Recently, David Arreola wrote an article entitled: LeBron James is Overrated.
Immediately, I was stunned. Who in their right mind would actually call the NBA's best player overrated? I say he is the best player because, technically, he is or else he would not have won the NBA MVP Award.
And he didn't just win it. He demolished his competition by receiving 109 of the possible 121 first place votes and finished with a grand total of 1,172 points while the second place winner, Kobe Bryant, received only two first place votes and 698 points.
He even was voted second in the Defensive Player of the Year Award ballot. Of course, Dwight Howard won by a landslide with 105 first place votes compared to LeBron's four, but King James also received 36 second place votes and 20 third place votes.
He led the Cavaliers with 137 steals and had a career high of 93 blocks. Overrated? If he is overrated then I'd like to see who isn't.
When LeBron James came into the NBA, he was the top overall pick of the draft in 2003. It is now 2009 and the Cavaliers are in the Eastern Conference Finals and two years ago, they were in the title game.
So, he helped a team that was the absolute worst go to the finals in four years. That, to me, is incredible because of how fast he matured and adapted to the NBA.
One of Arreola's arguments was LeBron's size helps him too much: "...his basketball skills only derive from his unnatural size. Like Dwight Howard, he has one of the most athletic frames I have ever seen, therefore it is very easy for him to take advantage of it and score."
I'm sorry. But where does it say that these guys have to be equal in order to play? Pau Gasol of the Lakers is seven feet tall so does that make him an overrated player because he can use his height as an advantage to play the game well?
The reason that LeBron is as successful as he is isn't because he has such a gifted body, but because of what he does with it. I've seen guys of many sports, not just basketball, but football, swimming, and baseball, who are blessed with wonderful talent, yet they do not use it right. They are lazy, lack discipline, or their heart isn't in the game.
James uses hard work to control that body and to do abnormal things with it. I do not believe for a minute that he didn't work hard to achieve that physical peak he has. Countless hours of training and practice to go along with a will to be the best have made him the most dangerous player in the Eastern Conference.
Arreola also said: "But James will never be better than Michael Jordan, or Magic Johnson, or Kobe Bryant—simply because his body gives him an advantage none of those players ever had."
Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan may not have the size advantage, but to bring up Magic Johnson is just ridiculous.
Magic Johnson was the tallest point guard in league history when he came into the NBA.
He was 6-9, which excuse me, is an inch taller than LeBron James. To say LeBron has an advantage and Magic did not is not only wrong but insulting to NBA history. Magic Johnson reinvented the point guard position with his size and his passing ability.
A player's body size cannot, should not, and will not be held against a player's achievements. You use these things to show how great they are. These guys are huge yet they are fast.
Does anyone know how much they must work out to make sure they are not slower than everyone else while still keep this Goliath-like physique?
Furthermore, when I commented on Arreola's article, he responded with: "I also watched Game 3 when James hit one jumpshot. Does the greatest basketball player ever play that badly?"
First, despite one jumpshot, he still scored 41 points. I don't think that is playing badly, do you?
Also, I'm not saying he's the best ever. Until he wins six more MVPs to break Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's record then he is not the best. But does being the best mean you are perfect?
Name one perfect person on this planet? You can't.
Every player, throughout their career, has had an awful game. It is a fact of life. In the playoffs, Magic Johnson once shot 2-for-13 on his field goals and in the last second, he threw an air ball to lose the game 89-86. Lakers were knocked out of playoffs after that loss.
Jordan didn't have a fantastic year with the Wizards in the 2002-03 season. He had a good year, but was far from what you would expect from him.
Abdul-Jabbar had a horrible game in the "Memorial Day Massacre" when the Celtics demolished the Lakers 148-114. He scored only 12 points and had only 3 rebounds in the blowout.
Granted, he was 38 years old, but the next game he scored 30 points and had 17 rebounds, 8 assists, and 3 blocked shots in a 109-102 win, so I am not going to let his age be an excuse for his bad game.
Kobe Bryant's rookie year was far from spectacular, averaging 11.3 points per game in the last 13 games. He didn't even win Rookie of the Year, so is he not one of the greatest?
Do I have to go on? Teams are going to mess up at times and struggle. The Cavaliers are a good team, but I honestly get this feeling that LeBron has never had the support other greats had.
Kobe had Shaq. Magic had Kareem. Even Jordan had Scottie Pippin. Who does LeBron have?
I think LeBron has carried the Cavaliers this season and this young man needs some help.
I even think the Nuggets are a better team with Chauncey Billups and Carmelo Anthony, as well as my current favorite player, Chris Andersen, firing up the crowd with his defensive play.
I may be wrong, but its just from what I have seen. If anyone wants to correct me, please, leave a comment. I'm actually enjoying watching basketball now, and it is good for me to think about something other than football.
For these reasons, I firmly believe David Arreola's article is ill-founded. Those who agree or disagree, please state your opinion in a comment. Just please don't use insults.