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A-Rod says get off LeBron's back

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NEW YORK

New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez says fans should get off LeBron James's back over his failure to lead the Miami Heat to the NBA title.

"Winning a championship is not an easy thing to do regardless of talent," Rodriguez said. "LeBron is a once in a lifetime player, especially the last year."

Rodriguez asked for patience in judging James. "We need to remember this kid is 26 years old, and celebrate his talent," Rodriguez said.

If anybody knows the public beating James is taking for the Heat not winning, it is Rodriguez.

Rodriguez was blamed for the Yankees' epic collapse against the Red Sox in the 2004 ALCS when the Yankees spit out a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven affair.

A year later, he batted a pitiful .133 in the ALDS against the Angels. In 2006, Joe Torre hit him eighth in the final ALDS game against the Tigers and he finished that series with a .071 average. In 2007, the Yankees lost to the Indians in the first round for the third straight one-and-done.

In 2008, the Yankees failed to make the playoffs and the burden vanished off Rodriguez's back the next season when he helped carry the Yankees to the World Series title.

Then Rodriguez and the Yankees were ousted in the ALCS last October when he batted .190 against the Rangers.

Rodriguez said the Heat not winning should not take anything away from Dallas.

"Let's not take the Mavericks as an afterthought," said Rodriguez, who lives in Miami and played in Arlington, a suburb of Dallas. "They did everything they had to do to raise a championship."

Tagged: Heat, LeBron James

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