All-Star

Should Lebron James Be Considered A Legend?

Should LeBron James be considered a Legend? Maybe.

Should LeBron James’s Mother be considered a Legend? ABSOLUTELY!

In what has become the resume of resumes, Gloria James, in 43 short years, has managed to accomplish the following:

  • Commit a DUI offense that resulted in a reckless driving violation, speeding and disorderly conduct, and destruction of a police vehicle.
  • Inexplicably assault a valet parking attendant at an upscale Miami hotel for no apparent reason whatsoever other than the fact she was 3 Mojitos under after 8 hours of drinking. Of course, this didn’t stop her from lobbying the most overused, ill-fated D-list celebrity line in Hollywood when she declared “Do you know who I am?”
  • Give birth to a 6’8 athletic freak who has managed to transform his image from the most beloved NBA athlete since Michael Jordan, to one of the most polarizing players in sports.
  • Earn unanimous recognition as the world’s most unattractive MILF by sleeping with paranoid schizophrenic, manic depressant, and former LeBron James teammate Delonte West, thereby changing the entire landscape of the future NBA.

You don’t believe me? Follow my logic if you will.

Let’s just assume that Gloria James refrains from sleeping with Delonte West during the 2010 playoffs. It is then fair to assume that Lebron goes undistracted during the pivotal Game 5 of the 2010 Eastern Conference Semifinals, and the Cavs successfully defend their home court and beat the Celtics in Game 7. It is also then fair to assume that the Cavs then proceed to beat the Orlando Magic in the Eastern Conference Finals before engaging in a marquee matchup for the ages with the Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers. For the sake of running crazy wild with this hypothetical, let’s say that the Cavs maximize their home court advantage and win the NBA Finals, which is within the realm of possibility. I think that we can then make the following predictions:

1.)  LeBron James instantly becomes recognized as the undisputed “Best Player in the NBA”, and given his unique skills, talent, and accolades, one of the top 10 players of all time. More importantly, there is no “Decision”, no 2010 playoff failure, and his positive standing in the eyes of NBA fans around the world not only remains in tact, but actually increases in popularity. The result is that Lebron begins knocking on the door of basketball immortality as the Michael Jordan comparisons begin to increase, and the fair-weather sports media begins counting down championships similar to a Space Shuttle launch.

2.)  The Cleveland Cavaliers re-sign LeBron James who continues to serve as the cornerstone of their franchise, and face of the NBA for the next 5-7 years while winning multiple championships. The Cavs also retain Mo Williams, Zydrunas Illgauskas, and Delonte West, while potentially adding a legitimate #2 guy through free agency or via trade, or at a minimum, a strong complimentary player using their 6 million dollar Mid-level exemption. And while Dan Gilbert continues to reap the benefits of multimillion dollar profits generated by re-signing his Cash Cow, the world is deprived of what in reality became the single greatest “lover’s scorn” moment in NBA history when Gilbert not only wrote a scathing letter that was similar to one that I received from my ex-girlfriend in 2001, but added insult to injury by decreasing the price of Lebron James Bobble head Dolls from $99.99 to $17.41, because 1741 is the year that Revolutionary War traitor Benedict Arnold was born… You can’t make this stuff up.

3.)  125 year old Betty White is mercifully allowed to retain her dignity by retracting her offer to “make it worth Lebron’s while” should he stay in Cleveland instead of signing with another team. As such, White continues her life by doing exactly what she has been doing -retreading that same exact  Golden Girls character from 25 years ago - except the productions are no longer called “Golden Girls”.

4.)  Downtown Cleveland’s restaurant and bar establishments continue to benefit from another  5-10 years of record revenues, which also means that  horny 21-37 year old men continue to benefit from the large post-game Cavs crowds that meander through ‘The Landing’ after every Cleveland Cavaliers game. More importantly, my buddy “Divorcee John”, finally moves past the fact that his ex-wife cheated on him over Facebook, and gets himself laid.

5.)  Kobe Bryant’s legacy takes a hit as he fails to secure his 5th championship ring, and is held outside the velvet rope of the “Top 10 Greatest Players of All-Time” club, while again enduring the brunt of those unending Shaq vs. Kobe debates that still exist a decade later. The Lakers then break up the team by trading away either Gasol or Bynum, Kobe this time threatens to play on Jupiter, and 8 months later, the Lakers miraculously acquire Dwight Howard for Shannon Brown, Theo Ratliff, and a second round draft pick – once again proving that Laker magic happens once every 5-10 years.

6.)  The Boston Celtics begin dismantling their team after a disappointing second round exit, confirming suspicions that their team has become too old, and invoking fears that if they do not act quickly and get value for their aging stars, they will become well….. The Boston Celtics (1992-2007). Ray Allen gets traded to Miami, Kevin Garnett to a non-contender, and Paul Pierce retires. Lastly Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson get traded to Oklahoma City for Jeff Green and a bunch of scrubs…… wait, that actually happened?

7.)  Miami becomes odd man out, striking out in free agency as Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh end up in Chicago forming the new “Big Three”, likely stifling the development of Derrick Rose, and changing the course of MVP history. Lebron wins his 3rd MVP – all hail the King.

So let’s recap here - Within a single lifetime, Lebron’s mom has been arrested for drunk driving and assault, given birth to an athletic freak, helped a valet parking attendant come to prominence, boned a paranoid schizophrenic, transformed the fate of multiple NBA franchises, altered the careers of countless NBA players, enabled Derrick Rose to win the 2011 MVP, shattered the economy of a major US City, destroyed the sex life of my buddy “Divorcee John” from Cleveland , educated 75% of the nation on the fact that human life actually existed back in 1741, and spared one poor Golden Girl from what would have been a period of excruciating and unending physical pain…. all within the course of a single lifetime. Gloria James not only changed the course of NBA history, but transformed the history of mankind, with feats that would make 85% of washed up rock icons envious.

If that’s not legendary, I do not know what is.

But I digress……

Even today, a debate as to whether or not Lebron, at this stage of his career, should be considered a Legend.

To date Lebron’s resume has consisted of the following:

 

  • 8 Full Seasons in the NBA
  • 2x MVP (2009 and 2010)
  • 5x First team All-NBA; 7x All-NBA honors
  • 7x All-Star (2005-2011)
  • 3x First Team All-Defense
  • Rookie Of The Year (2004)
  • Scoring Title (2009)
  • 4x PER Leader (2008-2011)

So should LeBron James be considered a Legend? The best way I can answer this is by offering the same response that every lawyer, consultant, plumber, and one-night stand has ever offered me when posed with this same exact question:

“It all depends”.

It all depends on your criteria and reasoning, and there are 2 questions you should ask yourself:

1.) What are your criteria for “Legend”?

2.) Why wouldn’t you consider LeBron James a legend, particularly when measured against other players who have been awarded the same status?

It certainly cannot be because of a lack of talent and skill, because LeBron James, while perhaps not the “best” player to ever play,  is still arguably the most talented, skilled, and athletic player that the NBA has ever seen.

It certainly cannot be because of stats, because Lebron’s career averages of 27.7 points, 7.1 rebound, 7.0 assists, 1.7 steals, 0.9 blocks, 47.9% FG, and 74.4% FT, rival even the best of  HOF stat lines.

It certainly cannot be because of an absence of individual awards or accolades, because his two MVPs place him in an elite category that only 12 others have achieved, and his multiple combined 1st Team All-NBA and All-Defense honors provide him with a distinction that most players have never attained.

