It's safe to say LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers will not make it to the NBA Finals.
There will be no LeBron vs. Kobe matchup that we all were anticipating. We will not find out which player is the best on the planet. At least not this year.
You would have thought Nike learned a lesson from Reebok back in 1992 when Reebok ran ads, ad nauseam, telling us that Dan and Dave were going to compete in the 1992 Olympic decathlon representing the United States, only to have Dan fall short and not qualify for the 1992 Olympics at all.
We've all seen the LeBron/Kobe puppets that have been playing during every commercial break. There's no mention of any other teammates or other teams for that matter.
What's a fan to do? Does this mean there will be no NBA Finals? Are we going to watch if LeBron and Kobe don't make it to the finals?
If you're not an NBA fan, what are you going to do? Don't you want to see LeBron throw chalk into the air before every game? And don't you want to see Kobe sneer at his teammates when they miss a shot or turn the ball over? Isn't this what we've been waiting for? Is this the end of the NBA season as we know it?
No one is more crushed than LeBron James right now. He really thought his team had a chance, and now he's dusting off his fishing pole and headed for the boat.
The Cavaliers are being exposed for what they are, a one-man team. We all know how great the greats were, but they all had a teammate or two who were more than just an average role player.
After LeBron there is no one else on the Cavaliers' roster who's more than an average player at best. If tomorrow the entire Cleveland roster were traded except for LeBron,no one would care. LeBron needs another player on his team who can score on his own and can play hard-nosed defense.
Forget the talk about Yao Ming joining James in Cleveland. Yao is not much different than Zydrunas Ilgauskas. Forget Mo Williams—he's not much different than any average guard in the NBA.
After that, there really are no other players worth talking about on the Cavaliers' roster. It just goes to show you that camaraderie and enthusiasm can only take you so far. A championship team has to have the talent to win games to go deep into the playoffs.
But I don't think the Lakers can do it. Even though we were promised that all the Lakers needed was a healthy Andrew Bynum to win a championship this year, has anyone seen Bynum?
Like Lamar Odom, Bynum has disappeared. Kobe is being played to a stalemate by Carmelo Anthony. Pau Gasol is being outmuscled by Nene, Kenyon Martin, and Chris "Birdman" Anderson. Kobe is relying on the likes of Trevor Ariza, Luke Walton, and name anyone else on the bench.
I am fully prepared for an Orlando-Denver final. Maybe Nike should start a new ad campaign that features Superman against Birdman. We all have short-term memories, so we'll forget all about "Kobe Doin' Work" and LeBron throwing chalk into the air.
We will all have to wait until next year to see Kobe battle LeBron to determine who is the best player on the planet.
Really, I don't care. Just give me a final that features more than one player from each team.