When LeBron James Can't Sleep, He Reads His Own Bad Press

The Dallas Mavericks beat the Miami Heat in Game 5 of the NBA finals Thursday night, 112-103. The win gives Dallas the lead in the series, 3 games to 2, and means the team is just one victory away from claiming its first national championship.

Dallas forward Dirk Nowitzki was again the star of the night, leading his team in scoring with 29 points. But the most memorable part of the New York Times write-up of the game was about the other team's star forward: Miami's LeBron James. James had career-low performance during Tuesday night's Game 4, scoring just 8 points in a match-up the Heat lost 83-86. The Times describes how that bad game affected James in the lead-up to Thursday night. It's a humanizing anecdote about a larger-than life player:

The debate over James's play, his mind-set and his legacy ran nonstop for two days, fatiguing just about everyone. James said he had trouble sleeping Wednesday night. In his restless state, he watched television and perused the Internet, reading stories about himself, most of them unflattering.

"I've seen a lot of them. They're pretty good," James said at the morning shootaround, adding, "I'm my own critic."

Still awake around 2 a.m., James took to Twitter, declaring, "Now or Never!!" James, who has two million followers, said it was "just a personal message to myself."

James scored 17 points in Thursday night's game--better than Tuesday's performance, but still not enough for the win.

Read the full story at the New York Times.

Presented by

Eleanor Barkhorn is a former senior editor at The Atlantic.

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