It certainly cannot be because he has failed to make his team better; In 2009 and 2010, he single handedly led the Cleveland Cavaliers to the best record in the league, while in 2007, at 23 years old, he willed a mediocre Cavs team to the NBA Finals while putting on one of the most legendary single game performances in NBA history during Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

Is it because he has failed to win a championship? Charles Barkley, Karl Malone, Patrick Ewing, John Stockton, and Elgin Baylor all failed to win a ring, yet all are still considered legends. Moreover, players such as Oscar Robertson and Julius Erving may have won a championship, but neither did so as the Alpha-Dog of their respective teams (Oscar teamed with Kareem in 1971 while Julius rode the locomotive that was 1983 Moses Malone).

Is it because despite having 8 Hall of Fame seasons, Lebron has not yet put in his time? I would ask you to consider quality over quantity. As a comparison, Oscar Robertson played 14 seasons, but only 10 were of the legendary level that we remember him for.

Is it because in order to be acknowledged as a legend, you need to have a combination of each of the above? Great stats, ungodly talent, multiple MVPs, combined 1st Team All-NBA/All-Defense honors, lead your team to victory in the playoffs as an underdog, played more than 9 seasons AND won a championship? If so, that leaves you with only 5 legends in NBA History: Michael Jordan, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Tim Duncan, Wilt Chamberlain, and Bill Russell.

Yup… 5 legends total.

In my mind, LeBron James is absolutely a Legend. However, most are not yet ready to award him with this distinction for 2 reasons:

1.)  They hate him. Some hate him for leaving Cleveland, others for “The Decision”. But most, whether they are able communicate it or not, hate him because they expected so much more from him. They wanted him to embrace the pressure that comes with being the defined Alpha Dog for a team, the person who we could declare to be the next Jordan, the definitive face of the NBA. Moreover, they wanted him to exude that uber-competitiveness that makes a superstar player want to compete against their rivals, not join them, while demonstrating the ego and selfishness that comes with demanding recognition and adoration. Instead, Lebron chose to team with another Alpha Dog, put his ego aside, and sidestepped the scrutiny that comes with Chasing 23. And because of that, there are some folks who will never acknowledge LeBron James as a legend.

2.) Some feel as if Lebron has not yet put in his time, played through his peak, grown older before our eyes, and invoked that reverential emotion that comes by watching a player will himself thought the twilight of his career. It’s what makes us love them even more, reflect back on their careers with fondness, and appreciate their accomplishments. It’s emotional, not logical, but nonetheless the reality.

Regardless, the fact is that there are more than 5 legends in NBA History, and an argument exists that LeBron James’s career, up to this point has been as good, if not better than most. If so, we can confidently accept one thing:

LeBron James IS a Legend…….

And his mom is an undisputable Icon.

email:nbarealist@chasing23.com

Related posts:

  1. Who did more with less? 2009-10 Lebron or 2005-06 Kobe?
  2. The Forgotten King: 6 Reasons Why Lebron is the 2011 NBA MVP
  3. This Year’s Mother’s Day Present: A New NBA?
  4. Kobe Bryant vs Dwyane Wade: Who’s the Odd Man Out for 1st Team All-NBA?
  5. Is this the End of the Road for Boston’s Big Three?

Discussion

105 Responses to “Should Lebron James Be Considered A Legend?”

  1. Great article Realist. Lebron absolutely should be considered a legend and gets way too much heat for a great career.

    Posted by Tank | April 10, 2011, 4:10 pm
    • “gets way too much heat for a great career.”

      No pun intended right?

      Posted by Milhouse | April 10, 2011, 4:23 pm
    • A legend of what quitting in game 7of a play off yeah right.IF you want to be a legend try 6-times champs the bullsthat is legend stuff right their.why would LBJ be call a legend.what about the lakers r they legends to huh what about the celtics are they legend also.OK some legend who gave up on his home town and team matesyeah right good-bye legend oops I LIED HAHAHA

      Posted by jtown9 | April 15, 2011, 1:43 am
    • lebron james should be considered a legend ,,.,.,.,. he is better than any other player .,.,.,.,.,,.he have alot of time in nba .,.,..,.,he is the greatest player in the nba history..,.

      Posted by mariele dhane bael | December 5, 2011, 1:27 am
    • he will be a legend, he just isnt yet

      Posted by hi | January 3, 2012, 12:15 am
    • The fact that you even have to ask this question means that the answer is yes. LeBron dominates almost everything in basketball and has been good for a sustained period, had the most ridiculous drama ever, and then won a ring. he will definitely go down as a legend

      Posted by ak26 | November 9, 2012, 4:24 pm
  2. No props to Delonte West. That’s just disgusting.

    Posted by drinkinghaterade | April 10, 2011, 5:18 pm
  3. Wow. Excellent article…

    Posted by Kip | April 10, 2011, 5:47 pm
  4. Its about time! Great article, people expect him to be superman but he’s only human. You need a TEAM to win rings! What did people expect him to stay on the Cavs (without help) for another 4yrs? GTFOH! Even Jordan had help DAMN!

    Posted by Marc | April 10, 2011, 6:52 pm
    • I love how this gets repeated everywhere. No help?! How can you make the argument that he had no help? They were the best team in the league and the roster was an incredible upgrade over 2007. DG improved the roster at every single opportunity. Don’t rewrite history to make yourself feel better.

      Posted by Joel | April 11, 2011, 8:36 am
      • exactly, if he had no help then i guess he did all the scoring by himself. the thing they can’t see is that he doesn’t have the will and the mental toughness to bring a team to the championship. his work ethic also doesn’t help because if he did, guys would follow him. also because the offense was all about him dribble, dribble, pass to get assist or charge to the basket, other guys were sacrificed in the process

        Posted by Marie jean | April 11, 2011, 9:45 am
      • About having no help, 2009 playoffs. Cavs vs Magic Lebron’s stat line were something like this. Game 1 49 points, eight assists and six rebounds.Game 2 35 points 5 assists 4 rebounds + the clutch 3, Game 3 41 points, 9 assits, 7 rebounds. Game 4 44 points, 12 assists, 7 rebounds. Game 5 37 points, 12 assists , 14 rebounds Game 6 25 points, 7 assists, 7 rebounds. If you put up these kind of numbers and still lose a playoff series, it means you got no help!

        Posted by Bender | April 11, 2011, 8:27 pm
        • @Bender of course lebron haters are gonna ignore that ridiculous stat line. truth is, NO superstar wouldve went all the way with that team. the fact that the cavs had the best record both years and still lose doesnt point to lebron – it simply points to his support. any basketball fan knows that playoffs are a completely different season from the regular season and if your teammates arent gonna show up when it counts, after 7 yrs, its time to get the hell up outta there while youre still in your prime. lol (in seven yrs the best allstar dan gilbert can give lebron is a 38 yr old shaq???) a ridiculous SERIES average of 38-8-8 should be enough to beat ANY team with a decent (not great) supporting cast. if you place lebron on that laker team in place of kobe right now – theyre easily sweeping teams left and right. lets not all act as if jordan, magic, and bird didnt play with other hall of famers. (-_-)

          Posted by Hugh G. Rection | April 12, 2011, 12:57 pm
      • Sigh…Did they show up in the playoffs? No, so yes, he had no help. It’s figurative, not literal. There has never been a bigger dropoff from best player on team to next best than that cavs team. And who cares that Gilbert/Ferry improved the team. That wasn’t hard. It still wasn’t good enough. Unless, you think that the regular season is the same as the semi-finals on? In which case, maybe basketball NBA basketball isn’t your thing. Think haters! Think.

        Posted by RFN | June 1, 2011, 1:37 pm
    • Thanks for the read Marc. Ring counting is overrated as I tried to explain in my article about the 1991 Finals:
      http://chasing23.com/2011/03/down-memory-lane-the-1991-nba-finals-2

      I think that what Lebron has done so far definitely merits legendary status.

