Don’t feel bad for James; he made his ‘Decision’

Nowitzki spurned last summer’s free agent-palooza to stay with the aging Mavericks _ taking less money to do so _ and was rewarded with a title. James turned his back on the city that revered him for what was essentially an All-Star team, only to discover that talent alone doesn’t win championships, and the best team on paper is not always the one left holding the trophy.

“This is one of the unique teams in NBA history. Because it wasn’t about high-flying star power,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. “Come on, how often do we have to hear about the LeBron James reality show and what he is or isn’t doing? When are people going to talk about the purity of our game and what these guys accomplished? That’s what’s special.”

Watching James go home empty-handed made millions of fans in and outside of Cleveland feel better. But it won’t dim the spotlight on James and his sidekicks, or lessen the pressure.

If anything, the scrutiny only will get worse, as people start asking not when James will win a title, but whether he can.

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AP National Writer Nancy Armour can be reached at narmour(at)ap.org or follow her at http://twitter.com/nrarmour

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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