LeBron James is one of the greatest players in NBA history, and more and more people feel he is the greatest basketball player of all time.
Because of his immense talents and achievements, not to mention the fact that he has always aggressively promoted himself, he is a singular force.
He has always attracted massive expectations, and with massive expectations comes massive pressure, not just for him but also for his teammates.
Historically, James and his camp have looked to put the blame on his teammates or the organization he plays for when expectations aren’t met, at least according to his critics.
It’s something that former teammate JR Smith discussed on the latest episode of HBO’s “Game Theory with Bomani Jones.” The former sharpshooter said that playing with the four-time MVP is something a lot of men simply aren’t equipped to handle.
Via New York Post:
“… Honestly, it’s a gift and a curse playing with Bron. I love Bron to death and I love playing on his team because for me, I feel like I thrive more under pressure.
“But a lot of guys don’t like it because it can go one of two ways.
“It’s either, what did you not do to help him win, and who else did not help him win. It’s like, bro, don’t get me wrong — yes, he had 40-15-9 or 8 — but he missed a free throw, too.
“Don’t just look at me because I missed an open shot. We are all missing out here.
“… So, it’s always going to be that supporting cast of who’s not doing what… if you’re not built for that, you’re not made for that, it’s going to eat you alive.”
James is arguably the most powerful athlete ever, especially when it comes to influence, and there is a perception that he seems to control the narrative of his career to a fault. His infamous tendency to be passive-aggressive also contributes to that.
Many people simply don’t have the basic personality traits to be able to handle constant pressure, let alone thrive under pressure. It is an uncommon trait indeed, and it is a trait that tends to separate good and great players from the merely mediocre ones.
It is indeed part of the reason why having LeBron James on one’s team is definitely a blessing and a curse at the same time, as Smith pointed out.
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Story originally appeared on LeBron Wire