      Posted by The NBA Realist | April 11, 2011, 9:16 pm
  5. A legend? in what? destroying other people career. You guys are so up into him you don’t see that.
    first of all, hes a one man show that doesn’t make his teammate better. all he does is dribble, dribble, crap dribble, shoots if he makes it, then travel his way down, ok enough about how the media still can’t see that.
    HOw he destroys others career before and after they joined his team:
    07/08
    Moe Williams ppg 17.3 assist 6.3

    08/09
    antwan jamison PPg 18.7
    Moe william PPg 17.8 assist 4.1

    09/10
    antwan jamison PPg 15.7
    Moe william ppg 15.8 assist 5.3

    Only these 2 guys alone you could see he doesn’t make his teammates better even though most of the time he is fighting his own teamate to get rebounds and assist. all he cares about is stats so they could glorify him, no love for the game. oh well, i think D-Wade is better, tougher mentally and a better leader without an entourage.

    Posted by Marie jean | April 10, 2011, 10:11 pm
    • do you realize what you just said? lebron james is the best passer in the league. He is the most selfless player when he wants to be, which is half the time. the averages as much assists as the best players in the NBA. he made mo williams an all star. he will never be one again. as for jamison, he just is horrible. he was out of his prime before he came.

      Posted by bob schmoe | April 10, 2011, 10:39 pm
      • Mo Williams is doing just fine on the Clippers.

        The Clippers are 21-39 (35%) without him playing this season.

        They are 10-11 (48%)when he plays.

        Huge difference.

        Posted by Gil Meriken | April 11, 2011, 12:29 am
      • please watch lebron james games cloesly. he rips rebounds from his own guys. and the only reason why he gets assits is because he basically plays point guard. he brings the ball up the court muscles his way down the lane and kicks it out to an open shooter. thats not making his teamates any better.also, lebron if you think about is not the best POUND for POUND basketball player. if lebron was derick rose’s height and weight he wouldnt be half as good. he uses his athleticism 99% of the time.

        Posted by Drose m.v.p | April 11, 2011, 6:15 am
        • DROSE for M.V.P – Thanks for the read, and you’ve got my vote. However, pound for pound is relevant in boxing, not basketball. D.Rose is not being matched up only against other guys in his weight class. he is competing with players of all shapes and sizes.

          If Lebron had Rose’s height and weight, perhaps he may not be as good, but guess what – he doesn’t. He has been blessed with more, uses it well. Once you get past the eye candy test, you will see that Lebron’s results are amongst the best in the league.

          Posted by The NBA Realist | April 11, 2011, 9:23 pm
      • ok if he is the best player? what can’t he make his team go over the hump. last i check his team had the best record 2 times and yet they lost i guess he did it by himself then. I am going to say again stats lies. at times watching him he doesn’t want to shoot because his field goals % might go down.

        Posted by Marie jean | April 11, 2011, 9:29 am
        • @marie, Same reason kobe couldnt get his team over the hump by himself when he had kwame brown as a center. what goes is a regular season record when your team doesnt show up when it counts the most. it means nothing. and all haters are proving me right by continuously bring up the same flawed points lol

          Posted by Hugh G. Rection | April 12, 2011, 1:03 pm
        • Are the playoffs anything like the regular season at all? I didn’t realize that playing a best of 7 series was the same as playing a season series where it means jack shit. The only “pressure” in the regular season is to get INTO the playoffs, yeah they want to try to get higher seeds so they can get some home games and whatnot. But when you get into the playoffs, you have to buckle down and actually PLAY. LBJ has always played, the rest of the team that he had around him in Cleveland failed. Year after year.

          And can you honestly say “…I am going to say again stats lies. at times watching him he doesn’t want to shoot because his field goals % might go down.” WTF?!?!?

          Posted by Big Nasty | June 1, 2011, 6:33 pm
    • i agree with you bro…

      Posted by raymanster25 | April 11, 2011, 8:30 pm
    • Marie – Thanks for the read but need to disagree. Those Cavs teams won because of Lebron, not in spite of him. Moreover, his teammates stats will obviously go down since he is primary Alpha Dog, ball-handler, and the offense flows through him.

      Posted by The NBA Realist | April 11, 2011, 9:18 pm
    • Just wanted to point out that from 08-09 to 09-10, Moe’s numbers pretty much stayed the same…

      08-09
      17.8 points (round to 18)
      4.1 assists (8-12 points, 2-3 per assist)
      Total: 26-30 points

      09-10
      15.8 points (round to 16)
      5.3 assists (10-15 points, 2-3 per assist)
      Total: 26-31 points

      From that, you can say that Moe stayed about the same, and perhaps even improved slightly in that span. Now if you compare that to the 07-08 season:

      17.3 points (round down to 17)
      6.3 assists (12-18 points, 2-3 per assist)
      Total: 29-35 points

      So, while his production / effective points produced did drop from the 07-08 season, you can hardly blame it on LeBron. You can blame the loss of 4 points off of effective points produced from one year to the next on simply aging a year, playing banged up, a new team gameplan… hell, almost anything!

      Posted by drubacca117 | April 11, 2011, 10:37 pm
      • I never said that he was not the main reason he was winning. I wanted to make the point that the reason he got so much of his stats in Cleveland and now in Miami is because he has the ball almost 100 percent of the times in his hand. If a player has the ball all the time, what do you expect?
        I will give you an example: with Jordan he played the triangle for years and never registered a lot of assist? why because the flow of the offense doesn’t stop, the ball goes around.
        In cleveland, reason so many times they failed is because it started with him and ended with him. other players were basically told to stand around and watch him dribble wait for his pass and shoot. Other teams were able to play box-and 1 on him because of that offense.

        Posted by Marie jean | April 12, 2011, 1:59 am
        • do you watch the game of basketball? while true the bulls ran the triangle offense.. the ball was in michaels hand 70%+ of the time…he just shot the ball more. andfor teh record when jordan wanted to pass he did..as evident by the 7 straight triple doubles during the 89 season. and FYI with dwade and bosh lebron doesnt have the ball half as much as he did in cleveland.

          Posted by Bkstylez245 | April 19, 2011, 5:13 am
    • You do realize that in 09/10 Mo Williams came back from injury playing absolutely garbage defense for the Cavs and Antwan was just as bad, right?

      Plus if you saw how poorly Twan played for the Cavs you couldnt exactly blame Lebron – Twan clanged tons of open shots and ate blocks when he took his old man hops into the paint. He did rebound well, but everything else was a shadow of his former self.

      Mike Brown was primarily a D coach so having to start guys like Mo and Twan clearly created problems for him.

      To get 60+ wins with a squad like that proves Lebron can make a team better than it truely is. Its no shock that a team with only 1 true star can get exposed against an elite team though.

      Posted by IntheSun | April 12, 2011, 1:15 pm
    • why don’t we look at Clevelands main minute players and check how their FG% changed from 2009-2010 to 2010-2011 when Lebron left:
      Varejao 57% -> 53%
      Jamison 49% -> 43%
      Parker 43% -> 40%
      William 44% -> 39%
      Hickson 55% -> 45%
      Gibson 47% -> 40%

      Can you spot the trend?

      Posted by bla | April 13, 2011, 7:49 am
  6. Said like a true D-Rose bandawagonner. I would agree with you if I could except for the fact that lebron shoots a higher % from just about everywhere on the court. Also D-Rose uses his crazy athleticism on almost all plays also. This is a moot argument watch him play and he thrives in the paint. Last time I checked you don’t just walk down the lane. He uses his killer combination of strength and speed at his size.

    Posted by coolsig5 | April 11, 2011, 8:22 am
  7. LeBron uses his athleticism because thats what he’s always done since he was young. Same with derrick rose, if derrick rose was 6’8 you would say the same thing about him but he’s not. Rose is quicker then anyone else so i could say all he does is use his quickness. If you were 6’8 260 what would you do?

    Posted by LBJmvp | April 11, 2011, 9:22 am
  8. I am torn on this one, because while I personally don’t like LBJ (I think he is a douche), it is hard to argue with his numbers. I think he is a few pieces away from being a truly legendary baller, but I don’t really see him not attaining that status.

