesy-cutesy Hollywood commercials and tweaked it over and over again, knowing deep down he can distract him, bring doubt and misdirected rage, and ultimately punk him.
Griffin seems doomed to be one of those great perennial all stars who don’t quite have the stuffing to win it all, and go down in history as also-rans creating great highlights and statistics. Bill Russell knew about these guys. He made a psychological study of every opponent and teammate, and knew which buttons to push to motivate his troops, and demoralize his adversaries. The master, learned from the shrewd, ruthless Red Auerbach.
This is Draymond Green, old school, and brutally competitive to the core. Playing against him must be like wading through an endless briar patch. And he’s right about Griffin—a 6 foot 9 giant who punches out a smaller non-athlete is a punk.