Originally Posted by elementally morale
Last year the Heat were down in their series vs. the Celtics. LeBron's stock was at an all-time low. Remember this: "Good job, good effort!"? Then they won the last two games against an ailing Boston team and went on to win the Finals. LeBron's stock is at an all-time high as a result. Imagine they lose to the Celtics. We wouldn't have all these articles praising James. Instead, we would hear 24/7 what a loser he is. OK, those few games changed the perception. But did they also change the player?
The 2010 Finals vs. the Celtics. Artest and Gasol won that game 7. Kobe didn't deliver that day. Sure, he delivered many times before. Sure, him being Kobe made life easier for others due to defensive schemes. Still, they could easily have lost that game and the championship. Had that happened, we would hear how Kobe is unable to get it done. (OK, we still do to an extent but it's different.) Now: did that one game change anything as far as players' abiities are concerned? I'm not sure about that.
The year they fought the Pistons and were a miracle 3 away (from Horry , who else) of being sent home ringless that year. Duncan was neutralized by Rasheed. Actually, the Pistons were better in those games, they just managed to lose. Now Duncan has become this invincible superhero partly due to that Horry 3 pointer. Larry Brown remained ringless as a coach. Etc.
There are lots and lots of other examples.
Here comes the question. Which of the following you think is true?
- These games were more meaningful than others, hence it is understandable the results are more heavily weighed in a player's career.
- It is disrespectful for players on the losing end. I mean, someone has to lose and these thing were so close. It is just wrong to be labelled anything based on a few bonces here and there.
- These players are becoming what they become due to exactly these types of situations. So for example for LeBron to be able to reach his full potential, he had to win in a situation like this, and he became a better player as a result.
- Other: ...............
Situations like that are more common than you'd think. If you remember the Portland game, I think that's a game that completely changed Kobe forever. In Lebron's case it gave him the confidence to go on and push through the finals playing the game with the right mindset. Not settling, pretending to be a pick and roll point guard - that's honestly the best ball I've ever seen him play.
He's reverted to his old ways now , So I have to wait and see if he's just cruising or if that was just temporary.
He had success early and he was never under that kind of pressure. Smaller market and less hype , and his personality was never enough to put him in the same category as Kobe or Lebron.
If Duncan doesn't win all that changes is he has 3 instead of 4...nothing about his legacy really changes.
People never really question Duncan to the same extent they never really prop him up. He's plateaued at this "best power forward in history" slot (I don't buy that for a minute lol - but even so I just don't really feel like fighting it down).
So I think his situation is differet.
He loses - he comes back and tries to win the next year- that's it.