    Great article Realist!

    Posted by drubacca117 | April 11, 2011, 8:49 pm
  9. He already is legendary or we wouldnt be having this conversation.

    Posted by Yessir | April 11, 2011, 9:08 pm
  10. I seriously lol’ed at the bit on LeBron’s mom impacting the NBA so much. Great article though, I think LeBron is already a HOF player.

    Posted by HomeList | April 11, 2011, 10:47 pm
    • Homelist – Thanks for the read, and I agree. If you really take the time to evaluate which players are considered legends, you will find that Lebron’s resume is as good as most.

      Posted by The NBA Realist | April 13, 2011, 2:47 pm
  11. Legandary doesnt mean GOAT…GOAT would indicate that you were legendary and won championships. Thats why not one comment above mentions Kobe, cause he is an easy on the top 5/10 GOAT list. I would argue that 2009 LeBum wass in the same position 2005 Kobe was, leading a crappy team and willing them to wins. yes Kobe quit on his team against the Suns, the same way LeBum did against the C’s. Kobe was lucky enough to have his GM and owner build a team around him so he didnt have to leave and join the Bulls; think about how that would have changed the landscape of the league (he wasn’t going to the Clippers, EVER). LeBum had no choice, there was no way he was going to win in Cleveland and there was no team for him to join that would have been able to compete for another 2 years. He settled…the same way other legendary players settle. Shit, Malone and GP joined the Lakers, and the GP went to the Heat. But no GOAT has ever settled in their prime…

    Posted by Anti Bill Simmons | April 12, 2011, 11:48 am
    • (first lol @ the name) and secondly, i agree.
      legendary – rings shouldnt be a qualification.
      GOAT – definitely gotta have some jewelry tho.

      I think Realist was as unbiased as someone could be when talking about this topic.

      Posted by Hugh G. Rection | April 12, 2011, 1:06 pm
    • For comparing the greatness of players it is nonsensical to use criteria that are not in control of the player such as rings, since at the NBA level is is virtually impossible for even the best player to get a ring if he has the bad luck to be on an inferior team, while any player can get multiple rings on a stacked team.
      (see early Jordan, early Garnett, Kobe between Shaq/Gasol ..)

      Therefore one should compare measurable individual achievements of players over a range of criteria, such as:
      number of times:
      a) efficiency – top 2 in the NBA in Player efficiency rating (PER )
      b) contribution – top 2 in the NBA in win shares (WS)
      c) defense – top 5 in defensive win shares
      d) shooting > 47% FG%
      e) ballhandling/basketball IQ assist/TO > 2
      f) clearly attributable playoff succes leading a team past first playoff round while being clearly the best player on that team (as defined by having the best PER and WS/48 for the season of anyone on that team)

      Michael Jordan
      10 / 11 / 6 / 10 / 7 / 10 (in 13 seasons with Bulls)

      Lebron James
      5 / 6 / 4 / 7 / 5 / 5 (in 8 seasons)

      Kobe Bryant
      0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 (in 15 seasons)

      Rank in career playoff PER : WS/48
      Michael Jordan 1 : 1
      LeBron James 3 : 3
      Kobe Bryant 20 : 45
      (btw 2nd between MJ and LeBron is George Mikan in the 1940s and 50s)

      best playoff PER and WS/48 during a postseason with at least 3 rounds:
      Lebron James 37 : 0.40 – both best in the history of the NBA
      Michael Jordan 32 : 0.33 – 4th and 3rd best
      Kobe Bryant 27 : 0.26 – too far down to bother counting

      Bonus:
      Players who led the NBA in PER and WS and WS/48 for 3 consecutive seasons:
      Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Jordan, Lebron James

      Player who never led the NBA in PER or WS or WS/48:
      Kobe Bryant

      Extra bonus:
      Number of postseasons Kobe’s playoff PER was as good or better than LeBron’s career average playoff PER: 0

      Posted by bla | April 13, 2011, 7:51 am
    • Thanks for the read ABS, and good perspective. What most people fail to realize is that there are several players who are considered legends, yet never attained a championship. And calling a player a legend does not necessarily mean that we are calling them one of the Greatest Of All Time.

      Posted by The NBA Realist | April 13, 2011, 2:53 pm
  12. Ok..I’m a big lakers fan…and I believe Kobe is one of all time greats…but lebron? He’s up there too! Ok fine he’s failed before but so has mj, Kobe, shaq, Malone etc…but that doesn’t mean u take away his greatness! That’s retarded! Lebron is top 30 all time RIGhT NOW but when it’s all sed and done?? TOP 10…anybody that can take a bunch of bums and turn them into a 60 win team is a legend…and as far as lebron pads assists? Who cares! That was the offense! Is that his fault?? My point wit that is even if he was on a diffrent team and postin lower stats every season, it wouldn’t matter…he has a skill set that most ballers dream of having…lebron is a legend and any haters should just stop hating….apreciate and enjoy instead of nitpicking failures, how about accomplishments?

    Posted by Mark almazan | April 14, 2011, 7:42 pm
    • Thanks for the read Mark, and i agree. Lebron gets a bad rap because of his recent decisions, but when compared to other “legends” he is right up there.

      Posted by The NBA Realist | April 15, 2011, 2:09 am
  13. And yes I’m a big Kobe fan…but I know better…lebron is a legend for sure…don’t get it twisted.

    Posted by Mark almazan | April 14, 2011, 7:45 pm
  14. HELL NO ,he left his hometown for south beach 2 team up with his two firends to try to win the crown. BUT end up in 2nd place behind the THE BULLS very own home grown talent DROSE and the beast in the east .IF you think im just talking just check out some of the BULLS highlights from any of those game.YOU WILL SEE, what the coach has done to that team and why they are so good.JUST a good team from a to z smile NO 1 BIG NAME JUST TEAM-WORK ALL WORKING FOR THE SAME THING. 82 GAMES OF TEAM BALL MAN THEY MIGHT SWEEP ALL YOU HATERS OUT OF TOWN HAHAHA.IF YOU COULD NOT WIN IN THE REG. SEASONS HOW DO YOU DO IT IN THE PAYOFFS SMILE GOOOOOOOOOOO BULLS

    Posted by jtown9 | April 15, 2011, 1:29 am
  15. Ok for all you that keep saying that he had a team with the Cavs. Let’s take a look. Compared to the team that put them out Boston. Varejao vs Perkins
    Jamison vs Garnett HOF
    Parker vs Pierce HOF
    William vs Rondo All-star future HOF.
    All these guys and one Lebron James, a great team will beat a great player in a series. That’s why they won 60+ wins in the regular season. You can’t prepare for a team like you do in the playoffs, you have 7 games to prepare and make adjustments. Learn the game before you comment on it.

    Posted by Jeremy | April 19, 2011, 5:54 am
  16. What makes an MVP? Is it making your team better or just stats? if it’s stats, then lets compare LBJ to Drose.

    PPG FG% FT% 3PT% RPG APG
    LBJ 26.7 .510 .759 .330 7.5 5.8
    Drose25.0 .445 .858 .332 4.6 6.0

    STL/G BLK/G
    LBJ .75 1.0
    Drose 2.6 1.2

    You decide.

    Posted by gator | April 27, 2011, 1:03 pm
  17. If you are a true fan of the sports, basketball, and in general a sports fan, then you APPRECIATE greatness. You can choose to not like the player, for whatever reason, but to completely trash a transcendent player like LBJ is ignorant beyond words. Learn to watch the game and you’ll know who’s real, instead of jumping on the hate-wagon that millions of others are on.

    You can be a kobe fan, or rose fan, or durant fan, but it doesnt mean you have to hate another player. You can treat them as the enemy because theyre not on your team and thats totally fine but to simply deny other player’s greatness and trash them makes you look like a fool.

