Top
Close
Follow Us ON

© 2017 Official Blog of Nancy Lieberman Basketball Hall of Famer, Assistant GM for Texas Legends D-League Team, OKC Thunder Studio Analyst

Advertise Here Flag

LeBron Taking Too Much Heat

I've played in places around the world that were so hot, and in buildings with no air conditioning where we could barely breathe. And it does change how you play because you have to conserve your energy and concentrate on staying hydrated.

I remember that this happened with the Texas Rangers last year. It was so hot in Arlington that before the game, the starting pitchers were sitting in the locker room with IVs so they didn't get dehydrated going into the game.  So by the players getting fluid into their body, they didn't get dehydrated going into the game when the temperatures were in the triple digits.

You could see that the heat affected both teams last night, and I think the criticism of LeBron James is unfair. If you've ever been an athlete and didn't get enough electrolytes because you were sweating too much, then you know how debilitating it can be to experience dehydration and cramping.

If LeBron had broken his leg, people would have thought it was crazy for him to try to continue to play. But people are visual, and with what happened last night, you couldn't see the internal damage. What did people want him to do? Stand on the court and hop around or tell his coach that he needed to be taken out?

I admire LeBron because he knows when he's giving 100 percent and he knows when someone needs to help. Larry Bird once said something like, "When I'm on the court, I'm better than everyone else. When I'm injured, I'm just as good as the average person." LeBron is the best all-around player in the game, but if he's hurt, he's not the greatest player in the world.

He did the noble thing and asked to be taken out. Did it affect the game? Yes. But what would have happened if he had twisted his ankle? No matter the injury, it would have affected the game.

Regardless of the status of the air conditioning on Sunday, I suspect they are going to have IVs available in the locker room if needed for both teams. Obviously LeBron was depleted, and now that we know this could be a problem, I'm sure the Miami Heat and Spurs medical staffs will plan accordingly so that these guys do not get dehydrated.

I think LeBron will be fine for Sunday's game, but now they have to plan for the worst. I don't think anybody in their right mind could have been prepared for the AT&T Center to be 90 degrees in the building. You can do your checklists of how to prepare (from players to coaches to trainers), but you don't plan for that. Now there's a heightened awareness.

Everything about last night's game was about the heat in the building and LeBron missing the last 3:59. It almost overshadowed the fact the Spurs had 23 turnovers, which was so un-Spurs like. Same thing with Miami – they were throwing the ball all over the gym.

It will be a totally different ball game on Sunday. There will be health adjustments, cutting down on turnover adjustments, and Miami is going to have to find the three-point shooters of the Spurs.

I'm going with San Antonio to win Game 2. Miami needs to show that they can locate the three-point shooters of the Spurs (and one way to do that is keep the ball on one side of the floor)...and I'm not sure that they can.

Load