Did LeBron James throw the 2011 NBA Finals?
By Kevin Bertalotto. March 29, 2018.
(Note: Not saying he did or didn’t but promoting the question/theory)
Now this does sound bizarre that a superstar competitor like LeBron would throw a whole Finals series considering he didn’t really gain anything, however after considering everything in play I guarantee you this article will make you think, “maybe.”
Everyone remembers the complete meltdown of “LeCHOKE” in the 2011 NBA Finals, however after reviewing it I believe LeBron low-key tanked it. There is multiple theories to why he would do such a thing.
Didn’t want Wade to be FMVP
Sounds crazy but hold on, prior to Game 4 when LeBron had 8 points, Dwyane Wade was averaging 27 ppg, 8.7 rebs, 5 apg over 1 stl and 1 blk a game on 57% shooting. Surely that is FMVP worthy stats compared to Lebrons 20 ppg, 6.7 rebs, 6 asts, 2 stls on 51% shooting. Here’s why he would not allow this to happen. LeBron joining Wade’s Heat was bad enough so for Wade winning FMVP would only make it worse just like Curry winning FMVP over KD last yr would make it worse for Durant. Now after Game 3 LBJ averaged about 15 8 and 8, 4.7 tovs and shot 44% so maybe after realizing he wouldn’t win FMVP he decided he wouldn’t let a teammate win it over him.
Prove his value
Now although I believe Derrick Rose deserved that MVP award, LeBron likely didn’t so after defeating Rose’s Bulls in 5 in the Eastern Conference Finals, LeBron figured “losing this series will prove how valuable I am” yeah it backlashed on him but doesn’t mean he didn’t think this.
Was asked to
Here’s the craziest theory. LeBron was asked by the then NBA commissioner David Stern to tank it to boost the ratings of next year’s Finals (OKC vs HEAT). Think about it what would make a better story, an experienced trio with a ring vs a young ringless trio or a ringless experienced trio vs a young ringless trio? LeBron being REALLY hungry for that ring and seeking to redeem himself only made the Kevin Durant/Bron matchup even better. So to get LeBron to throw 2011 Finals, they made a deal that the refs would favor Miami the following Finals which as a proud Heat fan I admit the officiating was horrible. OR instead of it being for ratings the next year Finals it was to repay DAL since the 2006 NBA Finals with the Mavericks vs Miami was officiated horribly against the Mavs and Mark Cuban part Mavs owner claimed the league is rigged.
Since the 2000 NBA Finals 14 times the champs got the most FTAs and what’s interesting is Miami in the first 3 rounds had more FTs 436-303 which means the Heat averaged 8 more FTAs than their opponent. DAL in their first 3 rounds had 378 FTs-364 which is only about 1 more free throw attempt a game. So keep that in mind Miami had a big difference in FTAs as opposed to DAL. Fast forward to the end and the Mavericks managed to get more free throws 155 to Heat’s 148. Not a big difference but still worth noting since Miami always got way more FTs until the Finals.
Sure all this is just speculation but definitely worth thinking over.