Sunday, August 12, 2012

Passing of the torch: From Kobe to LeBron

The afro days, the Adidas endorsement, dating Brandy, wearing #8, the 3-peat with Shaq, the Finals defeat by my hometown's Pistons, the close line by Raja Bell, and the last championship that allowed him to have a ring for every finger on his hand. Since 1996 I've been a fan of Kobe Bean Bryant. Early in his career, I had countless arguments about who was better between him and Tracy McGrady. It goes without saying, but those conversations occurred less and less as the years went on. It was crystal clear who the best player in the NBA was.

And then came the man-child from Ohio, LeBron James. I knew I would have to get ready to argue again soon. But because of his explosiveness and athletic ability, people crowned King James as the best player in the game way too soon. I still thought Kobe was a better shooter, better post-up player, had better handles, and had an overall higher basketball IQ. Even after LeBron's 2nd league MVP, I thought Kobe was the best player in the NBA.

After watching the 2012-2013 NBA season, the NBA Finals, and the London Games, I will officially say that LeBron James is the best player in the NBA. I'm super stubborn, but after witnessing (no pun intended) his dominance in basketball, I have to admit that. Not only can he score, but his defensive abilities give offenses around the league problems, and he makes every player around him better.

This isn't as dramatic as the David Beckham boat ride during the Olympics' Opening Ceremony, but the torch has definitely been passed to LeBron Raymone James. However, I wonder when LBJ will be forced to pass it to the lanky, near 7-foot, scoring machine in Oklahoma City. We shall see.


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