As the summer of 2010 approaches and the free agent rumors swirl around LeBron's future status in Cleveland, the "King" must look in the unlikeliest of places to see just where his career is headed if he stays in the city that made him a star.
While LeBron has won many individual titles and has been the driving force in all the Cavaliers' success since being drafted in 2003, he has yet to capture that elusive championship ring that turns stories to legends. Enter Allen Iverson.
Over the past 13 years, Allen Iverson has been called the "Answer," but in those 13 years he has yet to find one himself.
The man who stands a mere six feet has been breaking ankles, snapping necks, and making highlight reels since he made his appearance in 1996 with the Philadelphia 76ers.
At that time, the Sixers were in desperate need of a saving force after finishing the 1994-95 with a record of 18-64, eerily similar to the 2002 Cavs, who finished with a record of 17-65 the year before they drafted LeBron James.
Whether or not the Cavs tanked their 2002 season to land LeBron is irrelevant because they were an irrelevant team, as were the Sixers around the time of Iverson's rookie season.
As both Iverson and LeBron helped resurrect their respective franchises almost instantly, they also went on to capture rookie of the year honors along with all-rookie first team selections.
While LeBron has captured multiple awards since his rookie season, including an NBA scoring title and MVP honors, AI has also accumulated his fair share of empty stats as well.
In his time with the Sixers, Iverson has won four scoring titles and an MVP award to join LeBron on the list of only seven players who have won both an MVP and rookie of the year honors.
These "empty stats," as I have referred to, are an indication of one thing: Their franchises have allowed them to fly as high as they can, but sometimes that recipe is just too much for one chef to handle.
It's true both players have led their teams to an NBA finals series, but both failed and failed miserably. The Cavs and Sixers were handled and sent home with aspirations of building on an encouraging season, only to find out that was as good as it was going to get.
Iverson has always been an individual performer, and while James is thought of as more of a team guy, his team just is not getting it done, and his situation with the Cavs can tun into an Iverson fiasco if he stays around long enough to find out.
The "Answer" and the "King" have both received their nicknames too early in their careers, as to be a king you need a crown, and to be an answer you have to have solved something, which neither have accomplished.
There is no knocking their talents or their will to win, but there comes a time when you have to acknowledge that sometimes you can't win it all, and if LeBron James doesn't realize that by the summer of 2010, then we really will all be witnesses to the greatest story never told.
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