    And honestly, Lebron took these players to the 2007 Finals: Sasha Pavlovic, Drew Gooden, and LARRY HUGHES. Larry fucking hughes, are you kidding me?

    Posted by rick. | May 11, 2011, 7:40 pm
  18. Okay just give it a break. Why is it htat everytime thwere is something negative to say about queen jane, you guys throw Kobe’s name out there? It’s about whether jane deserves to be called a legend or not. A legend is not a quitter or a blammer or a backstridder or even a crybaby. It takes a whole lot more character to become a legend, and lebron has a long way to go to reach that stature regardless of what his stats are.

    Posted by Tim | May 13, 2011, 8:41 am
  19. Lebron will probably be remembered as a legend. But if he hypothetically was to retire now, he would be no more than a Karl Malone or Charles Barkley. He won’t be a MJ/Magic/Bird tier legend until he wins a championship as “The Guy,” or wins a lot of championships. This will never happen until he widens his offensive arsenal. Currently, he depends on his athleticism and ability to get to the rim to score or make plays. All great players, especially scorers, need either a. post-up game or b. a reliable jumper to go to at the end of games. Lebron has neither. That’s why MJ (who had both), Kobe, Dirk, Tim Duncan, Hakeem, Bird etc… were all able to produce in the playoffs. In last season’s finals, Lebron tanked in the fourth quarters because he was up against an opponent who was just as strong and quick on his feet as he was (Shawn Marion).

    Posted by Johnny Lee | July 22, 2011, 2:08 am
  20. Lebron’s name should be with the top names of the game like jordan. Lebron is a great player look at the heat this year he is on fire and so is his team.

    Posted by Aaron Jacobson | January 9, 2012, 10:38 am
    • Lebron is alright but he is getting way to much hype. Once he wins a few championships then he might become a legend but as of now he hasnt proven himself in my eyes.

      Posted by Adam Bandemer | January 9, 2012, 10:40 am
  21. Hes a legend for sure. Greatest of all time? No, and not even close. But then neither is Kobe. The greatest of all time is still MJ.

    Hes the best player playing right now and has been for a while, no doubt about them.

    Posted by nightbladehunter | January 9, 2012, 11:15 am
    • @RICK “And honestly, Lebron took these players to the 2007 Finals: Sasha Pavlovic, Drew Gooden, and LARRY HUGHES. Larry fucking hughes, are you kidding me?”

      It’s interesting why you include a guy who averaged 1 PT per game, 12th in the depth chart to illustrate Lebron’s feat. But the point is, Lebron didn’t play with out-&-out “scrubs”. The fact is, there were a variety of factors that contributed to that team’s demise, for one, Lebron and Brown’s relative inexperience. Secondly, I wouldn’t consider 8 and 9 yr vets scrubs by any means. One thing Lebron lacked in the sweep, was a legitimate all-star, but he still had players that play today: Shannon Brown, Ilgauskas played last year, Mo Williams, Verajao, Drew Gooden – at the time, a well rounded team that peaked at the right time. The distinction being the Pistons’ fall from grace as an eastern conference rival. It only solidifies his standing as an underdog, but the Kobe-comparisons are way too shortsighted. I will guarantee you Lebron James driving for the kick out to Smush parker wouldn’t have made Smush Parker a legitimate outside shooting threat and he wouldn’t have increased his player efficiency rating. Kobe also played with 2-3 yr “freshmen”, d-leaguers and journeymen, like Luke Walton, Chris Mihm, Aaron McKie, Kwame Brown (biggest bust in draft annals), and who’s only notable teammates were Lamar Odom. So please let’s use some perspective when using comparisons. Some fans like to get carried away and do the exact opposite of what they wouldn’t like to hear from Lebron’s detractors. I for one am real about it, Lebron is the best in the league, a good general, distributor and freak athlete which accounts for his high % shooting, but saying guys like Kobe did worse with similar teams is overstating the significance of having “decent” team mates, none of which Kobe had at the time of these supposed discussions.

      Posted by DODOO | January 10, 2012, 9:51 am
  22. @Dodoo…your not saying that Kobe’s teammates compared at all to Lebron’s(Pre Miami years)…you have got to be kidding. Kobe rode Shaq for the first 3 titles and he had other good players for the second 2 titles.

    Lebron had a bunch of scrubs, no allstars as you said. The fact that they are playing today still means very little. Shaq played years after he should have retired.

    And when you look at it…between Kobe’s title years his teams mostly did very little in the playoffs.

    Where as Lebron picked up a team and carried them on his back year after year after year.

    Kobe has more titles, but hes also had way better teams around him. I think if you put Lebron on those teams you would be looking at roughly the same number of titles.

    Posted by nightbladehunter | January 10, 2012, 10:19 am
    • As always I keep being astounded by you people’s understanding of the game. Read what I have to say before you retort:

      Kobe averaged upwards of 28 PPG during the 3-peat finals run and Kobe was into his 4th year. For one, I never compared those threepeat teams to Lebron’s (learn to read) second, of course that Lebron’s teams from 2006-2008 weren’t great, that’s exactly why he never won an NBA title.

      So you’re saying that I said that compared to Kobe’s 2000-2003 Laker run Kobe had a better team than Lebron. That’s undeniable but that’s not the conversation we’re having, Lebron would have won the same number of titles Kobe had if he he had Shaq, or Wade, but that’s beside the point, because Kobe averaged 29PPG, a number that I will point to more, when Lebron was averaging the same 8 years into his career, as the focal point, when Kobe was the 2nd scorer. If it anything it proves how good Kobe is he can not only create his own shot, and afford to do it as an unproven youngster, but he also served as the team’s leading playmaker, in a team full of proven vets. But it’s astounding how ignorant your post is, because Kobe averaged around/upward of 29 PPG while Shaq averaged upward of 30, during the threepeat run, and had many 40+PPG games too. In today’s terms that’s Derrick Rose, Kevin Durant, or Dirk Nowitzki leading teams deep into the playoffs, except those same stats and plays were overshadowed by one of the most dominant big men in the history of the NBA. AND in the same sentence was 20 years old and into his 4th year, averaging hall of fame numbers. Your distorted view of Kobe opaques your rationale. Kobe was a 29PPG scoring threat, viable 2nd option in a very strong, western conference, where anyone coming out of the west was going to win the championship. Shaq was the No.1 scoring option. In today’s terms, he’d be Tyson Chandler to Dirk Nowitzki’s Robin, or Marc Gasol to Zach Randolph, or Pau Gasol to Kobe, Wade to Lebron’s Robin, or Pippen to Jordan’s chong. He didn’t ride Shaq. That’s the point. Kobe was so good, that even if he was of equal or lesser value to the Championship run, at the age of 20, if they don’t have him they don’t win a title. If the same team doesn’t have Phil Jackson they don’t win. Shaq had Anfernie Hardaway who was as great a player as there was in the NBA during the 90′s and he got swept. So this is a reminder of a notoriously bad simplification of Kobe during the threepeat era, by guys who don’t know anything about basketball pre-Lebron (2003-present). Kobe was the second playmaker after Rick Fox in those same teams. It was Kobe’s “youth” (here’s a term that is used in the NBA everyday) “athleticism” and aggresiveness that had the Lakers in every game, having Shaq as the dominant force in the post was everything but a guarantee. It was Kobe feeding the big-man the ball for the easy dunks. Realistically, if the Lakers hadn’t someone as viable as the #2 scoring option, the Lakers likely lose a series 4-2 against a stronger Sacramento (Queens) as Shaq called it, they never repeat, and Shaq would have been winless as a Laker, and he would have either been traded still in 2004, or the Lakers acquire somebody like Steve Nash. So No KOBE DID not ride Shaq. Get your facts straight and look at an NBA encyclopedia, or get a game tape of the period instead of blatantly-copying misinformed uneducated analyzisms of Kobe when you don’t know him.

