King James: History Repeats Itself
I once referred to Lebron James as the new Allen Iverson, but people were quick to dismiss the claim.
They took the metaphor too literally, compared the 6'0", 160 lb, wiry frame of a mercurial guard to the unselfish manchild that is Lebron James.
I will concede that some of the adjectives you use to describe the two superstar talents who most significantly represent two distinct eras of basketball (Post MJ and Post old-Wizard's player that looked like MJ,) are probably drastically different.
Lebron has the court vision, the size and strength, the work ethic that separates him not only from AI, but from most of his peers. Iverson had the God given talent, the ability to score in his sleep, the incomparable heart, and a stubborness that was probably his gift and curse.
But the reason Lebron James and Allen Iverson are basically blood brothers in this basketball world, is because their DNA is different.
Gene mutations made them athletically and psychologically unlike any other player we've seen in the association.
They not only move different, but they think the game different as well. Even as breathtaking as they are to watch, the question that should loom on everyone's mind is "Is Lebron James too unique of a player to win a championship?"
Peep, the diction please. This is not saying that Lebron, like Iverson isn't talented enough or question his heart or ability to compete. It just maybe provides a precursor to the question as to whether a player like no other can be built around and win a title, like no one else has done.
Last night, after the Cavaliers suffered a devastating loss to the Boston Celtics that sent them home fishing far earlier in the spring than most expected, people started questioning any and everything surrounding Lebron James.
People pointed to the lack of a supporting cast, people once again questioned Lebron James' turnover filled performance in such a big game. But just as it was for Allen Iverson, they key to figuring out this puzzling plunder will forever be finding the right pieces.
With Allen Iverson, there were always questions as to whether he could play with certain players.
As a big AI fan, apologist, supporter, I could go on ad nauseam as to why certain combinations never worked out, but at the end of the day the GM's he was surrounded by never found out the correct combination of scorers, defenders, and play makers to put help him win his title.
AI's traigc flaw? He was a scorer in a 6'0" frame. His vision wasn't great, so I guess he just chose to narrow in on the basket.
Despite what his detractors say, he spent a decade in Philadelphia on a highly competitive sixers team that never was able to get over the hump. He lead them to the conference semi-finals four times in six years, but was never bale to get over the hump.
As we wonder about Lebron's future, which is still as bright as ever, one must think logically about what Lebron needs to win the big one.
Avery Johnson said last night Kobe's better because of his mid range game. But by that logic Wade, Melo, and Durant are should be considered better as well. Lebron's tragic flaw? He's a playmaker.
What has made Lebron special throughout his young career is not his ability to score, but his ability to make players around him better.
He has always been more Magic than Michael, which may in itself problematic. With his name, his stature, everyone expects him to score but as the offense is constructed in Cleveland, he works so hard for each basket.
Moreover, everyone who was watching the game last night probably took for granted the 18 rebounds and 10 assist because it came so easy.
So basketball world, what do we value? Do we appreciate scorers like Allen Iverson or play makers like Lebron James?
As AI quickly learned, and what now Lebron is finding out through the media lashing is that most of us just value the players who hoist up the shiny trophy at the season's end.
As July 1st looms on the horizon, lets hope wherever Lebron ends up, the franchise will help the 25-year-old king to win a championship.
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