LeBron James has heard the criticism over the past 48 hours, and coming into Game 5 of the Heat and Mavericks series, he told reporters, "This is probably the biggest game of my life."
"Well, not 'probably,'" he added a moment later. "It is." All of this comes after James' highly scrutinized disappearing act in Game 4, when he took just 11 shots, scored just 8 points, and Miami lost. Afterward, even Mavericks players like Deshawn Stevenson criticized James' effort. Today, James doesn't seem all that concerned.
“He has the right to say what he wants to say,” LeBron said of Stevenson. "Just know I’ll be there for 45 minutes on the court tonight. We’ll see what happens."
Nothing gets decided tonight, of course. Even if LeBron falters again and Miami loses, the Heat still go back to Miami with two more chances to win this series at home. But it certainly seems like we've reached a tipping point with LeBron and this series. Especially since even he acknowledges the gravity of the moment. The whole world is watching, the stakes don't get any higher than the NBA Finals, and in case you were wondering... LeBron James, the man at the center of all this, is ready.