LeBron James being drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers was a dream come true for the franchise. Unarguably the most touted player ahead of the 2003 NBA Draft got the chance to play for his city and lead them to glory.
Unfortunately, James' first stint with the Cavs was far from ideal. Although LeBron was a great player, that's all there was to it. The rest of the team was far from what James needed to help the team win it all.
So after years of struggle James finally had enough in 2010 when he made the infamous decision to take his talents to South Beach. Considering James formed a superteam with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, he became a villain for the entire league at the time.
Additionally, to make things worse, James and co. fumbled what seemed to be a really easy matchup against the Dallas Mavericks in the 2011 NBA Finals. In reality, the series was far from easy, and James had undoubtedly the worst NBA Finals series of his career.
Jason Kidd Explains The Game Plan Of The Mavericks To Stop LeBron James
Kidd may regard LeBron James as his GOAT, but back in 2011, the two players were on opposite teams. Kidd and the rest of the Mavs made it their mission to make sure that LeBron was kept quiet throughout the series, and they succeeded in doing so.
In a recent podcast, the 2011 NBA champion explained what the game plan of the Mavericks against LeBron James was.
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“The game plan was just to give him different looks and different bodies. We just tried to make it tough for LeBron. He’s gonna score, he’s gonna get his attempts but you just can’t give him freebies because if you give him freebies that’s where he can hurt you.”
As revealed by Kidd, the Mavericks' game plan was essentially to make sure that there were multiple players defending James at any given time.
James averaged just 17.8 PPG, 7.2 RPG, and 6.8 APG in the 2011 NBA Finals. To this date, James' inability to perform in the 2011 NBA Finals is held against him and his case for being considered the GOAT.