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Does Cleveland's elimination sour possible LeBron-Kobe Finals matchups in the future?

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During the Cavaliers-Celtics chat, I joked with several fans on the Lakers blog that Thursday marked the only day of their lives when they rooted for the Boston Celtics (and possibly wore green).

With the Celtics' series-clinching 94-85 Game 6 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers, fans expressed plenty of excitement knowing that the Lakers would have home-court advantage if they meet Boston in the NBA Finals, that the Lakers have an opportunity to atone for their 2008 Finals loss and, of course, that this could be the last time LeBron James plays for the Cavaliers. I may be going out on a limb here, but I have a hunch he'll be in the news as free agency approaches. Just a hunch.

Lakers fans surely aren't losing any sleep over this, with 86% in our unscientific poll wanting the Celtics to win against Cleveland. Even if there was a clear distinction on who Lakers fans were rooting for, 58.7% said they wanted the Celtics to win so the Lakers could possibly rekindle their rivalry in the Finals, and 51.7% said they wanted Kobe Bryant to have the chance to prove his supremacy over James.

Yet part of me wonders if Cleveland's elimination ended the best chance for James and Bryant to match up with each other in the Finals, a sentiment ESPN Los Angeles' Arash Markazi outlined eloquently:

"LeBron's career will not be defined by one playoff series. He'll recover, but what we lost tonight and might never get again is Kobe versus LeBron in the NBA Finals, which is not only a huge loss for the NBA but for both of their legacies.

No matter what LeBron ends up doing in the offseason we can all agree the odds of him reaching the NBA Finals next season aren't as much of a foregone conclusion as we had previously thought. If he returns to Cleveland, the Cavaliers, after being eliminated before the Finals despite having the best record in the league the past two seasons, have to make major changes to get past the Celtics and more important the Magic. If he goes to New York, the Knicks' rebuilding process will be even more daunting.

Meanwhile, Kobe will turn 32 in August and has already shown the wear and tear of a player in the back end of his career. If we were going to get Kobe versus LeBron in the Finals it had to be last year or this year. If we end up getting it two or three years from now it will be like watching Robert De Niro and Marlon Brando in "The Score." It might not be terrible, but you'll always wonder how amazing it would have been if they were both in their prime.

The truth is Kobe needs LeBron and LeBron needs Kobe. As manufactured as their rivalry may be, they need to face one another to validate their accomplishments during a time when you are judged by your competition as much as your talent. Yes, Kobe finally won a championship without Shaquille O'Neal last season when the Lakers beat the Magic, but how much bigger would the victory have been viewed historically and by his critics if he had taken down LeBron in the process? It would have been infinitely more memorable if Kobe had his hands raised while LeBron was walking off the court with his head down behind him."

Markazi pretty much sums up the situation, an argument with which I completely agree. I had mentioned that once James won his second consecutive MVP, any talk regarding him or Kevin Durant surpassing Bryant as a basketball player was way too premature, both because Bryant has four championships to their zero and that it's unfair to compare the body of work when James' and Durant's legacies aren't even completely molded. Though I have no rooting interest in any scenario, the reporter in me roots for stories, and I couldn't help but wonder what stories would've come out had a Finals matchup between Bryant and James occurred.

I'm not talking about the manufactured rivalry between Cleveland and the Lakers, two teams that really have no history with each other. I'm not talking about the manufactured tension between Bryant and James, which has more to do with the Nike puppet commercials than anything else. I'm talking about the manufactured contention that a Lakers-Cavaliers matchup would help decide who's the better basketball player. Because Bryant has four rings, another championship wouldn't significantly bolster his resume over James. And because James has zero rings, a Cleveland title over the Lakers wouldn't have changed the argument. But it would have given either Bryant or James something on their resume that would serve as a talking point for the discussion.

As Markazi noted, it's not entirely out of the question that the two will meet in the Finals down the line. But with James' uncertain future, it appears that if they meet, it would be when they're past their prime, thus making the matchup somewhat less intriguing.

But what do you think? Do you wonder what would've happened had the Lakers and Cavaliers met in the 2010 Finals? Or are you just happy to see the league's top team eliminated? Because the answers may be wide-ranging, I didn't create a poll. So feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

-- Mark Medina

Follow the L.A. Times Lakers blog on Twitter. E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected]

Photo: Cleveland forward LeBron James walks back to the bench after being called for a foul during the first half of the Boston Celtics' 94-85 victory over the Cavaliers in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference semifinals Thursday. Credit: David Butler II / US Presswire

 
Comments () | Archives (195)

The comments to this entry are closed.

Guys, I have linked Adrian W's work when it has to do with the Lakers. I know he's written lately critical pieces about LeBron, and even though it was very good, it was solely focused on Cleveland. I linked Arash's story because it localized the situation with the Lakers. It has nothing to do with bias

MM

Lakers season's records against these teams:

WCF against Suns 3-1
ECF contender Celtics 1-1
ECF contender Magic 1-1

ECF season's records - Magic ahead 3-1

If you based on season's records, it appears that there is a repeat performance of last year's Finals Lakers vs. Magic. However based on playoffs performance, Celtics and Suns defeated valiant contenders. Celtics got rid of the Heat 4-1 and Cavaliers 4-2. Suns defeated Nuggets 4-2 and the mighty Spurs 4-0. Therefore, these two teams are legitimate contenders wherein they bloomed late in the playoffs. Any of these four teams have equal 25% chances of getting the Championship.

Being the defending Champs, Lakers are the team to beat. Our secret weapon will be Bynum and Artest. If those two players makes at least 15 pts each plus double-double, Lakers will get the repeat.

Lastly, LET ME REMIND EVERYONE TO PUT OUT THOSE CAR LAKER FLAGS IN THE OPEN.

We are the Champions again......ho, ho, ho!

Hello Cavalier Fans,
Look at your team. Now back to me.

Now back at your team. Now back to me.

Sadly, they aren’t me.

