LeBron James Must Be Facilitator to Assure Team USA of Gold Medal in London

LeBron James Must Be Facilitator to Assure Team USA of Gold Medal in LondonGreetings, LeBron James. It's me, Uncle Sam, and I want YOU to bring home a gold medal for the U.S. men's basketball team.

Chances are, coach Mike Krzyzewski could draw up a few high school sets, let Team USA's athleticism take over and clinch another true "world" title for the States. In addition to you, the team boasts Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Deron Williams and Chris Paul. That is five of the best eight or so players on Earth. The closest thing any other team can boast is Manu Ginobili from Argentina or the Gasol brothers from Spain.

The last two exhibition games have me worried, though. You guys were only able to beat Argentina by six points, and you fell behind by nine points early to Spain before rolling to a 22-point win. The Land of the Free, Home of the Brave is still the favorite to win gold in London, but it may not be the cakewalk everyone expects.

That is why I am extending my index finger menacingly toward you. To assure another Olympic victory for the US of A, you need to be all that you can be.

Sorry, force of habit. What I meant was, you need to be all that everyone always criticizes you for being.

Listen, this silly hat does not cover my ears. I hear the indignation every time you pass the ball to the open man in the clutch. Fans and pundits love it when you become the primary scorer or bully your way to the block for a post-up, even though it goes against your nature. See, Betsy Ross and I (we watch all your games together after she's done with her sewing for the day) recognize that in your heart and soul you are a creator for others. You're a point guard trapped in Paul Bunyan's body.

Team USA has plenty of guys who can put the ball in the basket. Durant and Bryant battled for the scoring title to the bitter end last season, and if you want Carmelo Anthony to shoot, you don't have to tell him twice. As crazy as it might seem, considering the Home Team boasts Williams, Paul and Russell Westbrook, you are the best point guard on the U.S. roster. You were forced to play center against Spain due to Tyson Chandler's foul trouble and Krzyzewski's inexplicable reluctance to play Anthony Davis, and you were pretty good at that because, well, I have yet to see anything you can't do on a basketball court.

Between you, me and the amber waves of grain, though, nobody can impact a game as a facilitator the way you can. Williams can do the drive-and-kick deal, but none of those Tunisians are going to be quaking in their boots that Williams might decapitate them en route to a dunk if they are a split-second late in rotating on defense. Paul runs the pick and roll as effectively as anyone since the great American known as John Stockton, but he lacks an effective partner when Chandler is on the bench. And Westbrook? Well, sometimes Westbrook makes me question just how strongly I support that whole "free will" concept. Nobody's will is freer than that guy's, and watching him play tends to give me a headache.

If the U.S. is to win gold, it will have to overcome Spain's size advantage in the medal round. Chandler cannot stop Pau Gasol and Marc Gasol alone. Kevin Love and Davis have been as wooden as George Washington's teeth. In order to avoid another repeat of the 2010 World Championships, when Durant's last-second block preserved a one-point U.S. win in a warm-up game, we need to run. Think of it as a repeat of your Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Pacers, only in this case the Roy Hibberts and David Wests have funny accents.

And if we are running, you need to be at the point. Nobody creates as many possibilities in transition as you, LeBron — no offense to the proud citizens who are representing their country along with you. Trust me on this one. I may dress in the Captain America Casual Collection, but I've been known to buckle my shoes, throw on some extra wig powder and shoot the ol' inflated pig's bladder at the peach baskets now and again.

Once the real games start, show these poor saps how it's done and run them from sea to shining sea.

Have a question for Ben Watanabe? Send it to him via Twitter at @BenjeeBallgame or send it here.

Photo via Facebook/LeBron James

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