NBA All-Star Games aren’t supposed to matter, and performing well in them certainly isn’t supposed to impact your legacy one way or the other. Unfortunately for Miami Heat forward, LeBron James, those rules doesn’t seem to apply when your performance at the All-Star game fits perfectly into a narrative that’s traveled with you throughout your entire career.
By the end of Sunday night, despite the fact that he had been the one that put the Eastern Conference team in a position to win in the first place, James ended up being the goat for the squad’s eventual 152-149 defeat.
Why? Because he failed in the clutch...again.
Here is how it went down, via CBS Sports:
With the East trailing the West, 151-149, James handled the ball out of an inbounds play, opting to find New Jersey Nets guard Deron Williams, who popped open on a screen, rather than attack the basket. Wiliams launched a deep three, which rimmed off. After a scramble for the ball, James came up with possession with roughly five seconds remaining, and Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant hawking him near midcourt. James took a few dribbles to his right as New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony popped open to the top of the 3-point line, calling for the ball. Instead, James looked off Anthony and attempted to fire a pass through traffic to Heat guard Dwyane Wade, who was cutting in from the left corner.
The pass never had a chance, as Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin stepped over to easily intercept it.
At the end of the game, James was noticeably upset about what had transpired. All-Star Games are meaningless and your performance in them doesn’t deserve front page coverage the next day – but James knew that the front page is exactly where this one would end up.