The King Is Dead, Long Live Kobe
• dEDGE Post Scriptum •
King James was ousted from the 2010 NBA Playoffs with little to no fanfare. There were no trumpets blaring, or procession full of followers and groupies. There were no congratulations or tears of joy. Worse yet, fingers were directed at him for Cleveland’s failures in the postseason even though he had no idea what went so painfully wrong. The ageless Boston Celtics handed the Cleveland Cavs their second consecutive unceremonious exit after a season full of championship posturing to go along with the best record in the league. And while the city of Cleveland sits on pins and needles with unrestricted free agency looming for the exalted one, the undisputed “King of the Courts” quietly goes about his business preparing for the Phoenix Suns in the upcoming Western Conference Finals.
Anointed to royalty before actually ascending the throne, Lebron was thrust into the spotlight before he even took one dribble as a professional. Heralded as the “next coming of you-know-who” only bigger, stronger and more physically gifted, James is charismatic and a truly phenomenal athlete in a league full of talent-laden individuals. Sitting atop his lofty perch as the Superstar of superstars, James’ only tarnish is that he has yet to win it all. Success in the NBA is not judged by the amount of points you score, the quantity of rebounds snared or assists dished out, but rather by the number of rings you own. And as puppet Kobe can attest, the current scorecard reads 4-0, and hopefully, soon to be 5-0.
The debate is over. You can’t make an argument when one doesn’t exist. Even pundits for Lebron James must now admit that Kobe Bean Bryant holds center court and is clearly head and shoulders above the rest. Kobe, brush the dust off your crown and polish it back up to its regal shine, because your descent was premature and unwarranted. The MVP may eventually be known as the Most VANISHING Performances. Take a look at Dirk Nowitzki, and Steve Nash, and now Lebron James. Of the past 6 MVPs (2-Lebron, 2-Nash, 1-Nowitzki, 1-Kobe), guess which player took home a championship to go along with the regular season hardware?
Where ever Lebron ends up next season, be it back in Cleveland, or off to Chicago or New York, or perhaps even Sac-town where they can host the royal couple (King and Queen), you can count on James leading the league in scoring and ESPN highlights. He’ll come back stronger, better prepared and rejuvenated with a new twist added to his already impressive arsenal. But he’ll be sorely lacking in one important category. And that remains the sole measuring stick for the KOBest Player in the league.