But if they stopped using has-been players, and switched to young talent, they could be like me.
Look down, back up. Where are you?

You’re at the draft with the team your team could be like.

What’s in your hand? Back at me. I am.

It’s an oyster with two tickets to the NBA finals.

Look again. The tickets are now rings.
Anything is possible when your team has young talent and not has-beens .

I’m on a float.
Signed,
A Title Contending Team

>>>>Hopefully KB Blitz and LTILF will pick the Magic over the Celtics.

Not a chance. It's funny, but I've been posting both to you and Red's Bastard Child all season that I'll see you in the finals... and I MEANT IT. If you want to be the best, you've got to beat the best. A faceoff of the last two champions with their rosters mostly the same is the best possible situation.

>>>>They cant pick their A$$ with both hands.

No, I can't. I leave that pastime for Celtics fans.

Posted by: LongTimeLakerFan | May 14, 2010 at 09:14 AM

LTILF-

I know you did. In fact everyone did. Its just my imagination getting the best of me. I guess I just imagined all those post post laughing at me that the old men wouldnt make it thru the season without getting hurt.

You know me ... I dont know the difference between Bill and Luke Walton as you so elequently pointed out the other day.

Lakers would have won because they have a better team. Take Lebron and Kobe off their teams, now who wins? Lakers.

All righty then!

Maybe now, all of the crap will stop about LBJ being better than Kobe.

Maybe now we cna see that Shaq needed Kobe more than Kobe needed
Shaq.

Nash 2.0 served!

Nash 1.0, you're up!

Go Kobe!
Go Lakers!!!

Technically he does Mamba...he made all of Cleveland witnesses to nothing...that's gotta count for something. We're all witnesses to how he choked in the playoffs...AGAIN!
Posted by: EastCoastJessie | May 14, 2010 at 09:22 AM
LOL, Damn you good Jessie! You are going to be a star in the courtroom.
Mamba24

MM,


If you're not bias then maybe your research department could do a better job gathering relevant stories for the blog


Here is one from Mike Wise of the Washington Post written the other day that you skipped which differs greatly from Trash's......I mean Arash's story

http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/37122223/

Edwin,

The Suns beat the injury riddled Blazers, not the Nuggets in the first round. That Portland even won two games against the Suns with their best player, Brandon Roy not at full strength was commendable. The Jazz put out the Thuggets.

All righty then!Maybe now, all of the crap will stop about LBJ being better than Kobe.Maybe now we can see that Shaq needed Kobe more than Kobe needed Shaq.
Nash 2.0 served! Nash 1.0, you're up!
Posted by: hobbitmage | May 14, 2010 at 09:29 AM
PREACH HOBBITMAGE, PREACH!!

how come MM never brings a reference/link from Adrian W. from Yahoo sports? maybe you should ask him. it is what i mean by biased. but maybe you r not one of the INFORMED ones. obviously this piece was a novelty 4 U. or maybe you enjoy debating rubbish.
Posted by: ouchhhhhhhh | May 14, 2010 at 09:07 AM
==================

Ouchhh,

Let's try this one more time.

I don't confine my reading of the Lakers to just the LA Times site.
I do read Yahoo and Adrian W as well as most other info I can find related to the Lakers on other sites.

I was only trying to defend MM's right to post it.
It's his blog remember, and it did generate controversy and discussion.
THAT is the point.

How could you possibly have any idea how "informed" I am or whether or not I found this piece to be a "novelty".

How do you know if I also read it on the other site you mentioned?

Obviously, if you look at the number of posts, a lot of people found it worthy of comment or debate.

So are you in fact saying that everyone who is debating this piece, how did you put it, "maybe you enjoy debating rubbish".

Perhaps stop and think for a minute what you are writing before you post it.

hobbit

good point. last night i was mentioning and asking where was Shaq the veteran, the clutch the alpha-dog to intervene just a little. he was like a huge french pastry all flaky. lots of air in between

funny that no writer questions shaq's inability to help Le Bron. because they will have to question Shaq's legacy without KOBE. do u agree MM?

and we DON't wanna go there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

"Lakers would have won because they have a better team. Take Lebron and Kobe off their teams, now who wins? Lakers."

People always like to cite this like it's a fact. But without Kobe the Lakers did more losing than usual at the end of the season as did the Cavs. This is just hypothetical at best because it seems that the CAVS are nothing without LBJ. One of the problems that occur with players who dominate the ball is dependence. Teammates become dependent upon what you bring every night instead of relying on their own BB skills.

My assertion is just as hypothetical, lets see if Lebron leaves the Cavs this year and they keep everybody else and bring in a free agent. Then if they fail to make the playoffs or get to the second round we can definitely say the Cavs suck without LBJ.

Until then just sounds like it should be true, when it might not necessarily be true.

Jon K:

Can we hear a Laker Cheer from you?

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!!!!

This should be used by the Laker Girls and should become the cheering anthem..

See how the leprechauns react, they win against a false King and they kept on jumping up and down. This is the last hurrah of a geriatric team, all they have are memories of the good old days of Russell and Cousy. Between Dwight and Perkins/Davis combined, it is beyond comparison.

Last night when Lebron was on the free throw line, leprechauns were cheering on the sideline NY Knicks, NY Knicks, NY Knicks. Naturally, Lebron made those two shots because he was thinking "hey, that's good money". However, that kind of chant can only be imagined by leprechaun blue collar with the imprimatur of A-Red's thinking. They all think the same whether the late A-Red, Danny Ainge and 131 -92 - the a-holes of all seasons.

I would love to see lakers face off with celtics in this year finals. just want to see kobe winning one against boston.

Thanks Nemaia for the correction.

