Tuesday, June 17, 2008
No more Kobe/Michael comparisons!
No more Kobe/greatest player on the planet comparisons.
If anything, this roll over and drop dead choke job by the LA Lakers signified is this:
Phil Jackson is probably not the great coach everyone suspected, and,
Kobe Bryant is not the best player in the game, and,
Lebron James is the best player on the planet.
This was a totally uncharacteristic Phil Jackson coached team. No real surprise that a Kobe team would play this way.
Now it's obvious. Phil Jackson only benefited from having the greatest player ever in Michael Jordan, winning 6 of his titles. Jackson won three more by having a dominant 1-2 punch of Shaq and Kobe, notice how Shaq comes first. And now maybe Jax won those titles with the help of the NBA and the referees.
I've said all along that I thought Chris Paul should have been the MVP. Being repetitive, but Paul did not have the supporting cast and coach Kobe did. Paul always made his team better.
Enough of CP3. Lets go to another forgotten best player on the planet, Lebron James.
Going into the Finals, it was all Lakers in 5 or 6. Kobe's the MVP, best player on the Planet. The West is more dominant, Kobe has the better supporting cast.
But how can you forget Lebron James? 90% of the nation could not name one other player on Lebron's team. Yet this was the same Lebron led Cavaliers team that came within one game of knocking off the now 2008 World Champion Celtics.
Back to Lebron. No one will ever argue the fact that Kobe had a far greater supporting cast than James did this year. The Cavaliers were horrible. You talk about 4 players standing around waiting and watching one guy run the show. Similar like the Lakers, except Lebron had far much greater success.
Lebron (I will only refer to Lebron, not the Cleveland Cavaliers) could have stolen Game 1 in Boston, if he had not missed so many "bunnies" and the best cheerleader and taunter in the NBA, Sam Cassell would have played his usual role and not showed up on the court. Cassell scored 13 points in Game 1 of the second round series, arguably the difference.
Lebron had no problem and showed no fear driving the ball through Boston's tough defense and getting to the rim. Maybe it was Lebron's youth that caught up to him, because he missed a lot of easy layups throughout the series.
Lebron has always had his outside jump shot questioned, but we all know Kobe is the most dangerous shooter in the game, able to turn around from either shoulder. In the Finals, Kobe failed to be lethal and lacked the determination to drive the ball to the basket and create more open shots for his teammates.
And don't forget, Lebron lost his best scoring threat, "Boobie" Gibson (yeah, what a threat) in Game 5. The same Game 5 Lebron had a 14 point lead at Boston with under 4 to play in the second quarter. Had Lebron not lost Gibson, Lebron wins the series in 6 games.
Lebron was even competitive in Game 7 at Boston, a 3 point miss away from winning the series, with absolutely no supporting cast, continually getting beat down and ruffed up every game.
So now, no way can you compare Kobe to Jordan. A Michael Jordan team would have never folded like Kobe's Lakers team. We all know a Jordan team never would have let a 24 point lead slip away.
And no way! does a Jordan team do whatever the hell Kobe's team did last...you know what? Forget about the Jordan/Kobe comparisons. Forever!
With 6 titles, look at Jordan's supporting cast, basically consisted of only role players. Scottie Pippen, ended up being an average player without Jordan; Dennis Rodman was there for 3 of the titles, but the Worm was never a scoring threat, only a solid defender and rebounding machine, sometimes more of a distraction than anything else. That's pretty much the only All Star's Jordan played with.
Boston Celtics, 2008 World Champions. That still hurts to say, and I wonder how the fair weather Celtics' fans feel about Doc Rivers now. They all wanted this guy's head on a pole last year. I wonder what the Beantown fans response will be now when they hear, "You bought this team and the star players." "They all came from the outside."
I'm already sick of hearing Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen proclaim how much this means to them and the history and legacy of the Boston Celtics. Come on, Allen and Garnett haven't even been in town for a year!
Originally, none of the "Big 3" could carry their own team to a championship. Pierce with his whole career in Boston, could not carry "his" team to the Finals in a post Jordan, weak Eastern Conference era. And yet now, according to Bob Ryan, we're suppose to consider Paul Pierce one of the greatest scoring threats in NBA history!
Jordan kept titles away from Hall of Fame players like Barkely, Ewing, Drexler Miller, Stockton and Malone.
KG failed to ever take "his" Minnesota Timberwolves to the Finals, and of course Ray Allen with "his" team, never made it to the Conference Finals.
KG, Pierce and Allen may now have their rings. But one thing's for sure, they failed to establish their "own" dominant legacy. They showed each could not win with their "own" team. They proved they could only win by joining forces.
And Paul Pierce thanking the "faithful" Celtics fans for sticking with him? Yeah right. Hey Paul, where were these "faithful" fans your whole Boston career? Where were they when you were stabbed 9 or 11 times in a Boston club. Doesn't really sound like you were such a fan favorite then. Heck, weren't they willing to trade you last year for the possibility of having Kevin Durant?
Give Boston and their team executives credit, they learned from their conqueror's. They're franchises have basically become everything they so passionately hated. Can you say New York Yankees?
Who's the happiest guy in the world? Paul Pierce? KG? Ray Allen? Curt Schilling?
No. No. No. And No!
He still has you Kobe, 4-3.
Can you dig it!!!!!!!
And can somebody please give Lebron just one other All Star caliber player!
Since the post Jordan era, I've failed to see anyone dominate the court like MJ. I've failed to see anyone bring as much excitement, passion and consistency to the game. I've failed to witness an NBA Finals that's lived up to its potential.
God I miss watching Michael Jordan. I seemed to take it for granted at the time, not realizing he'd have to hang it up sooner or later and we'd never see another like him.
One thing's for certain. As time goes by, more and more we'll begin to realize just how great Michael Jordan was.