LeBron James was without a doubt the regular season's Most Valuable Player as he led the Cleveland Cavaliers to the league's best overall record. But everyone should realize, it has "regular season" in front of it for a reason.
James is without a doubt a fantastic athlete, who thrives in the open floor and penetrating the lane while showing a fabulously developed jump shot. This is not intended to knock on the greatness that is James for his time will come soon enough.
But what James managed to do in six months has, once again, failed to pay off in the postseason. Eliminated by the aging Boston Celtics in six games during the Eastern Conference semifinals, James has shown once again the difference between him and the likes of Kobe Bryant.
What took James six months to do, Bryant surpassed in merely six weeks. The NBA Playoffs have consistently shown legends are born during them, and Bryant's resume has continued to grow.
Bryant was known during the regular season as the league's most deadly player in clutch situations, knocking down several game winners and just as he did last season, Bryant has carried his Los Angeles Lakers back to the NBA Finals.
The Lakers are truly a resilient team led by the league's best player. Yes, Bryant is the league's best basketball player. James is league's best athlete by far, but Bryant has the better skill-set, his game reaching all aspects of the basketball spectrum.
What James can do, Bryant simply does better. Sure Bryant isn't stacked with triple-doubles, but in all reality he doesn't have to be. He still passes better, dribbles better, shoots better, plays defense better and in reality scores in every way better than James to this point.
Bryant has developed the best "rise up" shot in the game, as he rises with ease above any and every defender and drills shot after shot after shot. Bryant may not slam everything through the rim like James, but there have been times when James has missed dunks because he just has to power everything in.
Bryant's main intent is to finish, whether he has to simply lay the ball in, or has the chance to dunk. It doesn't matter to him - he simply wants to score and wants to win. His will to win eerily resembles that of Michael Jordan, so much to the point that many question if he is a better clutch performer than Jordan.
But this isn't about comparing Jordan to Bryant, it's about showing that Bryant is still the league's best basketball player.
James, being the athlete he is, uses his ability to get to the rim—and when that's taken away from him—he will rise up for the jumper. His game resembles that of a baseball pitcher with two strong pitches, the fastball and the changeup. No matter what, his opponent knows what's coming.
Bryant, however, resembles the like of a premiere pitcher who can rotate between his change up, fastball, knuckleball and curve ball to the point where you never know what's coming. He makes sure to keep his opponent uncomfortable.
With free agency just around the corner for James, he can merely sit and watch as Bryant gets to continue to prove why he's the league's best basketball player.
We all know just how much Bryant loves vengeance, and now he gets his shot at the team that took away his chance for his fourth title in 2008, the Lakers hated rival Boston.
Kobe Bryant ladies and gentlemen was once quoted saying "Love me or hate me, its one or the other, always has been. Hate my game, my swagger. Hate my fade-away, my hunger. Hate that I'm a veteran, a champion. Hate that, hate it with all your heart. and hate that I'm loved for the exact same reasons."
Bryant has once again shown why people both love and hate him, but in reality it doesn't matter. Denying that he's beyond the league's best basketball player is ignorant, because he'll just continue to prove his critics wrong.