Tag:Dwayne Wade
Posted on: July 2, 2010 10:35 am
Edited on: July 2, 2010 11:12 pm

The Future of "King" James

The nickname "King" is very premature for LeBron James since a king is the ruler of the land, and to be "king" in the NBA, you must have at least one piece of jewelery on your hand, and James hasn't accomplished that. Lebron has a huge decision to make if he wants to live up to his nickname and I will discuss what are some of his best and worst options.
Cleveland- Staying in Cleveland won't hurt Lebron James at all. They can offer him the most money, salary wise, and he can build his legacy there and be the "King" of Cleveland. He needs to win a title in Cleveland to etch his legacy in stone in the NBA. If he plays his entire career in Cleveland and doesn't win a title, well, we have been watching a more talented Karl Malone. Cleveland doesn't seem to have the roster that compliments Lebron and looks to be that roster who can win a lot of games, but will always fall short of any title. If Lebron stays in Clevenland, I expect it will be tied to a deal to get Chris Bosh on the roster.

Chicago- Chicago, in my opinion, is a lose-lose situation for James. The Bulls probably have the best roster to win a title, but even with a title and even multiple titles, Chicago will always be Jordan's city and Lebron can only be "Prince" there. Even worse for James would be not winning a title in Chicago. His legacy would be tarnished forever. He would be the guy who quit on Cleveland that couldn't win in Jordan's town. He would be making a big mistake joining Chicago.

New Jersey/Brooklyn- I think the Nets are the best option for James. Just imagine all the hype leading up to the move to Brooklyn. The owner is a multi-billionaire who can make James an international superhero. The Nets don't have the best roster, but they do have some young talent that James would make better. James' legacy could be huge because he will the guy that put Brooklyn back on the map in the NBA. He would feel the Heat from Knicks fans, but he would eventually make them love Brooklyn. To top it all off, New York will get him the most money off the court than any other place. Lebron would initially be called selfish because many people would see this move as the least likely winning situation, but winning will silence the critics. Bringing a title to Brooklyn would promote "King" James to "Lord" James.

New York- The Knicks would be very similar to the Nets, but I think they're below the Nets. The Knicks don't have the ownership and don't have Jay Z, a New York legend who is a partial owner of the Nets as well. A partnership with Jay Z will be huge. Who will promote Lebron form the Knicks? Spike Lee? A has been director, not going to work out.

Miami- Unlike many sports writers, I think teaming up with Dwayne Wade would work out well. However, James would not be the main guy in Miami as it is still Wade's city, but I think he can be looked at in the same manner as Wade. Wade would still be the leader of the team and James can just be James. James would finally have a teammate who can take over a game, something Cleveland has lacked his whole career.

Los Angeles- Not the Lakers, the Clippers. James could make a name for himself by winning with the Clippers, but let's be realistic, the Lakers have won so much in L.A. that the Clippers will always be an afterthought of the Lakers. Lebron can build a legacy with the Clippers, but it will be extremely difficult to just get up to the status of so many legends of the Lakers.

Dallas- Signing with the Mavericks wouldn't be a bad option either as the Mavs have a great owner who is willing to do anything for a title. The Mavs wouldn't be as lucrative off the court though. It will also be tough for James to make Dallas a basketball city competing against one of the most historic franchises in sports history, the Dallas Cowboys. James could still make Dallas a formiddable force in the NBA and build a legacy in Dallas. My brother came up with another great point for Dallas and that is the connection between Mark Cuban and Jerry Jones. Just imagine how many key games would fill 80,000 seats or more in Dallas.

If I had to make a prediction on where Lebron James will go, I'd have to go with Cleveland. Right now, I'd say my percentage chances are Cleveland is 40%, Brooklyn is 20%, Chicago, New York and Miami 10%, and Dallas and Los Angeles are 5%. No matter what other city Lebron chooses, he will have to do a lot for people to forget he gave up, quit on Cleveland. It would be different if he won a title and moved on, but he didn't win a title. Another interesting thing will be how many years he puts in his contract wherever he goes. Some people may think that Lebron's legacy isn't important in his decision, but I think it is and will be one of the primary factors in his decision. I will obviously be wrong if he signs with Chicago because James will never be bigger than Jordan there, but I think Chicago has already been ruled out by James because he is concerned with his legacy in the NBA.
Posted on: June 23, 2010 12:12 am