The Suns beat the injury riddled Blazers, not the Nuggets in the first round. That Portland even won two games against the Suns with their best player, Brandon Roy not at full strength was commendable. The Jazz put out the Thuggets. Posted by: Nemaia Faletogo | May 14, 2010 at 09:32 AM
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You hit it on the head brother! We are going to see something awesome in these playoffs. I think the Finals will make Kobe & the Lakers a thing of legend. What people don't realize is that Kobe, DFish, Phil & the Lakers are on a mission. They kept telling us all thru the season, it's not about the teams we play, it's about how we play. The lakers are looking to make a Legacy and what better way than against the 2 time MVP Suns and the 17 Ring Celtics. These will be games for the ages Nemaia.

LTLF,

I understand your point, and agree that Magic and Bird playing each other elevated the intensity, meaning, and historical impact of those finals, but there's the counterpoint that you play the team in front of you, not the team that did not make it.

Not Kobe's fault that LeBron can't get there. And, I think, if Kobe and the Lakers can take either the Celtics or the Magic, it will be seen as a historic achievement.

Jordan won 6, in some ways against mentally weak competition, but he beat whoever was put in front of him. I don't think it is held against him by most observers (although I still think the first championship sucked).

what's all this kobe v. lebron talk? I can't wait for Kobe v. Matt Barnes...now that's the real story!!!

Edwin,

I hope the Celtics stay way too cocky. I don't know if they will beat the Magic, but if they do I want them to be the favorites. I want the Lakers to get to the Finals as the underdog -- "soft, old, injured" -- served up to the Celtics as dessert after taking out the King and Superman.

Then, I want Kobe to cut their throats, four straight, no mercy, crush them in Boston.

See how the leprechauns react, they win against a false King and they kept on jumping up and down. This is the last hurrah of a geriatric team, all they have are memories of the good old days of Russell and Cousy. Between Dwight and Perkins/Davis combined, it is beyond comparison.

Last night when Lebron was on the free throw line, leprechauns were cheering on the sideline NY Knicks, NY Knicks, NY Knicks. Naturally, Lebron made those two shots because he was thinking "hey, that's good money". However, that kind of chant can only be imagined by leprechaun blue collar with the imprimatur of A-Red's thinking. They all think the same whether the late A-Red, Danny Ainge and 131 -92 - the a-holes of all seasons. Posted by: Edwin Gueco | May 14, 2010 at 09:40 AM
That was excelllent sir! Excellent I say!

MY CONCERN WITH KOBE:

I am always fearful of Kobe going off on tangent and getting into Mano-o-mano.
In my opinion this has always been Kobe’s Achilles heel. Because of this tendency it could put the title run in jeopardy.

As Doc Rivers said after game 5 win, “we don't want hero in our team and we won the game as a team.

MY CONCERN WITH KOBE: I am always fearful of Kobe going off on tangent and getting into Mano-o-mano. In my opinion this has always been Kobe’s Achilles heel. Because of this tendency it could put the title run in jeopardy. As Doc Rivers said after game 5 win, “we don't want hero in our team and we won the game as a team. Posted by: lakerfan | May 14, 2010 at 09:51 AM
*
FRAK! YOUR CONNCERN WITH KOBE!

MM,

"I think he makes it painstakingly clear that Kobe so far has a better legacy. "

Dang, I find that so funny. Kobe has a legacy, LBJ to date doesn't have one or at most one to worthy of consideration. Put on paper for people to read 20 years from now what has he done that is exceptional?

Since the whole Lebron thing is still simmering, I'll tell you what I believe.

I was going to say he was the Dominique Wilkins to Michael Jordan regarding his relationship to Kobe. But that's not as congruent a comparison because both the Human Highlight Film and his Airness were about the same age.

But I thought about another reason why he's not really like Dominique, let alone Mike or Magic. Dominique went bat crazy against Larry and the Celtics. That's an indelible image in my mind. The kid, back then, fought for his basketball life against the the Eastern Conference's ruling elite at the time.

While I don't knock Lebron for his journey, I think all of this building up of the his legend, by his sponsor, but the media, and by everyone who has bought in, has certainly created its own momentum. I don't know what's going to happen in for him next year or the next couple. I think he can be a great player regardless of championships. But there's no way I'm basing my enjoyment of basketball on whether these 2, Kobe and Lebron, face off. We aren't missing anything if his team can't show up.

May the best team win.

Michael beat Magic past Magic's prime and I don't think it mattered at all to Michael. Nor will it matter to Lebron if (when?) he posterizes Kobe later in his career.

I believe Kobe would rather beat the Celtics in the finals than Lebron at this stage. The Laker greats are the ones that get past the Celtic beast in the finals.

I would say instead that the following players have a mission namely: Kobe, Odom, Walton, Vujacic, Farmar, Bynum. There is a score to be settled in two b2b playoff frustrations against the Suns. The word "scrub" should be taken out from the back of some players who frustrated Laker fans in the past. We are the Lakers, a quality team with the winning tradition and no room for scrubs. This is what Kobe said after being eliminated in 2007 playoffs at the podium (I quote on LAT news today)

"Do something and do it now. Three years at ground zero." From 2007 to this year I considered this as the renaissance of the Lakers. Mitch was awakened, PJ started working and everyone are on cue except for some who still remain scrub, lackadaisical and going with the flow. They too have to wake and lead this team, don't just depend on Kobe & Pau.

i really believe LBJ lost it when in game 4 RR had that historical performance. and he could not match it. and all the pressure of the press was for him to guard RR. in his eyes a scrub to have such a game. and last night he tried to match it. and he did not. and 9 TO's??????????????? not CLUTCH. just KLUTZ.

May the best team win.Posted by: #4 | May 14, 2010 at 09:55 AM
Great post #4.

Thought number 1: LeBron is brilliant.

By not committing to staying in Cleveland or going to New York or going to Miami or whatever, he's created a monster of preponderance. Almost EVERY team right now (and many of their fans) have some little conception in their head of how their team could acquire LeBron.

I admit it, I'm guilty too. And I think the Lakers have as good a shot of getting him as the Clippers do, though not as good as Chicago, New York, New Jersey, or Miami.