      Secondly,
      Lebron had more viable go-to options than Kobe in the same period of time, before you delved nothing that is comparable to Lebron’s rosters. What I am saying is Kobe had many stiffs, like Luke Walton, Chris Mihm, Smush Parker, Kwame Brown. Kwame Brown is a career bust, and the undisputed draft bust of the modern era. Lebron in the same sentence had an athletic team, that spread the floor, that committed to a grind-it-out defense. Tell me who resembles that 2007 Cavs team that’s playing today, that may be a black horse? The Portland trailblazers, and Denver Nuggets in the West, and Atlanta Hawks, Chicago Bulls (with worse players) in the East, and if I want to go overboard, the Pistons/Pacers before 2003. You can’t tell me Kobe who had nothing but journeymen, and end of career players like Chucky Atkins, and guys like Lamar Odom, or Lebron with these same players would have taken them deep into the playoffs.
      My other retort is Kobe carried teams on his back and kept a team full of bums into the playoffs, like Kobe taking the Wizards to a game #6 against the powerful Suns in 2006, in the 2nd round. Until Kobe got someone like Gasol, a playoff underachiever who never got past the 1st round, did his teams make it past the 2nd round, in fact you can say the leaps his made team with “very good players” (Gasol, Bynum, Odom, Jordan Farmar, Sasha Vujacic, Shannon Brown, Ron Artest etc.) (vs Lebron’s “decent-borderline starters”) were lead to better levels of success than Lebron’s “bum” teams that constantly made it to the eastern conf finals. Kobe at least lead teams to actual championships, but you won’t give Kobe credit with Pau Gasol, who is Shaq’s Kobe from the threepeat? Come on now.

      Posted by DODOO | January 10, 2012, 12:22 pm
      • Now you need to read what I said. I never once didn’t give Kobe credit. I never said Kobe sucked or didn’t deserve those titles. Kobe is a top 10 player of all time, no question about that. You can’t have 5 titles and do what he has done and not be.

        Btw you mentioned Lamar Odom. He is better(and was better back then) then any player that Lebron had on his team pre Miami. And he came off the Lakers bench. Which tells you how deep the Lakers built their teams. Lebron made Moe Williams an allstar, just because he played with him. You know and I know that Moe Williams isn’t an allstar really.

        Lebron benfited(Yeah I said it) from having Mike Brown as his coach if only because of the commitment to defense. He picked that up because of Mike Brown. He was pushed to do everything he was capable of on defense and it turned him into an all world defender. But the teams put around him were pretty bad.

        The teams around Kobe were pretty bad as well but Lebron too his cav’s teams further with less is my arguement. He took a bad cavs team to the finals on his back. He single handly beat the Pistons. It was one of the most amazing playoff series out of a player that I have ever seen and that includes the stuff that Jordan did.

        I think all of this becomes moot after this season because Lebron will win his first title with the Heat. That will somewhat quiet the haters.

        For the record I think people who hate on Kobe or say he sucks are stupid and not really basketball fans. I think the same thing about Lebron. I like his effort in games especially on the defensive end. I don’t know what happened in the 4th Q of last years finals, I don’t know if he was just worn out or what it was but I doubt we get a repeat this year.

        I should also point out for the people that blame it all on Lebron that had Miami not blown an 18 point lead in game 2 they would have gone up 3-0(assuming they won game 3 like they did) and that would have pretty much put the series away. The fact that Miami went totally cold is as much on the coach as it is on the players. He did a bad job coaching the team in that situation.

        Posted by nightbladehunter | January 10, 2012, 1:59 pm
        • You didn’t give Kobe credit, you said he RODE Shaq. Not a single time. And Lamar started for the Lakers before Gasol ever came, he played in Gasol’s spot. But Odom was one guy you could say deserves praise. Even Smush Parker averaged 11 PPG, which is not horrible for a guard, but then Kwame Brown underscores the meaning of a horrible starting Center. Good defender but nothing else. At least eventhough for example DeAndre Jordan with the Clippers gives you 3-5 blocks a night, but then again at least he knows how to dunk a basketball.. Kwame didn’t even know how to dunk the ball. Which tells you a lot about those teams. Again, what Lebron did with teams by himself, specially against the Pistons was pretty good, and nothing to take away from, but almost the same can be said about eh level of competitiveness that can be attributed to Kobe. And this, I am saying in the Finals, when it’s for all the marbles. Kobe is doing the same things Lebron did with Mike Brown, which tells you why Kobe is averaging Lebron-numbers a couple years ago, because it’s a one-on-one type of offense.

          I’ll agree with you that Mo Williams is an all-star, although it’s mutually exlusive, like saying Steve Nash made Amare better when he had him, yes he did, but it’s mostly out of sheer talent. Most players can’t repeat as all-stars in the NBA, unless they are uber elite, for example Chris Kaman was an all-star once, it doesn’t mean he’s a legit all-star, just happened to come away with enough all-star votes, yes a lot of them were attributed to giving Cleveland credit for doing well in the East. But I could have told you the same thing about Bynum’s numbers this year, when he’s averaging high reb’s, high efficiency FG%’s, and high scoring, based on what the opposing team’s give these players in a fast break, and this is going back to Mike Brown’s hard-nosed style of defense, kinda like Mike D’Antoni makes his players. Doesn’t mean players are good or bad, just making it to an all-star means you’d have to excel at something very well that year. Like Lamar Odom was a borderline all-star, but is he consistently good enough to be an all-star every year? Bynum WILL be one, but that’s for example Kobe not making Bynum better, it’s Bynum making himself better. Or even Baron Davis, where has he been since? And where is Mo now? A viable backup pt guard who would start for most teams. That’s a player that to me, by all intents and purposes has legit talent. But probably not an all-star at this point of his career.

          To your point about the teams that were put around him being bad, I would say because of the coaching style, which is evident from Mike’s tenure as an assistant with the Spurs, those teams were athletic, young, fresh legs and had the right type of leadership, like Eric Snow. Kobe didn’t even have Derek Fisher at the same time Lebron, and yes Kobe who had done it all, had no team. And Kobe averaged the same number of assists he almost always has, the reason why his degrees of success varied, were exlusively because of the people around him. Like Lebron having Wade, and beating the Celtics last year for example.

          I never said Lebron wouldn’t win. I said the rosters he had were good enough, probably not good enough to win a title, but you can apply the logic to the Heat, with better players, why didn’t he at least TRY to win last year? Heck he probably had as many points during the entire finals, as he had the first half the Celtics-Heat closeout game.

          As far as Lebron being tired or winded. I can’t say that, he’s scratching the surface and he’s tired? I don’t really buy that at all, I just think the moment got to him, even Kobe isn’t exempt it happened to him during game 7 against the Celtics, but at least he somehow showed up, Lebron became a mental midget, out of nowhere waned when his team needed him the most and when Lebron’s time supposedly had come.

          You make it seem like I am chastising Lebron or going after him, I am simply comparing Lebron to Kobe in regards to playoff related instances, because those stick out the most, and speak more to what a team can achieve. Who’s to say Lebron has the same level of success Kobe had with Shaq when we’ve seen Lebron constantly wane when it matters the most? I’m not hating on the guy, I’m stating facts. Not opinion either, not conjecture. I’m saying given what has happened to him, he should surmount what happened last finals, which is to win an NBA title, unless the pressure catches up to him? I don’t know.. I know Kobe was clutch when it mattered the most, he’s not perfect but possibly as much as any so-called legendary player. I also know even the 88-92 Lakers had problems closing out teams, but I can barely recall anybody of an immense stature in the league wane as much as Lebron did. Wade and Bosh’s maturity during the regular season coupled with the decent PG in Chalmers have to be taken into account when comparing teams or situations.

