No. It’s basically a piece of misinformation that got spread by the haters online that now every casual widely believes is true.
^ I’m so tired of this narrative that Barea so called ‘destroyed’ Lebron. Where’s the footage?
It’s based on the fact that Lebron had an 8 point game in the 2011 Finals Game 4. Well the thing is… JJ Barea that game also had 8 points. People say Barea ‘outplayed’ him because he was a role player coming off the bench, he guarded Lebron for some possessions that game (Marion was Lebron’s main defender though) and he scored the same amount of points as Lebron in that one Finals game so that must be embarrassing for Lebron.
The thing people don’t understand is… this happens to every superstar if you comb through every game of theirs. Not every superstar does well every single game. It’s just not possible. Especially if you whittle it down to each possession.
For example, here’s a possession where Muggsey Bogues outplayed Jordan. See Jordan wasn’t the perfect being he’s made out to be.
Believe it or not, in the 1996 Finals, Detlef Schrempf ended up outscoring Jordan 23 to 22 in Game 6. And in Game 4, Shawn Kemp outscored Jordan 25 to 23. So in that Finals alone, 2 non HoFers outscored Jordan. It happens.
Remember that Jason Terry guy who ‘outplayed’ Lebron in 2011? Well that same year, he outscored Kobe 32 vs 17 in the closeout Game 4 and had a record 9 3 pointers to sweep him!
Here’s Larry Bird’s 8 point game. He had it in Game 4 vs the Rockets in 1981 Finals. He got outscored by Mike Dunleavy who had 28 points that game.
Here’s Kobe’s 8 point game. He had it in Game 5 vs the Pacers in the 2000 Finals. He got outscored by Jalen Rose who had 32 points that game. And FYI this was AFTER Kobe came back from the injury that series.
Here’s another game where Kobe had 11 points and Rip Hamilton had 31. 2004 Finals Game 3. He got outscored by 20 by a non HoFer.
Remember the Memorial Day Massacre? Where the Celtics blew out the Lakers in the 1985 Finals? Well Kareem – the eventual Finals MVP – got outscored by Danny Ainge this game 19 to 12.
1982 Finals Game 5 … Magic Johnson scores 10 points this game. That’s right, 10. Andrew Toney scored 31 this game. Magic got Finals MVP this series so nobody ever remembers this happened.
See, if I go through every game or even just limiting it to Finals games … I can find a bad game from every superstar. Even from Jordan who had 2 such games in the 1996 Finals. So it’s a combination of ignorance and misinformation that JJ Barea outplayed Lebron in 2011. It happened to every superstar from Jordan, Kobe, Bird, Magic, Kareem etc.. no superstar can do well every single game, it’s just not possible.