MIAMI _ Miami Heat superstar LeBron James has taken a lot of heat for not carrying his weight as his team has fallen behind, 3-2, in the best-of-seven NBA Finals against the Dallas Mavericks.
Mavs forward Dirk Nowitzki can relate.
Nowitzki has taken a lot of heat as the Mavs have been unable to win an NBA title during his 13 years with the franchise.
James was vilified for not bringing an NBA championship to Cleveland during his eight seasons with the Cavaliers. And he has been criticized for being less than productive against the Mavs.
“I just think sometimes when you don't win, criticism comes with it,’’ Nowitzki said before Saturday’s practice. “That's just a part of the game if you're the star or the face of the franchise.
“If you win it's great for you and everybody looks at you. And if you lose, you're going to get hammered.’’
James has constantly been getting hammered, even after he registered a triple-double in Game 5. He’s scored just two points in the fourth quarters of the past two games -- both Miami losses – and the “hammering’’ has been relentless.
Again, Nowitzki can relate.
“It's just the part of the business,’’ Nowitzki said. “I think we understand that.
“We've been around long enough. I got hammered the last 13 years, basically, so hopefully this year I can make the hammering go away for one year.’’
-- Dwain Price
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