Earlier this week, after the Miami Heat eliminated the Chicago Bulls to advance to the NBA Finals, LeBron James took that as an opportunity to blast his former teammates in Cleveland. With respect to the guys he played alongside during his last trip to the NBA Finals, he said this of his decision to join the Heat this past summer:
“I understand a lot of the backlash that came with me going to Miami, but I understand also that I did what was best for me, what was best for my family, and what was best for me being a professional athlete,” said James. “I understand what this league is all about. I wanted to team up with some guys that would never die down in the moment. The opportunity presented itself with this great organization and we made it happen.”
In a podcast with Glenn Moore of the Dugout Sports Show posted this morning, Daniel "Boobie" Gibson responded to those comments.
The same Boobie Gibson who erupted in said moment for 31 points in Game Six of the 2007 Eastern Conference Finals to help LeBron James advance to the NBA Finals the first and only other time he'd ever got there prior to this season.
Gibson, who didn't mince words, said the following:
“The way it’s said, you can’t help but take it personal. I would prefer to talk to him personally and say, ”Exactly what did you mean when you said this comment? What point were you trying to make?
I take comments like that and when you speak out and you feel the need for everybody to hear what you are saying, it’s kind of like admission. By you saying that, I don’t think great players should feel the need to say this about a team or say that about a team.
I think what it all boils down to if you’re great, you go play great, be great and everybody will realize you’re great. And you wouldn’t have to let it be known that everybody else was less great. Great players shouldn’t have to do that.
So I feel like it’s [LeBron's comments] kind of an admission. He might have needed some help. He might have needed to go somewhere and find someone who is a little greater so maybe he wouldn’t die down in those moments.”
If you step back and look at it, you can see how Gibson of all former teammates would be offended by LeBron's comments. In that Game Six Final, arguably the biggest stage LeBron James had ever played on coming into this season, Gibson was spectacular. He shot a perfect 5 for 5 from 3-point range, 7 for 9 from the field overall, grabbed 6 rebounds, and scored 19 of his 31 in the 4th quarter.
Gibson went on to offer his thoughts on what happened last season as well. In dismissing the Gloria James and Delonte West rumors, Gibson added the following in regards to last season's Cavs-Celtics series:
"Once again, in the situation like that, we got beat. So, I feel like what a great player would do, or what a player whose determined to be that would do, is just say okay we got beat, I gotta do better. Simple as that.
Everybody on the team should take accountability for what happened and figure it out and move forward. It’s not about pointing a finger that way, pointing a finger that way, the finger should always be pointed at yourself, what could I have done better.”
I don't expect LeBron to involve Gibson in his Secret Santa Exhange with Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade this winter. I imagine the "He might have needed to go somewhere and find someone who is a little greater so maybe he wouldn’t die down in those moments” line won't go over too well with 'Bron 'Bron.
*Boobie's Podcast with Glenn Moore can be heard weekly at The Dugout Sports Show