If the Lakers could keep Kobe and Pau and get LeBron in a sign and trade, HOLY CRAP!!!! They would be UNSTOPPABLE!!!. Frankly, I'd start LeBron AT POINT GUARD!!! OHHHH YEAAHHHHH BAAAYBEEEEE!!!

(sorry. I'm much better now)

Seriously though. Just going through my head, here are a list of teams with at least some small chance of getting LeBron:

Part 1: Teams with lots of cap space in big cities -
Knicks, Nets, Bulls, and Clippers

Of those, the Knicks have a coach who's popular with players but the weakest roster of the four, but they also have the money to sign a second huge star

The Clippers, Nets, and Bulls all have some good young talent on the rosters - I'd say the Bulls have the best young player (Derrick Rose), while the Clippers have the most depth of young players (Kaman, Blake Griffin, Eric Gordon, DeAndre Jordan).

Part II: Teams with lots of cap space, but not in the big markets:

Miami, Minnesota, Oklahoma City, Memphis (if they could get someone to take Jaric off their hands), Sacramento, Washington

If LeBron didn't mind a second or third tier market, any of these teams could afford to pay him.

Miami could offer DWade as Robin and Pat Riley as a coach (and maybe even enough cap space to lure a third of the big name players this summer). Oklahoma City. If LeBron joined Minne, I'm sure they could lure Rubio to join them. The other teams have at least SOME promising young talent. But these are all small markets, just like Cleveland.

Part III: Teams that have something else going for them:

Lakers, Celtics, Orlando, San Antonio, Dallas.

The Lakers, Celtics, and San Antonio have something that New York, New Jersey, the Clippers, and most of those other teams don't have: lots of rings. A HISTORY of winning rings. If LeBron wants championships, then these three teams are his best bet. All three are already pretty loaded up, but any of the three would probably gladly work up a sign and trade to get LeBron.

Seriously, 8 of the last 11 NBA titles were won by the Spurs or the Lakers. What does that tell you about the coaches and the organizations? I'm throwing Boston, Orlando, and Dallas in there because they've been close lately (or 1 title on Boston's part). With Riles coaching, you could probably throw Miami into this category as well.

So there you have it... of the 30 teams in the NBA, 14 have at least some reason to believe that LeBron could be on their team next season.

I know he has a lot of haters, especially here in Kobe-land, but personally I think Kobe and LeBron could make a great team. Let LeBron run the point and get Pau and Kobe and himself all their shots, then in crunch time (if there ever IS a crunch time with that lineup) hand the ball over to the Mamba.

I already think the Lakers have what it takes to compete for a title the next 3 to 4 years (assuming good health for the primary players). Adding LeBron would just increase the ratio of how much better the Lakers would be than other teams.

They all think the same whether the late A-Red, Danny Ainge and 131 -92 - the a-holes of all seasons. Posted by: Edwin Gueco | May 14, 2010 at 09:40 AM

Eddie-

To be included in the same sentence as A-Red and Danny Ainge is an honor ... Thank You!

Now stop following the Celtics and go spend more time figuring out what college Derek Fisher went to and who Phoenix beat in the first round. Maybe your posts will actually be accurate for a change.


rivers is totally jealous that RR ignores him. rivers was a stiff. and now, he preaches TEAM ball. before it was HERO ball because at least one of the old farts had a very good game. or maybe 2. the kid is leading the grandpas.Posted by: ouchhhhhhhh | May 14, 2010 at 09:54 AM
LMAO!!! ALL TRUE!!

Thought #2: This isn't an original thing that LeBron is doing.

You might recall that a certain Kobe Bean Bryant went all free-agent in 2004. He flirted with other teams, had meetings with Chicago and New York and even seriously listened to an offer with the Clippers. And then he signed with the best possible team - the Lakers.

The timing of Roland Lazenby's article, with Lebron's yet again coming short in the playoff...is he prognosticating a parallel between Elgin and Lebron's career?

http://lakernoise.com/2010/05/the-all-time-playoff-mvp-elgin-baylor/


FEARless,

>>>LTLF, your last smack on that dude in the other thread was just brutal

I'm assuming you're referring to where I smacked down the blogger who was pining for Oklahoma City or Portland's role players.

I'll re-state here, I'll gladly take championships and Farmar and Brown and Walton and Sasha as my role players and he can keep Ibaka and Fernandez and first round exits.

Thought #2: This isn't an original thing that LeBron is doing.

You might recall that a certain Kobe Bean Bryant went all free-agent in 2004. He flirted with other teams, had meetings with Chicago and New York and even seriously listened to an offer with the Clippers. And then he signed with the best possible team - the Lakers. Posted by: LongTimeLakerFan | May 14, 2010 at 10:01 AM
*
NO YOU DONT!

ouchhhhhhh,

As much as I hate to admit it, I would love to see Rondo playing with the Lakers. He scares me more than anyone else on that team.

Although, and I said this about Westbrook, I'm not sure Rondo would be this Rondo under Phil Jackson.

Part of the reason I feel bad for LeBron is becasue I live within reach of Ohio, and I can see how important he is to this whole region. His leaving is gonna break a lot of little hearts. I can't imagine Magic leaving the Lakers in the early 80s, or those Dodger teams of my youth with out Steve Garvey and Ron Cey.


But, it's a tough world. What's that Pat Benetar song?


Wes

Teamn,

"I hope the Celtics stay way too cocky"

~~Is there anything new? They always pride themselves as Patriots, the first Americans, the first Protesters and the Sun rises in the East and sets in the West. As such they are always ahead in forward thinking. They treat all NBA franchise as their juniors just because they led series of Championship in the 60's. The only time Lakers got respect when they were beaten by Magic, Kareem at their own rat infested Garden with uneven parquet floors. The Celtic management were aware of this but they continue to play in that state as their edge against teams who don't know the handicaps. That's the leprechaun thinking "always find a way to cheat or play dirty."

Remember when Kobe scored 81?

It was the middle of the football playoffs (I think it was conference finals), but the lead story on EVERY sports program wasn't who won the playoffs in football, it was about a regular season game in the NBA.

