Riley on Ainge (Con't): "He needs to STFU and manage his own team...."— Kevin Arnovitz (@kevinarnovitz) March 29, 2013
Riley on Ainge (Con't): "He was the biggest whiner going when he was playing. I know that because I coached against him."— Kevin Arnovitz (@kevinarnovitz) March 29, 2013
Let's be clear, Pat. LeBron whined first and that only came after the Miami winning streak ended in Chicago Wednesday night. It was sour grapes after the Heat failed to beat a Bulls team without Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah in the lineup.
But let's address Danny's comments specifically. It's not almost embarrassing for LeBron to complain about physicality, IT IS EMBARRASSING. I'll give LeBron all the credit for sacking up and finally playing to his potential. After Game 6 last season, he's had a different attitude. Gone are the days when he'd clown around with his Cavalier teammates or waffle before The Decision. He's a different player now. He not only comes into games with a new killer mindset; he's got a more complete skill set. He's got a post game to complement his size and a jumper that doesn't make him a liability in the perimeter. He's the best player in basketball. No doubt.
But come on. LeBron complaining about fouls is like the bull in the china shop complaining that the porcelain tea set is hurting his hooves. James is the most physical player the NBA has seen since Shaquille O'Neal, but the biggest different between him and Shaq is that unlike Shaq, LeBron is usually coming at you like a freight train. For a player like him who invites contact to take issue at what he perceives are hard fouls is ridiculous. If he's going to play that way, he has to expect that the only way to stop him sometimes is to match him blow for blow.
Frankly, there are times when LeBron drives the lane as hard he possibly can with the intent to draw a foul rather than make a basket. He protects the ball like a running back and lowers his shoulders to ward would be defenders. That's not basketball and when he gets whacked, that's not basketball either, but you have to fight fire with fire. LeBron needs to realize that he's dictating the action.