In the wake of a shockingly passive performance in Cleveland’s Game 5 Eastern Conference Semi-Finals loss to Boston, who should be most worried about LeBron James?  The people of Cleveland, who’ve invested so much hope in a superstar who might have one foot out the door, of the fans of New York, who might prefer their owner throw a fortune at, I dunno, a guy who gives a shit? While some are quick to defend James (eg. Slam’s Ryan Jones pointing out The Chosen One’s lack of a supporting cast or head coach the equal of Phil Jackson), Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski has a problem with LeBron’s motivation (“James is chasing Warren Buffett and Jay-Z the way he should be chasing Russell and Jordan and Bryan.”)

No more excuses. Not now, not after this biblical bottoming out that pushes the Cleveland Cavaliers to the brink of an unthinkable collapse. And yet, after Tuesday™s ferocious failure of his professional career, James dismissed his unthinkably poor performance with this colossal cop-out: œI spoil a lot of people with my play. When you have three bad games in seven years, it™s easy to point them out.

Who is he to be indignant after he gave a playoff game away? What™s he ever won to be so smug to the masses? That™s what drives the Celtics crazy about James. Eventually, he will understand his greatness isn™t measured on the hit-and-runs through NBA cities across a long season. It™s measured now, in the teeth of the battle, when a tiny guard, Rajon Rondo, has stolen his stage and nearly a series.

Somewhere, the whispers of the game™s greatest talents became a murmur louder and louder: James still doesn™t understand part of the price of greatness is inviting the burden on yourself and sparing those around you. He missed 11 of 14 shots. James didn™t score a basket until the third quarter. He was terrible, just terrible, and yet James couldn™t bring himself to say the worst home playoff loss in franchise history began and ended with him.