And remember when someone on the Lakers staff (unrevealed, but probably Jim Buss) dissed Kobe in the press and Kobe said he wanted to leave the Lakers?

It was during the NBA playoffs, but the lead story was Kobe again, not who was winning in the playoffs.

LeBron is following in Kobe's footsteps there - the WWLBP question (Where Will LeBron Play?) will be the lead story for awhile.

Well, it looks like Paul Pierce's head has swolen down a bit since he went all stoopid after winning a title. When asked how big a deal it was for the C's to beat the best regular season team inthe playoffs when nobody was picking them to win, he actually said something sensible:

"I'm really not that proud," Pierce said. "Our goal is to win a championship. We didn't say we wanted to come in and beat the Cleveland Cavaliers in the playoffs. Our goal is to win a championship. We can be excited for one night, but we only get excited here when we put a banner up."

If this Laker-Celtic rivalry goes on for a few more seasons, I may actually come to respect Pierce some day. Hate his guts like I hate McHale and Bird, but I already respect those guys, and someday I may respect Paul as well... even if he is a terrible actor.

GREATEST COMMENT ON ESPN!!!

"the moral to this year's Playoffs...don't trade for anyone on the Wizards!"

HOW POWERFUL IS AN EGO?

In Kobe's case powerful enough to risk two NBA titles that he coulda would shoulda had, remember? While Kobe is great his ego is even greater than him.

Kobe use the arsenal of weapons that are at your disposal (Pau, Bynum, Odum, Artest and the rest) and be a zreo and not a hero. Let yuor team mates do the heavy lifting, be a General and not a soldier. Lastly, in closing I say to Kobe: IN ZEN "ZERO" IS THE MOST POWERFUL ALLY A MORTAL CAN POSSES, so don't be HERO..

"Now it's time to stop comparing LeBron to Kobe. Kobe is a champion. LeBron is not. End of comparison.


Posted by: Rob in L.A. | May 14, 2010 at 09:09 AM"

AS LARRY WOULD HAVE STATED, OUTFREAKINGSTANDING SIR!!!!!!!! NO COMPARISON/ NADA/ NIL/ ZEROOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

MAMBA24:

Let me kindly remind you in not too recent past you were in self exile for reason you know and i know so be be careful my OUT FREAKIN OUTSTANDING friend........stay humble

And so, in the end, I've decided that Kobe does need leBron. Did Ali need Forman in Africa after his legendary career? Maybe. Great actors make great theaters, not vice versa.


Wes

LEBRON IS JUST A GUY BEING GIVEN THE KEYS TO A CAR HE DOESN'T KNOW HOW TO DRIVE YET.

KOBE'S STILL IN THE DRIVER'S SEAT UNTIL HE FINALLY CHOOSES TO LET THE PASSENGER DRIVE. IN THE MEANTIME LEBRON, STAY IN YOUR LANE.

Posted by: EastCoastJessie | May 14, 2010 at 08:14 AM

SUPERB!!!!!! NUFF SAID!

Medina,

Am I missing a page here? or are you allowing more than 50 post on a page?

Lastly, LET ME REMIND EVERYONE TO PUT OUT THOSE CAR LAKER FLAGS IN THE OPEN.
We are the Champions again......ho, ho, ho!
Posted by: Edwin Gueco | May 14, 2010 at 09:24 AM
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!
EDWIN IS ON FIRRRRRRRRRRE!!!!!
THE BLOGS ON FIRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRE!!!!
PRINCESS JIMMY'S TIME HAS EXPIRRRRRRRRED~!!!!

"Lebron has no Freakin Legacy!

Posted by: MAMBA24 | May 14, 2010 at 09:17 AM "


OUTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

FREAKINNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

STANDINGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Once and for good:

The "King" was dethroned!

There's only one king:
KING MAMBA!!!!

Superman will cry again in the locker room.

Cheers

The Basketball Gods Have Spoken.

The top six players in the history of the NBA were all Players of the Decade:
1. Miken- 1950's
2. Wilt- 1960's
3. Kareem-1970's
4. Magic- 1980's
5. Jordan-1990's
6. Kobe- 2000's.

The point being, until further notice (next 7-8 years) Lebron should never be mentioned in the same context. For fans, journalist, historians and past players to continue to include him with the "Untouchables", they are either blind, deaf, dumb or all of the above.

Lebron fans, cleveland fans, and cav fans need to stay in the moment and keep their heads out of the clouds and keep their feet firmly on the ground. There is a group of 6- 7 players who are on their way to join those legends and claim the stake of Player of the 2010's:

1. Lebron
2. Wade
3. Melo
4. Chris Paul
5. Deron
6. D. Howard.

And if I were a betting man, I'd put my money on Wade. He's a "proven" commodity and has that fire which separates the greats from the "goods". That being said, don't count the Mamba out. He, like Mike and Magic, will try to keep everyone off the apex until his wheels come off.

My two cents
In order for LBJ to be the next "ONE" he needs to:

1. Sacrifice. It cost to be the boss: Blood, Sweat, Tears & Toil. Put all the "off the court" activities and "global aspirations" on the shelf and dedicate every waking moment to becoming a leader that can will his team to victory.
2. Adjust his attitude and approach every game like it's his last.
3. Respect the Game. Leave the dancing, prancing and show boating to the cheerleaders and half-time performers.
4. Resign with the Cavs. Make it your life’s work to bring a NBA championship to the city of Cleveland. No matter where you go your "legacy" will always be hitched to the cavs. Download "Tebow's Pledge" and listen to it until you have it memorized and recite it to the fans next season on opening night.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sGv2Zw-WQw


Being a TRUE FAN is not always a walk in the park. Deniro couldn't have encapsulated what it means to be a FAN any better:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-wYbpVL8OzY


Ouchhh,

Yes, nice to chide at Lebron but why not cheer for the Celts not interfere with future contracts. Win or Loss do you really think LBJ will stick with Cleveland. He used this City as his stepping stone to big money.

