“I’m the best player in the world.”
I don’t think there is any question about the validity of his comment after what he accomplished in the series. When you lose your second and third leading scorers and you are playing against the team that won the most games in this year’s NBA’s regular season schedule, the series probably should have been a Golden State sweep. But the series went six games thanks to the play of LeBron.
I have always believed from the time I saw him in a high school All-Star game that the best part of LeBron’s game is his passing. In game 5, two of his teammates combined for seven three-point shots and every one of them came from a LeBron assist. The best definition of a great player is that he makes everyone around him a better player. LeBron does just that.
In the first five games of this series, he led Cleveland in scoring, assists, and rebounding. He demonstrated throughout the series that he is the best player in the world.
The question is, was it necessary for him to tell us?
At a clinic years ago, I heard another player say something that would counter LeBron’s statement and I think it has more wisdom. Leon Hilliard said, “Don’t tell me; show me.”
That is precisely what LeBron is doing. He is showing us that he is the best player in today’s basketball. There was no need to tell us.
He said this after a tough loss and I think it was in response to a reporter asking him if he was losing his confidence. If that was the case, then that was a silly question, just as LeBron’s answer was probably out of frustration. So, we might give him somewhat of a pass on why he said it. I know from my 44 years of coaching that after losses, it was easy to blurt out some comments that I later regretted, especially in response to what I considered inane questions.
The maxim that actions speak more loudly than words still holds credibility and the above interaction between LeBron and the reporter can resonate with today’s leaders. If you are doing it and doing it well, there is no reason to tell everyone.