          You said it was better than anything Jordan did?

          Posted by DODOO | January 10, 2012, 3:17 pm
      • I also want to say that I am enjoying this debate with you. Its a lot of fun to run into someone that knows how to craft a point and doesn’t just hate on players they don’t like or make dumb claims that can’t be backed up.

        Posted by nightbladehunter | January 10, 2012, 2:00 pm
      • I gave Lebron too much credit when I said he would have done similar to Kobe if he had played with Shaq during the threepeat. Given Lebron’s past performances when he waned in the most important points of a game, and that he ducked last year’s finals, why would he equal or rival Kobe when he was 20-21-22? Lebron is much older, and finally jumped over the “celtic” hump last year and it took Wade to do it.

        Posted by DODOO | January 10, 2012, 2:41 pm
        • I think that with Shaq on his team and the other pieces around him the pressure would have been off. Hes been expected to be the choosen one since before he got into the NBA…that was a lot of pressure and Kobe didn’t face that kind of pressure early on. He had Shaq running interference there.

          Posted by nightbladehunter | January 10, 2012, 2:58 pm
          • Kobe didn’t have as much pressure as Lebron did, that’s correct. But in the finals everyone has pressure. For example you can look at Metta World Peace two years ago, nobody thought he would contribute significantly when it mattered the most, specially being the crazy unapologetic schizophrenic guy he is yet, it was he, a guy who is miles away from being compared in any way shape or form, save for his defensive ability, to Lebron – made crucial plays down the stretch during the repeat. Crucial last second tip-in against the Suns game 6, and crucial 3pt ability when he’s obviously not the same outside threat he was 4 years ago.

            And wouldn’t you think that with the amount of “pressure” he’s had most of is career, well what with him putting a giant target on the Miami Heat last year, that he would already be past that? Is it more about a Lebron MVP type of player not rising to the occasion, or a player facing constant pressure and accumulating it?

            You can readily make the argument that given his ability to lead teams to deep playoff runs, he should be immune to pressure at this point of his career.

            I think the thing to point out and get away from this discussion is if Kobe were in Lebron’s shoes with the Heat, he would have busted his ass off to win, not try and give the Mavericks every advantage imaginable. I’m sure adversity is something we all learn from, like Kobe getting swept with Shaq pre-2000, but so did Jordan and probably will Lebron, but you can’t argue that what happened last finals, was indicative of a guy who gave out, when it was clear he would rather divert the pressure by making guys like Chalmers, Wade, Bibby play and take the pressure for him? In fact it was more detrimental to the Heat than it was beneficial to the Mavericks.

            Likewise it’s a contentious topic I just want to clear many misconceptions people have about Kobe. I think a lot of Kobe’s main detractors arise from their deep like of Jordan. The first basketball player I learned about, is Michael Jordan, and the first basketball player I liked was Michael Jordan, but I can tell you that there is a clear distinction in guys who have sheer athletic ability, to guys who can go above intense situations. Kobe is far from perfect, but the same applies to almost everyone who touched a basketball, the closest guy I can pinpoint who was almost perfect was Larry Bird, who Michael got a lot of pointers from watching him. And also the biggest point we can take away from this is, Lebron is more comparable to Magic in style of play but he left a lot of Heat fans, and yes cognoscenti with a bad taste in their mouth with Lebron’s performance last finals. Neither here nor there, I think he will get over it, but I think we have to get over these grandiose comparisons with Lebron and Kobe, both are far from matching Jordan and it’s a bit unfair to compare Lebron to both because he has 2 inches of an advantage on both and equally a freak body. Much like DeAndre and Dwight Howard do.

            Posted by DODOO | January 10, 2012, 3:35 pm
  23. You’re insane and are giving LeBron far too much credit. You’re assuming that this situation with his mom is the reason the Cavs lost when in reality LeBron is simply NOT a closer. He lacks killer instinct. Skilled? NO. Talented and athletic? YES. A freak of nature? YES. A man who runs through people and scores effectively only around the basket? YES. Skilled? NO. No footwork, post game, ball handling skills, consistent jumper, ability to knock down free throws etc. I could go on for days. Nice try though fan boy. Tell LeBron to hit the gym and develop those “skills” that the actual greats such as MJ, Larry, Magic, and Kobe ALL POSSESSED.

    Posted by Daddy | June 14, 2012, 12:40 am
  24. Daddy I think you need to stop drinking the hateraide it is blinding you to how things are. Lebron is more of a closer then Kobe ever has been. Lebron single handly carried Miami past Boston. You could not have watched game 6 and game 7 and not thought Lebron was clutch. Unless you are either blinded by hate or totally a fool.

    Lebron has more skills then almost any player in NBA history. Hes already a legend. Even without a title he is a top 15 player of all time.

    Posted by nightbladehunter | June 14, 2012, 7:13 am
  25. I have never been able to personally reconcile how a reputed “closer” with “killer instinct” also: 1) in his prime, had an exactly .500 record as the undisputed leader and focal point of his team; 2) has “led” his team to a 1 – 8 record in failing to even sniff the conference finals the past two years, with an all-star caliber PF (often called the most-skilled big man in the game) and an all-star caliber center (2nd team All NBA this year) on his team; 3) has a career sub-41 FG%age in finals games (5 of 37 career finals games at or above 50% … in contrast, MJ was 18 of 35); and 4) has “led” his team to four (4) 15+ point CLOSEOUT losses in the last seven years of the playoffs (“killer instinct”, indeed), including three (3) 30+ point BLOWOUT losses in the last five years of the playoffs …

    Perhaps it’s beyond me … but I just don’t see that kind of body of work from LeBron, much less MJ, Magic and Bird …

    Posted by Ken | June 14, 2012, 11:39 am
    • Ken,

      It is difficult for the Kobe Nation to understand sarcasm and subtlety, let alone truth.

      For those in the Nation: Ken is saying that it is inaccurate to place Kobe Bryant in the same group as Bird, Magic and Jordan.

      James is likewise not there yet, but, again, time is on his side.

      Posted by Paulie Walnuts | June 14, 2012, 11:48 am
    • Further context to my #4 above …

      Since Shaq left LA, the Lakers have “enjoyed” the following post-season results:

      2005: didn’t even qualify for playoffs with 34 / 48 record …

      2006: collapsed in first round, culminating in 31 point CLOSEOUT loss …

      2007: lost in first round again, culminating in 9 point
      CLOSEOUT loss where Kobe shot 13 / 33 with 6 turnovers and 1 assist …

      2008: lost in finals, culminating in 39 point CLOSEOUT loss where Kobe shot 7 / 22 with 4 turnovers and 1 assist …

      2009: won NBA title; Kobe has decent CLOSEOUT game (after the flak LeBron took for his game 1 performance on Tuesday [30-9-4-4], it’s generous to characterize Kobe’s game 5 performance vs. Orlando as “decent”) …

      2010: won NBA title; Kobe has awful CLOSEOUT game, shooting 6 / 24 …

      2011: SWEPT in second round; Kobe has awful 4th quarters in all four games, including 34 point CLOSEOUT loss …

      2012: nearly SWEPT in second round; once again, Kobe’s 4th quarter workproduct is weak, including during the 16 point CLOSEOUT loss …

      “Closer”? “Killer instinct”? “Clutch”? “All-time great”? … I vote “no” …

      Posted by Ken | June 14, 2012, 3:22 pm
      • What ken is offering is not an indictment that Kobe is NOT a great player; what Ken is offering is a viewpoint of different perspective.

        there are those that are standing so close to Kobe that ALL they see are the RINGS, the great shots, the moments of glory.

