For the past several seasons, I was on the Kobe Bryant train. I said no one can touch Bryant right now. His championships and playmaking ability set him apart.
But I've moved over to the dark side. Move over, Kobe, and make way for King James.
Before you criticize me for supporting one of the most hated athletes in all of sports, let's look at the stats.
James: 29.0 PPG, 8.5 RPG, 7.5 APG, 1.7 SPG, 57.0 FG%
Bryant: 30.3 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 5.7 APG, 1.0 SPG, 45.9 FG%
Although Bryant has more points per game than James, James is in the middle of his prime. At 27, James should start playing his best basketball and with this kind of production, he'll be unstoppable.
In his eight-year career, James already has 201 double-doubles, while Bryant has 151 in his 15-year career. In triple-doubles, James also holds the advantage 32-17. What makes James so dynamic is that he's not just a scorer, but he's also an outstanding rebounder, defender and passer. With Bryant, he is undoubtedly one of the best scorers in the game, but James gives you the full package.
It's that kind of impact on the court that leads me to believe James will have the better season. All signs are pointing up for him right now. He continues to improve his long-range shooting, which helps him to be a playmaker at any spot on the court.
The talent around James in Miami is unbelievable. Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, along with James, make the Heat the most versatile team in the league. They can beat you with three different guys, and not to mention that Miami also has players like Udonis Haslem, Shane Battier, Mario Chalmers and Mike Miller to round out the team. You can sense that this Heat team will accomplish something special after a disappointing defeat in last year's NBA Finals. With the nation not as focused on the Heat this season, a player like James can focus without the immense pressure and criticism that he faced last season.
The situation in Los Angeles does not look as bright, however. The Lakers, including Bryant, are a team full of aging stars that seem to not play with the same energy as before. And with teams like the Los Angeles Clippers making moves and becoming the talk of the league, the Lakers have seemingly faded into the background, while the Oklahoma City Thunder take the spotlight.
Combine that with the talent around him and you got a recipe for success for LeBron James this season, who is my pick to win the MVP.