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Have ‘They’ Crowned the King Too Soon?


Originally published on 05/12/2010  here at

Heavy is the Head who wears the crown.  No aphorism could be more apt for LeBron James, whose life just got more complicated. The current MVP and owner of the NBA’s best record is about to be a back-to-back playoff bust. The consecutive winner of the Maurice Podoloff Trophy was all but absent in Gang Green’s (The Celtics) systematic waxing of the Cavaliers in game six of the Eastern Conference Simis.  James went 3 for 15 and disappeared like Ken Griffey into a locker room.  His post-game comment not only puts his team on Blast, but it shirks responsibility and knocks him several rungs down the leadership ladder:  “I spoil a lot of people with my play.  When you have three bad games in seven years, it’s easy to point them out.”  Yes, Bron, Bron, it is.  Easier still when it’s a playoff game on national TV in a 2-2 series on your home court.

The summarily crowned  King has two NBA MVP nods, which might as well be participation trophies given out at in tee-ball. The last five out of six MVPs have been awarded to his higness (James twice), Dirk Nowitzki, and Steve Nash (two time winner as well), all of whom are sans the Larry O’Brian Trophy.

The other MVP in that time frame is none other than Kobe Bryant, which to a Lakers aficionado, is ludicrous. In Kobe’s seemingly most convincing MVP campaign, the year he recorded the eighth highest scoring average of all-time at 35.4 points per game, scored 50 or more points six times, including an 81-point performance,  had 10 straight games with 40+ points, he was fourth in MVP voting behind Nash, Nowitzki and James.  But as a colleague pointed out, “Kobe was still a rapist then.”

This year Kobe single-handedly had six game winners.  No other player in the league logged more than two.  Kobe has been playing with a broken finger, hampered knee and a nagging back, and still finished with the best record in the West.

MVP or not, there’s something enigmatic about what Kobe Bryant does. He touches the ball and there’s an air of anticipation unlike any other on the hardwood.  Kobe, again, has the number one selling jersey in the NBA.  The Lakers are the number one NBA draw, and it’s not because of The Spaniard or Mr. Kardashian.  Who else could elicit chants of “M-V-P, M-V-P” in foreign, hostile territories like Boston Garden?  One possible answer is Michael Jordan, but he is long since gone, and is currently working on tarnishing his legacy.

LeBron James is explosive, powerful, with god-given abilities, and unmatched range, and yet he’s somewhat pedestrian to watch.  His strength and power are awesome, but they are no match for the poetry that is Kobe Bryant.  Kobe’s fundamental fortitude, his precise footwork, his aerial body-control ballet and cleverness in the paint are not just awesome, but awe inspiring… And there’s his mental game.  It is un-matched in his sport, and perhaps in all of sport, considering Tiger’s recent meltdowns.  Oh, and by the way, when he was LeBron’s age, he already had a Championship 3-Peat (I hope I don’t owe royalties to Riley on that?).

In art, the theory of the Gestalt states that the sum of the parts is greater than the whole.  Kobe’s game is like this.  He is no longer the fastest, the most nimble, or the highest jumper, but the combination of all these attributes with his mental moxie are what make him the best.  And until he’s dethroned in the post-season, he is still the True King of the NBA.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. arlet permalink
    05/12/2010 11:48 pm

    lebron.. take ur mistakes and learn from it. don’t blame it on ur team -_- take the responsibility! well…
    no one compares to kobe.. kobe’s just unique.. psshh.. lebron who.

    amen to this article!

  2. Brian Callaway permalink
    05/13/2010 11:30 am

    From the internet: MISSING PERSON ALERT!! LeBron Raymone James,Cleveland,OH Age25 DOB 12/30/84.Reported missing 5/11/10. Last seen being taken to school by Rajon Rondo (Boston Celtics), Not heard from since Nike stopped running puppet commercials. Last seen in false NBA Crown. James may be in need of medical attention for elbow. Any info
    helping authorities find LeBron or his game, contact 800-FIND-KING.

  3. MsOfficer permalink
    05/15/2010 2:10 pm

    Kobe as MVP? But do MVP’s do this?


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