        Others, like Ken, have steeped back and into and into the expanded horizon are the less glorious times; the moments that MUST come with the glory. The defeats, the missed opportunities, the poor shooting games, the lack of true leadership. All of those qualities exist in Bryant’s spectrum (as with every player)

        It is disingenuous when those wish to focus on Lebrons shortcomings and are dismissive of Bryant’s shortcomings (or any other players)

        Posted by Paulie Walnuts | June 14, 2012, 3:39 pm
        • I’ll try a fresh approach …

          If you sought to persuade a random person of Kobe’s greatness, which one of his 37 NBA Finals games would you select to best make your case?

          I want to review his performances on the biggest stage with a fresh set of eyes … and I want to start with his best game in the NBA Finals. Point me to it, friends.

          Posted by Ken | June 14, 2012, 4:54 pm
          • you probably can eliminate all games in 2004 against Detroit.

            Posted by Paulie Walnuts | June 14, 2012, 5:00 pm
          • Right, the data suggests that it’s not going to be found in the threepeat or the 2004 Finals …

            So, I guess I’m looking for his signature Finals performance in the 2008 – 2010 period (n=18 games, I believe) …

            Game #1 vs. Orlando in 2009? The other high production game I recall came vs. Boston in 2010, but I recall it came in a Lakers loss …

            Posted by Ken | June 14, 2012, 5:08 pm
          • Yeah, Game 2 against Detroit might be the only nice game of that Finals, the rest was utterly forgettable.

            But I’d probably start with Games 1 and 5 against Orlando, then Game 3 vs Boston the first time around … Game 3 vs NJ was pretty nice, I remember Games 2 and 3 vs Philly was a decent overall game, including defensive effort, Games 5 and 6 the second time around against Boston were pretty nice (Game 5 was a spectacular, although it was in a loss, it served notice about who exactly was the best player on the court).

            That’s just a start, but it’s not about the individual box data in these games, it’s about the impact on offense and defense that led to a championship, things that aren’t measured in the individual box, but they can be measured. It’s just way easier, a shortcut, if you will, to look at the team result as an indicator of the true impact of the star.

            Posted by Gil Meriken | June 14, 2012, 5:21 pm
          • Well, Kobe was so important to the Lakers’ first title of the run in 1999-2000 that he didn’t even play in game #3.

            For the series,

            33/90 36.7% FG
            2/10 20% 3 pt%
            10/11 .909 FT%
            23 total rebounds 4.6 rpg
            12 total assists 2.4 apg
            58 total points 11.6 ppg

            For the record, Shaq scored
            43, 40, 33, 36, 35, and 41

            I think it is safe to say that Bryant was very replaceable for that series.

            Posted by Paulie Walnuts | June 14, 2012, 5:40 pm
          • Very replaceable as in taking over the 4th in game 4 when shaq fouled out. And the lakers lost game 3, the game that Kobe sat out. If that means Kobe is very replaceable to you, then you are living in a fantasy world.

            Not to Kobe coming up clutch in game 7 of the conf. finals in 2000, and leading the lakers in pts/reb/assists/blocks. The lakers come nowhere near winning the title without Kobe.

            Posted by boyer | June 14, 2012, 7:34 pm
          • 200-01 Finals got much brighter for Bryant, though he still couldn’t hold a candle to Shaq

            44/106 .415 FG%

            3/9 .333 3 pt%

            32/38 FT%

            39 total rebs; 7.8 rpg

            29 assits 5.8 apg

            123 points 24.9 ppg

            Shag averaged 33 ppg.

            Kobes’ best games were probably #2 where he actually outscored Shaq 31-28 on 11/23 shooting with 8 boards and 6 assists.

            Game #4 was a good one with 19 points on 6/13 (7/12 FT) 10 rebounds and 9 assists.

            Posted by Paulie Walnuts | June 14, 2012, 7:34 pm
          • 2001-02 Finals were probably Kobe’s best

            36/70 .514 FG% for 107 total points (26.8 per game)

            Yet, still outdone by Shaq’s 145 points (36.3 per game)

            Best games were #3 with 14/23 for 36 and outscoring Shaq by one point.

            In their 21 NBA Finals games together, Bryant outscored Shaq just 4 times (a total of 12 points)

            Posted by Paulie Walnuts | June 14, 2012, 7:40 pm
          • Kobe had a decent game #2 in 2004, but nothing great:

            14/27 (1/5 from 3 pt as this series he shot almost as many 3 pointers than free throws) for 33 points and outscoring Shaq by 4 (33-29)

            The series, though was absolutely terrible for Bryant

            43/113 .381 FG%, 4/23 3 pt, 23/25 FT 14 rebounds and 22 assists for 113 points. (22.6 ppg)

            Shaq scored 133 points for 26.6 ppg

            Posted by Paulie Walnuts | June 14, 2012, 7:47 pm
          • In the three post Shaq Finals appearances, Bryant has scored a lot, but only had 4 or 5 good games of the 18 total games.

            2008 Game #2 9/26 (7/7 FT) for 30 points, 4 rebounds and 8 assists

            2008 Game #3 12/20 (11/18 Ft) for 36 points, 7 rebounds and 1 assist.

            2009 Game #1 16/34 (8/8 FT) for 40 points 8 boards and 8 dimes.

            Games #2 and #3 in 2009 were good, but not really great games.

            In 2010, Kobe was terribly effective shooting in games #6 and #7, (9/19 and 6/24) but at least contributed 11 and 15 rebounds.

            Posted by Paulie Walnuts | June 14, 2012, 7:54 pm
          • Ah, Boyer

            Game #4 against the Pacers.

            Shaq fouls out yet STILL outscores Bryant 36-28.

            Kobe with ZERO free throws that game.

            Kobe then followed that up with a 4/20 (again with ZERO free throws) and 8 points.

            Combine that 8 point game with his 2 point game and the game he did not play. . .

            YES. Kobe was very replaceable in that series.

            Any starting shooting guard in the NBA could have replaced Bryant and the Lakers win that series.

            Posted by Paulie Walnuts | June 14, 2012, 7:59 pm
  26. I guess subtle sarcasm is the very last tether … it sustains my waning interest in playing this tiresome verbal ping pong with the Kobe delusionaires.

    Posted by Ken | June 14, 2012, 12:08 pm
  27. Yes, Lebron is a legend, if Charles Barkley, Karl Malone, Patrick Ewing, John Stockton, and Elgin Baylor are legends.

    Posted by Gil Meriken | June 14, 2012, 1:06 pm
  28. For the record, I don’t consider myself an ardent supporter of LeBron James at all … I cannot recall ever arguing that he is without flaws; I only argue that he is far more effective, individually and within a team construct, than Kobe (at any point in his career). And I stand by every one of my statements in that regard …

    For me, it’s easy … my favorite player today is none other than KawBron Garpaundo … Kawhi’s humility and work ethic, LeBron’s talents and versatility, KG’s tenacity (and post-game interview skills), CP3′s heart and execution at the end of games (close games, blowouts … it doesn’t matter), and Rondo’s “feel for the game” / basketball IQ …

    That dude would thrash everyone in a mythical all-era one-on-one tourney … until he encountered #23 …

    Posted by Ken | June 14, 2012, 1:17 pm
  29. Here’s another acknowledgement for you, Gil …

    Please share with everyone how any of my comments may be accurately characterized as “irrational hatred” vis-a-vis your past references to the straw man fallacy …

    I’ll assume for these purposes only that you understand the distinction between the words “irrational”, “hatred”, “passing” and “disdain” …

    Posted by Ken | June 14, 2012, 1:38 pm
  30. WTF!!!!

    Did you peer into the future before you wrote this article?

    Ray Allen is in Miami as of 2012 AND Dwight is currently stinking it up w/ the Lakers AND Bynum got traded away (not surprisingly might I add) LOL

    Posted by The Great One | January 26, 2013, 10:52 pm

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