LeBron James is headed into a pivotal game four battle against Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat. While many called this battle a mismatch, Miami had a fantastic game three performance to deny the LA Lakers the opportunity to go 4-0. Now, the Lakers were reminded of what they are fighting for. An NBA Championship. But LeBron James is personally fighting for a lot more.
According to Skip Bayless, James is headed into a legacy-defining game for LeBron after he came up short in game three. Especially, in terms of taking on the challenge of Jimmy Butler.
“Tonight is a huge night for LeBron James. This is a legacy night because he got completely outplayed and called out by one Jimmy Butler in game three. That was the first man that ever out-scored, out-rebounded, and out-assisted LeBron James in a Finals game, so that was impressive.”
“Tonight is a huge night for your man LeBron James. This is a legacy night because he got completely outplayed and called out by Jimmy Butler in Game 3.”@RealSkipBayless pic.twitter.com/YkqKpV2h22
— UNDISPUTED (@undisputed) October 6, 2020
Bayless added later. “It’s time for LeBron to pay his team back for a pretty awful fourth quarter, by his standards. And it’s also time for him to guard Jimmy Butler and I think he will. I think he will take it and I also think it’s time for them to swallow their pride and say ‘let’s try to give LeBron some help if he will take it.’ Let’s try to get the ball out of Jimmy Butler’s hand.”
LeBron James playing with his legacy on the line?
Every game LeBron James plays is a legacy-defining game. The expectations for him since day one have been so incredibly high, that people scrutinize him to the max. However, that scrutiny is exactly what all the greats go through. King James is doing it now.
In the machismo culture of the NBA, LeBron needs to respond to his game three performance. The only way he can do that is if he challenges Jimmy Butler head to head and ensures he wins that matchup. If he wins that matchup, the LA Lakers will most likely win the game. That is what it comes down to at the end. A basketball story is being written in LeBron James’s legacy, and this game may be more than just a footnote in this story.