Basketball fans are heaping scorn on Miami Heat forward LeBron James, after his team lost Game 6 of the NBA finals Sunday night, and thus the series, to the Dallas Mavericks. James was largely lackluster and disengaged during the many critical fourth quarters in the series, causing critics to question his resolve. James became one of sport's most polarizing players after leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2010 to join fellow all-stars Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade in Miami, then boasting in the pre-season that the Heat would win a string of championships. His team fell short this year — but is it fair to say that James failed? (Watch James' reaction after the loss.)

Absolutely. He didn't deliver what he promised: People are rightfully reveling in LeBron's misfortune, says Paul Banks at ChicagoNow. For anyone but King James, winning 58 games and taking the Eastern Conference title would constitute a great season. "But given all the world-must-revolve-around-me hoopla and preseason braggadocio that led into this season, anything short of winning it all is an epic failure."
"Hatred of Lebron James unites nation with Cleveland today"

LeBron failed — but only when he opened his mouth: James is "a supremely talented, generally good guy" who doesn't know when to keep quiet, says Richard Roeper in the Chicago Sun-Times. After Sunday's loss, he belittled his critics, saying, "they have to wake up tomorrow and have the same life they had when they woke up today." Though the Heat are expected to take it all next year, they're also "the odds-on favorite" as the league's most hated team.
"OK, so maybe LeBron James had a point"

Wait until next year: This loss will give James and the Heat "a chance to sober up," says Joy-Ann Reid at The Reid Report, "and realize that it takes more than a collection of superstars to win a ring." It also takes "discipline, staying power, and heart." If James moves forward with "a bit more humility, and a lot more game," he might eventually deliver on his promises.
"After Finals fail, the Heat, LeBron bubble deflated"