LeBron James came to South Beach to find his pure love for the game again, to recreate the best times of his life.
It was really the best explanation of all when the theories flew around about why he chose to take his talents to South Beach — the time James most enjoyed the game was when he and his close friends in high school dominated on the court and ran together off it. They had fun. This was a chance to recreate that on the biggest of stages.
That provides some context to LeBron’s comments to the Palm Beach Post about what the Heat need to do to get on track.
“There’s only so much anger that can take care of a ballgame,” James said. “You still need to go out and play. We need to play with the confidence we had earlier in the season. We need to have more fun. We are lacking two things, that is having fun and having a little bit of swag right now. We are not playing with the same atmosphere, pride and fun as we did early on in the season when we were playing some good ball.”
Of course, that’s a chicken or egg thing, isn’t it?
“I think playing a high level will help,” James said. “Fun can be taken out of character at times. You can say a team is having too much fun when you are winning, that these guys are not serious about the game. I really don’t believe in that for me, personally. That’s how I play the game of basketball. I have a lot of fun with it. It has helped me get to the point where I am today as a professional athlete. I don’t think I have brought that to the team thus far.”
Later, he added: “We are not having fun at all.”
Winning is fun, losing is not. It’s a universal truth. But is having fun what is going to get the Heat to rotate better on defense? Get them to make some off-the-ball cuts on offense? Well, if it’s not fun it might be Pat Riley’s brutal practices. So they better hope it’s fun.