You said: "rivers was a stiff. and now, he preaches TEAM ball."
Frankly, I think Doc Rivers is the ugliest coach out there. He was a dirty player during his prime similar to Celtic GM Ainge. During the interview, Doc praised Lebron to the hilt that he was a monster and in a subconscious way it was a laudable praise of his team, we just slew that monster. On the next series against Van Gundy, their coaching style are almost about the same - high blood thru yelling intermittently.

The real blogger on fire is Mamba24. All of us here are only secondary.

@HEH8MEN1, OUT FREAKIN STANDING!! Thank you!

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED PEOPLE.

Congrats to everyone who called the crab a farce. U have just been validated and authenticated. The party is now over.. The lebron empire has been blown to smithereens.. Stern is now picking up the rubble and must work on reconstructing his image from ground zero

But I will admit in the middle of my own celebration party as I saw the crab graciously congratulate the celts for their much deserved victory I suddenly felt a tinge of pity and despair for the crab in my heart...I immediately slapped myself across the face ten times in a heap of panic and screamed to myself NOOOOOOOO.. This isn't possible! WTF DON'T BE WEAK!!

It was thoroughly entertaining to watch but also really sad... The crab clearly could not live up to all the hype bestowed upon him.. Time after time I saw him deferring to his teammates going out of his way to pass the ball.. He buckled under pressure again and YOU COULD SEE IT IN HIS EYES.. It told the whole story... He had the look of a dazed and worried fighter.. As a result he completely lost confidence and his JUMPER disappeared again (did I not predict that as well??) Most of his points in the game came from gift FT or as a recipient of fastbreak layups... And 9 TURNOVERS WOW.. that's a sign of a man afraid to make decisions under pressure... U can defend him with that triple double all you want lebroniacs but that is pathetic u'd even go there..

The crabs teammates were again waiting for the crab to exert his will at some point toward the end but as soon as he checked out the whole team went into complete disarray which led to that complete breakdown of team defense at the end

YOU CAN'T TEACH KILLER INSTINCTS.. THAT IS WHAT SEPARATES KOBE FROM THE REST... YOU EITHER GOT IT OR U DON'T.. LEBRON IS A GREAT PHYSICAL SPECIMEN WITH THE MIND OF A ROLE PLAYER... SORRY STERN U PIMPIN THE WRONG DUDE..

Sorry bout the caps.. Just my way of putting an exclamation to my POINT

Peace out

Once and for good: The "King" was dethroned! There's only one king: KING MAMBA!!!! Superman will cry again in the locker room. Cheers Posted by: Magic Phil | May 14, 2010 at 10:27 AM

PREACH MAGIC PHIL, PREACH!!!!

Rick Friedman,

>>>I didn’t hate the man. I hated the Myth. I hated the absurd storyline that had
>>>been relentlessly jammed down my throat. Now, in James’ glorious moment
>>>of humiliation, his humanity was restored.

EXACTLY! Extremely well put.

There's a documentary about LeBron's high school team that humanizes him a bit and watching that made me a bit more sympathetic to him. But I agree, I've totally hated the hype. Remember, when Kobe came into the league he was dubbed "the next Jordan", and I hated that hype as well.

Underneath all the hype there's a very very good basketball player who's learned something about humility and hopefully he'll comport himself a little better in the future. Less riverdancing, more practicing free throws. Less self-promotion, more team-promotion.

BTW, I don't have anything important to say here, but I just couldn't help say...

RIVERDANCE!!!!

I guarantee 100% LeBron James is going to the Chicago Bulls.
I also guarantee DWade is going to the Chicago Bulls
That will be our next opponent in the 2011 Finals.
*
Center: Noah, ForwardS: Lebron, Dang Guards : DROSE, DWADE HEINREICH

The real blogger on fire is Mamba24. All of us here are only secondary. Posted by: Edwin Gueco | May 14, 2010 at 10:33 AM
Awwww Edwin, Thanks

BTW, I don't have anything important to say here, but I just couldn't help say...RIVERDANCE!!!! osted by: LongTimeLakerFan | May 14, 2010 at 10:37 AM

HAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHHAHAHHAHAHHAHHAHAHHAHA!!!
DOWN GOES PRINCESS JIMMY!, DOWN GOES PRINCESS JIMMY!
OH THE HUMANITY!!!!

heh8men1,

You said the best player in the 60 is Wilt.

I respectfully disagree with you. Bill Russell is one the best Centers of NBA. Let's be honest about it, he was the face of NBA in the 60's. Before many of you here in the blog were born, Bill Russell leads the NBA in all categories, block shots, rebounds and the King of the Post. Lakers were frustrated in several Championship because of Bill R. Mind you, it was also the decade of civil strife where blacks played secondary fiddle in NBA. I would give due credits to the Celtics for giving Russell the chance to shine. For more information, we should ask the other bloggers who witnessed Russell in the sixties.

In the 70's, I don't think it was Kareem because he has only 1 championship.

YOU CAN'T TEACH KILLER INSTINCTS.. THAT IS WHAT SEPARATES KOBE FROM THE REST... YOU EITHER GOT IT OR U DON'T.. LEBRON IS A GREAT PHYSICAL SPECIMEN WITH THE MIND OF A ROLE PLAYER... SORRY STERN U PIMPIN THE WRONG DUDE..
Posted by: yellofever | May 14, 2010 at 10:35 AM
*
OUTT
FREAKINNNNNNNN
STANDINGGGGGGGGGGGG!!!!!!!!!!


Guys,

A new post is up. I also just changed the settings to allow 100 comments on one page. Figured it'd be easier than having to click multiple pages

MM

Wes
There you go again, taking time to think and consider before posting.
Notice all the silence it evokes.
Picture a loud sports bar. There's a guy off to the side reading something extraordinary --say, Rilke's "The Panther" in a normal speaking voice...

