Ok, so I'm in an ESPN chat room with National Merit Winner David Thorpe, and he gets a question on why everyone is so high up on LeBrick James....well, you can see for yourself:
John from DC: David, Never-mind the clutch factor, but perhaps many of us think Kobe is the best player because there are no weaknesses in his game? In contrast, have you bothered to look at LeBron's numbers anywhere but at the rim? It's ugly. Did you ever consider that? Obviously not.
David Thorpe: John, get over your mancrush. Most of the free world acknowledges that LBJ is the best on planet earth.
Now, much like our current president-elect, Mr. Thorpe just doesn't answer the question. In fact, he follows it up with a completely blind, unsupported conclusion. Well, let me break it down for you like this:
Offense: Kobe is a better shooter and a better scorer. Kobe can drain a three or he can dunk on you.
LeBrick?? Well, he certainly can dunk on you...but that's pretty much about it. His shot is mediocre, at best, and his mid-range game is sorely lacking.
LeBrick hasn't really changed his stroke since high school—of course, you wouldn't either if Dicky V. was leading your coronation. His free-throw shooting is pathetic and his release is awful. He shoots no better than your average middle school point guard. If you don't believe me, you can youtube his loss in a game of horse to an "average joe."
Now, for all of Sportscenter's foaming at the mouth about LeBrick's passing, he's only averaging two assists more than Kobe. I remember the comparisons made between Magic and Michael, and about how unselfish Magic was compared to Michael—and Magic averaged almost six more assists than Michael.
Sorry, LeBrick folks.
Defense: To hear it from Nobel Prize winners like Thorpe, LeBrick is the best defensive player since Bill Russell. There isn't a Cavs' highlight without a LeBrick block-from-behind.
But lo-and-behold, LeBrick's name doesn't appear on the All-Defensive team..not once. That might change this year—but since dopes like Thorpe don't get to vote (it's voted by the coaches, people who actually know the game), LeBrick has a better chance at winning the MVP.
Well, a Cavs' fan might ask, LeBrick is a better rebounder than Kobe? Actually, not really. You see, Dennis Rodman was a better rebounder than Dominique Wilkins (they were both forwards), but LeBrick (a forward) only averages about 1.5 more rebounds than Kobe (a guard).
LeBrick is in a better position to pull down the rebound...yet does it barely more than Kobe, who's out on the wing.
Advantage: LeBri...just kidding, KOBE
Intangibles: Killer Instinct: Kobe; Competitiveness: Kobe. Coachability: LeBrick...although Kobe has come a long way.
Look, unlike some people, I'm going to admit my open bias towards Kobe. Simply put, he's the best player in the game and has been for about eight years.
Does he gamble on defense at times? Sure. Does he take reckless and careless shots? absolutely.
But remember one thing—with the game winding down and your team down by two points, who are you going to choose to take that last second shot—LeBrick or Jelly Bean?
....that's what I thought.