Let Me Put the MJ vs Kobe Argument to Rest

If you're a sports enthusiast like me, you are probably sick and tired of hearing all the sports radio talk comparing Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. It feels like I'm driving down the road and seeing a bunch of sports radio hosts holding "please help me" signs. We're enering into a dry area of sports talk and it's quite obvious they're desperate for a controversial topic which isn't even controversial at all. Michael Jordan is the best player of all time (well, for all the old timers, I'll put it as he's the best guard of all time) and there is no question about it. After reading this, I'm certain you will agree with me.
The biggest argument Bryant supporters have is that he is creeping up on Jordan's title total and that is it. It's also a lame argument because if we want to compare the Bulls best player during their championship run to the Lakers best player their first three, well, Kobe isn't even in the argument. We would be comparing Jordan to Shaquille O'Neal. People want to compare Jordan's partner in crime, Scottie Pippen, to Kobe's partner in crime, Shaquille O'Neal, when in fact, it was the other way around. Kobe was "Robin" to O'Neal who was "Batman". Really, we should be comparing Jordan to O'Neal as to who was the better player for their team for the first three titles for each team. O'Neal did a good job matching Jordan with three title MVP's. Bryant had zero. So did Scottie Pippen.
If we want to blindly include the first three titles into the equation and pretend Bryant was the primary player, than the argument turns to another point. When Scottie Pippen didn't have Jordan, he didn't win any titles at all. He had one deep run with the Blazers, but besides that didn't do much at all. He played six seasons post-Jordan and almost two seasons without Jordan in between the Bulls two three-peats. The Bulls only played ten playoff games and even though Pippen had higher than average season totals, his playoff totals dropped dramatically. He couldn't handle the pressure without Jordan and his self-benching during the final seconds of a playoff game exemplified the fact that Pippen wasn't good enough to lead the Bulls anywhere. O'Neal went to Miami and won a title with Dwayne Wade.
Let's put the titles to the side for now and discuss the raw data, the statistics. Michael Jordan in every important stat kept in basketball is better than Kobe Bryant and he was always the Bulls focal point while Bryant had one of the best centers to ever play the game as the focal point for the Lakers. Michael Jordan was 50% shooter as a guard and as the main player on his team. That is a truly amazing number that nobody appreciates enough. Kobe Bryant can make his next 1,500 shots in a row and still would not have a better shooting percentage than Michael Jordan. Yes, Jordan wasn't the greatest three point shooter ever, but he didn't have to because his presence allowed his teammates to get open shots. According to stats, Jordan was also a better passer and team player since he averaged more assists per game tha Kobe. Yes, it's a small margin, but yet another better stat as well.
Who pounded the boards better? Oh, that would be Jordan too. Again, a slight margin, but still better. Turnovers can win games and Jordan was not only better at stealing the ball, but also turned over the ball less. Remember, Jordan was the Bulls focal point his entire career while Bryant was a second option for the majority of his first seven years of his career.
People want to agrue that Kobe was a young kid his first two years so they shouldn't really count. With that, we would have to discount Jordan of his final two years with the Washington Wizards and even without the Jordan discount, his numbers are still better. That also opens up the LeBron James argument as James without any doubt started his career with far less talent than Bryant ever did and put up phenomenal numbers.
Let's talk playoffs now. Let me put it in a different perspective for you. Bryant has played 19 MORE playoff games than Jordan (198-179) and he has 125 less rebounds, 67 less assists, 98 less steals, and all the while Jordan outscores Bryant by almost eight points per game.
Those were all statistical differences which were close in comparison to the intangible differences that Jordan humiliates Bryant in. Jordan was the best leader I've ever seen on the basketball court. I was never at any practice, but there many reports of Jordan being harsh on his teammates when he thought they weren't practicing hard enough. There were reports that he slapped his teammates. Mike Greenberg form "Mike & Mike" on ESPN in the morning can attest to this. Jordan's demand for excellence can probably attribute to the fact that no player left the Bulls and put up better numbers than he did with Jordan. I can't say Bryant doesn't do this, but I can say with the media being more and more involved with sports teams, no report even close to Jordan types have been reported since his retirement.
People can question Jordan's first retirement, but no other player in any sport in Jordan's stature had to endure what he did with his father's horrific murder. It was very sad to see Jordan retire, but I couldn't blame him. Jordan reached the pinnacle of his life while his father was alive so what was there to accomplish after his death? I could only imagine the pride Jordan's father had for him. It is the ultimate dream of any father to see his son be the best and Jordan did just that three years in a row. He didn't quit, he took a break to reflect on life. People respected his decision and rightfully so. When Jordan realized that basketball (and sports in general) was the ultimate release from the pain inside, he proved again he was the best player in the best league on the planet. Bryant, on the other hand, essentially quit on his team. He asked to be traded publicly. Something a true leader would never do, speak out to the media about team issues. Name a time when Jordan ever did that. Again, Bryant quit, and was never traded because the team never traded him. It wasn't because he had second thoughts, it was because they wouldn't trade him.
This past NBA season/NBA Finals, could be easily compared to the baseball movie "Mr. Destiny" for Kobe Bryant. If the Lakers lost to the Celtics, which went to a very close game seven, Bryant would have been one of the biggest choke artists of all time. He had a John Starks like performance in game seven. In all honesty, an inexcusable performance. Remember, Jordan never went to a game seven.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com