There's a documentary about LeBron's high school team that humanizes him a bit and watching that made me a bit more sympathetic to him. But I agree, I've totally hated the hype. Remember, when Kobe came into the league he was dubbed "the next Jordan", and I hated that hype as well.

Underneath all the hype there's a very very good basketball player who's learned something about humility and hopefully he'll comport himself a little better in the future. Less riverdancing, more practicing free throws. Less self-promotion, more team-promotion. Posted by: LongTimeLakerFan | May 14, 2010 at 10:37 AM
*
Beautiful Brother!!!

"The truth is Kobe needs LeBron and LeBron needs Kobe."

Kobe a 4 time champion, needs nothing from LeGone. LeGone couldn't even get to the East Conference Championships. Kobe has won MVP. He has won finals MVP. He has been 1st Team many times. He has won the scoring Title. He had to bail out LeGone and Wade in the Olympics so America could have a Gold again. Kobe does not need LeGone, a Mailman remake in any sense of the matter.

LeGone? What does he need? Listen to him... He is the man... he is the best... he can do it all... except win a championship. Time for him to stop believing all the David Stern and NBA hype. As Kobe said, he too could score 40-50 a night if he wanted to do so. Kobe instead prefers to play in Championships.

What do we play for??? Rings!

A new post is up. I also just changed the settings to allow 100 comments on one page. Figured it'd be easier than having to click multiple pages Posted by: Mark Medina | May 14, 2010 at 10:56 AM

THANK YOU BLOG GOD!

Mamba24,

I was also thinking that LeGone might be going to the Bulls. Knicks won't be a good place to play for him, It's ground zero there.

Although, I don't hink DWade will join him. Wade has an ego as big as Lebroom's, both guys wants to be a leader. IMO, they aren't ready yet to share the limelight with a contemporary.

LongTimeLakerFan:

You wrote: "Remember when Kobe scored 81?"

RESPONSE: yeah a meaningless game. Where is that team today? Tthat kind of heroics is not going to bode well for the Lakers if they plan to win the title.. nevha, nevha nevha

Boozer might join LeGone in Chicago.

DO I HEAR AN ECHO IN THIS BLOG ON CONSISTENT BASIS?

hahahaha

Edwin Gueco,

>>>You said the best player in the 60 is Wilt.
>>>I respectfully disagree with you. Bill Russell is one the best Centers of NBA

You beat me to it. Wilt was a great player, but Russell was an 11 time champion. VERRY hard to top that.

The only reason Jordan is even in a DISCUSSION as being the best player ever over Russell is because the league was weaker in the 60's, so Russell didn't have to fight through as much to win those titles.

A fan WROTE:

You beat me to it. Wilt was a great player, but Russell was an 11 time champion. VERRY hard to top that.


RESPONSE:

yeah, yeah, yeah, NBA League back then did not have any team parity that we see today.. There was no competition to Celtics of the past.. So the 11 titles are not really true titles....

Art - FL Lakers and MM,

Excuse me for chiming in, but you guys seem to be completely missing Ouch's point, which is this thread topic is an absolute waste of space and a waste of thought.
Just imagine if this thread topic was one of the following:

- "Michael Jordan and Dominique Wilkins need each other to validate their accomplishments"
- "Kareem and Ralph Sampson need each other to validate their accomplishments"
- "Magic and Bernard King need each other to validate their accomplishments"
- "Kobe and Lebron need each other to validate their accomplishments"

Nobody in their right mind would dare to make such silly statements about the validity of Jordan, Magic or Kareem's "accomplishments" unless the writer has a hatred for these all-time greats, or at the very least, was completely ignorant to basketball history. These comparisons would be highly offensive if they weren't so idiotic. In fact, my IQ just went down 10 points just discussing this silly topic.

Nice thing is that if PHX faces BOS, PHX will have home court against a team they owned this season.

Kobe Bryant does not need to face Lebron in the NBA Finals to validate his legacy. Kobe has done it for 14 seasons, year in and year out won for rings in 6 trips and nearly every conceivable award. He doesn't need to face the "next big thing" who hasn't actually won a thing to validate his accomplishments. That's just a ridiculous proposition. Now, Kobe did have to face down Tim Duncan, and maybe Shaq, to validate his legacy, but in my eyes, Lebron isn't worthy because he's never won and hasn't shown the mental fortitude to win it all. Duncan - yes, but Kobe's faced him and won. Shaq - yes, and although they have an equal # of rings, I think history will show that those rings were at a minimum equal accomplishments, if not more due to Kobe because of his end-of-game awesomenes. Shaq's 4th ring came as a clear 2nd fiddle to Wade, whereas Kobe, on the other hand, was undeniably "the man" for his fourth ring. So I don't think he has to prove anything to anyone, although a 5th ring (and hopefully more in the future) would certainly cement his legacy and put him in contention to be the GOAT. If he ends up with 5 or 6 rings, 3rd or better all-time in scoring and minutes, he'll defintely be in that discussion. He probably is right now anyway. But for Arash and Mark to say he needed to face Lebron - I don't buy it. Lebron just isn't in the same category of accomplishments or greatness.

@RICK FRIEDMAN

Excellent post!!! Right on...

LTLF,

Good to see you on the LBJ Riverdancing All the Way to LA bandwagon. You've come a long way since I first proposed the idea years ago.

BUT! We might still see a KOBE vs LEBRON for East vs West AllStar Game...dunno how useful that woudl be...but it's a chance. I so want to see Kobe prove Lebron who the better player is.

Honestly, I couldn't care less about a Kobe/Lebron matchup, or the lack thereof... seriously, who cares about all that? Any self respecting Lakers fan knows that it's all about the team when it comes to winning championships, and that all other Lakers championship teams were characterized by more than just one great player. Lebron is finding out about all that the hard way.

"The only reason Jordan is even in a DISCUSSION as being the best player ever over Russell is because the league was weaker in the 60's, so Russell didn't have to fight through as much to win those titles."

