By now you probably know the Heat lost last night. After the game, LeBron made a comment that stuck out like a sore thumb… and highlights why he's not a winner.
“Tonight is not a game when you feel awful when you lose,” James said. “We can be satisfied with this loss because we played hard.”
I'd like someone to find a KG quote where he says "I'm satisfied with this loss."
Look… I know sometimes you just get beat. And when you play your ass off and get beat you tip your cap and you say "they were the better team." That much I understand. But satisfaction from a loss tells me you're not going to do anything about it. Satisfaction from a loss tells me you don't care enough to say "ok, they were better… now how do WE get better than THEM???" Satisfaction after a loss doesn't tell me that you're scouring game film that night or the next morning to figure out what you could have done to be a better teammate, or a better player, or a better anything.
It's a shame (but a good thing for us) that LeBron doesn't have a real coach that has no fear of sitting him down and letting him know how bad that sounds. Doc would do it. Greg Popovich would do it. Someone who is strong and in command of his team would grab LeBron before practice and ask him why he was satisfied with a loss… and explain to him that such satisfaction isn't the fuel that propels an NBA team to a title.
Personal story: I played ball at Emerson College and we really were a horrible, laughingstock of a team all the way up until the 1994-95 season. We had built up a solid roster, had a new coach that was whipping us into shape, and I, as captain, had a great feeling about the season. I looked through our schedule and thought we could go 22-2 if we really busted our asses… so I put that up on the grease board as our goal. 22-2. Considering that the school probably never won 10 games in a season, I thought that was a hell of a thing to aspire to.
Anyway, the coach walked in and asked "who wrote this?" I proudly admitted to it, thinking this guy was going to praise me for having such lofty goals. Instead, he tore into me. "Who the F— do you think we're going to lose to? Please, tell me now so I can sit you those games…"
It instantly taught me a lesson that LeBron clearly has never learned. Even though we know there are games we will lose… we will never anticipate, nor will we be happy with… losing a basketball game. Never will we say "we are satisfied with losing" because that's the point where you stop trying to win. Being satisfied with losing just means you're happy with being second best.
And maybe LeBron is. And maybe that's been his problem all along.