Weaker?? So that makes Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West, Elgin Baylor, Gail Goodrich, Nate Thurmond, Billy Cunningham, Nate Thurmond, Hal Greer, Chet Walker, Luke Jackson, and Oscar Robertson as sucky players? It don't matter if there was fewer teams at those teams it meant they had to play the good teams more. That's like us playing the Magic 4-6 times instead of only twice.

The league wasn't weaker then more so than the 70's. And remember Russell not only beat Wilt's 76ers team after coming from a 3-1 deficit AND beating the 69 Lakers in the Forums twice in Game 6 and 7 where Wilt basically gave up in Game 7.

Russell probably deserves to be the GOAT because he did everything right except score efficiently and come on not everyone can do everything in the NBA. Even Hakeem had his things he couldn't do.

You know...I was all ready to bash LeBron, but I'm not going to do that. I'll simply say this - when basketball becomes his primary focus, he MIGHT start winning rings.

The difference between Kobe and LeBron right now is that LeBron seems to believe the media hype about him being the greatest, while Kobe is obsessed with attaining that status.

There is nothing in me that believes that Kobe wouldn't cut an opponents throat and leave his carcass behind, to win a ring. You don't get that feeling with LeBron. I'm not even saying that winning is not important to him, but you don't see that KILLER INSTINCT, that "I'd rather DIE than not win", that "I'd knock my mama down if she tried to get in-between me and the ring" mentality.

Magic had that.
Larry had that.
Michael had that.
DWade has that.
And Kobe has it beyond measure.

That's why they win rings. That's why you can accept when Kobe and DWade say: "Get me somebody in here who can help...because I'm goin' balls to the wall to win a F'n ring"!!!

I'm not even gonna say LeBron isn't capable of winning a championship at some point. But what do you think Kobe or DWade would do if they saw their teammates dancing and prancing during a game...would they dance with them or be ready to get into their a**es?!

Take notes LeBron... the court jester might be the loudest member of the kingdom, but he never wears the crown!!

LeBron WHO? Sorry, but two years in a row the much-hyped, LeBron-led Cavs have gone into the playoffs with the best record in the league, only to be eliminated before the NBA finals. He's not worthy of having his name mentioned in the same sentence as Kobe Bryant, a four time (hopefully, about to be FIVE time) NBA champion.

i don't really care about lebron. i' all about kobe ang my lakers.

---
As I put down the dessert spoon, the epiphany set in that I didn’t hate the man. I hated the Myth. I hated the absurd storyline that had been relentlessly jammed down my throat. Now, in James’ glorious moment of humiliation, his humanity was restored. So was my own.
---Rick Friedman

Thanks Rick for those noble words. As someone who revelled in James's defeat last night, I can only hope that my hostility was directed against the Myth and not the human being.

KOBE is KOBE...Kobe is super great...
he has nothing to prove...
but we just want him to bring our LAKERS another few more championship rings...

Doesn't matter if he will lose Lebron or whoever in the final this year...
he is still the great...
He get to NBA final 6 times, winning 4 championship...and still more coming...

But for Le Bron... Can he brings his team to Final (after once) ??? can he reach Eastern Conf final???
if he is good as he should...act like one...bring your team to that level...
Play-off is a real zone for the real man...
you must have a strong leadership, and ability to bring up to the winning and carrying the series over...

If Kobe not meet Le Bron in this year Final...and SO WHAT ???
Le Bron can't pass to that Final game by himself...he's just fail...nothing to Bryant...

what the letter after K...it's L

GK...Go Kobe...Great Kobe...
GL...Go Lakers...Great Lakers...

Fan from Bangkok...Thailand

I just had a thought, poor lebron he got Shaq on his team after Shaq had won championships with the lakers. Thats like buying stuff at thrift shops or at second hand stores. This sucks, but lebron is a good player. But the reality is that he hasn't made it to the finals! Im worried that the Celts do make it to the NBA 2010 finals, beat the lakers, which would mean that as angelino I won't feel the excitement of the lakers beating the celtics like they did during the 80's. This sucks because Im too young for that Celtics vs. Lakers era. GO LAKERS !!!!

Totally agree w/ Arash and MM here. The truth of the matter is: Kobe, brilliant as he is, is NO LONGER IN HIS PRIME. LeBron is there (or will be). What we truly clamor for to prove the Kobe vs. LeBron argument is both of them to play against each other in their primes. These last couple years were the closest we could get to it, but unfortunately, LeBron's not man enough to make it to the end.

Obviously the Lakers are a better team than Cleveland and Kobe is a beter leader than LeBron, a better all-around player. But the Kobe vs. LeBron question can never be truly settled until Kobe emerges victorious with a ring over LeBron, or until years and years from now when we all compare both their legacies and see who has more to offer (a la Kobe vs. MJ). Just as Michael clearly is the better player based on legacy and numbers alone (there's no way we can manifacture a one-on-one between the two in their primes so we must resort to cold hard facts), if LeBron and Kobe never do meet in the Finals, we can prove Kobe's awesomer-ness later on when the LeBron has sufficient years under his belt to prove himself. Although time is quickly running out and for some reason, LeBron's squandering away his chances to pass Kobe, let alone Michael...young fool.

If Kobe Bryant has anything left to prove, it is that he and his Lakers can beat the Suns so that they can take on the Lakers' real rivals, the guys in Green.

LBJ and his Cavs? Roadkill.


"Now it's time to stop comparing LeBron to Kobe. Kobe is a champion. LeBron is not. End of comparison.

And let's take the "King" nickname away from LeBron while we're at it."

Posted by: Rob in L.A. | May 14, 2010 at 09:09 AM

Just because King James did it again doesn't mean that we should take his title away. We just need to append "Cho" to it: "Choking"

1. Kobe does not need Lebron, Lebron needs Kobe
2. Kobe wins number 5 while Lebron still has a goose egg.
3. Lebron to LA would actually be scary for the league
Fisher,Kobe, Lebron, Artest,Pau. serious problems..2 headed monster like no other.

 
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