Return Of The King: LeBron James, Miami Heat To End L.A. Lakers' Reign
Read an interesting piece recently about how championships are won on the court. That may be true but if all your team adds are sub par players in the off season then it's not as though you're going to have much of a chance come tip off.
The masses have been mobilized and united in a common drive to simmer down the scorching confidence that has been coming out of Miami. Many are trying to point out any and every flaw in the Heat blue print. But if you take a closer/unbiased look you will quickly realize that this combination has a chance to be extremely special.
With all the criticsm being thrown at the new Miami acquistions it's amazing that the Heat ever wanted to even pursue such an idea. After all everyone seems convinced that it has left them as an unbalanced squad. One that is extremely top heavy but lacking in depth.
This reeks to me as being quite hypocritical. Fans constantly wish that athletes didn't play just for the fattest pay check possible. That they'd care about winning more than their image.
Well this is exactly what this trio did. They all sacrificed money for the sake of compiling a collection of championship rings. They put aside their ego in the name of playing on a potentially epic team.
This leads to the most astonishing thing of all. Practically every single one of you reading this right now if given the option would have done just what Pat Riley and the Heat did.
The Lakers would have traded Kobe. The Magic would've traded Dwight Howard. New York, Chicago, and New Jersey all would've loved to have the " 3 Kings" forsake bigger contracts in order to team up in their cities. Mark Cuban would've probably chopped off another mans private parts and proceeded to take it down like Kobayashi; if it meant that the "Trio" would be wearing Maverick jerseys next season.
Dwyane Wade summed it up best when he said this week; "show me one" player, general manager or fan "that would'nt have done the same thing if they could and I'll show you a liar."
Every team in the league would have loved just one of these guys. Riley just out maneuvered them and managed to get all three. "Not just get them all but get them all at a discount."
Now LeBron James will finally prove all the doubters that he is indeed the true heir to Jordan's thrown. He is 25 years old, coming off two MVP seasons and primed to dominate the NBA landscape for the foreseeable future.
This does not mean that it will be an easy task. Several teams will try to impede the Heat through out their quest. But make no mistake it will come down to two teams.
The King will return. Meaning that LeBron will be back in an NBA Finals for the first time since 2007. Once he arrives he will have the opportunity to dethrone the current ruler of the league.
Kobe Bryant has done wonders for his career the last three seasons. Where once the shadow of only having won with Shaquille O'Neal followed him like a dark cloud; now Kobe has managed to enhance his legacy by winning a title the last two years.
Still if one takes a closer look they would notice that Kobe has once again won not thanks to his play solely. Rather Bryant has reaped the rewards of two great additions. Ron Artest and Pau Gasol have given Kobe the weapons with which to ascend back to the top of the NBA landscape.
It didn't hurt that the Lakers also manged to retain role players such as Lamar Odom and Derek Fisher. Andrew Bynum, when healthy, has also provided a massive space clogging force at center.
Along with the solid roster that the Lakers have they also boast arguably the leagues best coach. Phil Jackson has managed to fine tune the Lakers into the team they are. Poised to attain his fourth three-peat and twelfth title over all; Jackson has elected to return to the Lakers bench for at least one more season.
The Lakers have a dream scenario within their sites. Kobe tying Jordan with six rings and two dominating three peat runs. Jackson set to retire on top with his record twelve titles as a head coach. Los Angeles to rule supreme once more as they did in the early 2000's and through out the 1980's.
Here's the rude awakening. It's not going to happen. Not this upcoming year, nor the one after it. The Lakers will be the last team/fan base to "witness" the crowning of the "King."
The Miami Heat have always played the Lakers close since Dwyane Wade entered the league. If you examine head to head match ups Wade and Bryant have basically evened each other in those games. If anything Wade might have a slight advantage.
Kobe for all his greatness has never dominated Dwyane. Now you add LeBron James and Chris Bosh to the mix. Bosh will offer a counter punch to the low post dominance that Gasol has given the Lakers.
Miami for its part has a really under rated player in Joel Anthony. I wish the guy was an inch taller and 20 lbs heavier but he is athletic. His offensive game is just put backs and easy under the basket scores but he can hit free throws and really gives the Heat a good defensive presence. He ranked at the very top in the league last season when it came to blocks per minutes played.
Still he is not enough to match with the Lakers front line or Dwight Howard. Thats why the Heat have more tricks up their sleeves. Either Shaq or Kwame might be brought in.
They say Defense wins championships. Do you realize how good Wade and James can be on that side of the ball? Last season James was the only unanimous "First Team All Defensive Team" selection.
Mario Chalmers is an above average defender. He was quite good as a rookie then regressed last year. If they sign Matt Barnes he'd be a solid defensive player off the bench. Udonis Haslem will also be counted on for defensive support.
Lastly the Heat's big men are going to receive tons of help down low by Wade and James offering weak side support. They will sneake in for many blocks from behind.\\ and will help out on the boards.
On offense Miami will have plenty of options. James is so athletically gifted you can almost see him being able to play any position in the starting five. Similar to Magic during his rookie season. In either case it's going to give the Heat a lot of roster flexibility. Wade can also play multiple positions. That will allow Heat coaches to seek out mismatches with the line ups on the floor.
Kobe is not is not "Benjamin Button." He is getting older; can you see him getting the better of Wade next season? Especially with LeBron hovering around him too.
LeBron, Wade, and Bosh have just as much at stake. Actually they might have more than the Lakers.The "Three Kings" did this for a reason now they need to justify their choice and quiet the critics. If they win they know the talk with take a turn for the better for them. So they will be every bit as hungry to win as the Lakers
We could spend all day examining the "X's and O's" and analyzing match ups. Even go so far as compare bench players. Well don't bother. Don't waste your time trying to rationalize why Miami can't win. Reason being that Wade and James won't allow this team to fail.
The Miami Heat have the leagues "Top Two" players. Come next season Kobe will be more like he was in Game 7 versus the Celtics, then how he played the first half of the regular season. Miami is the young and hungry lion. Los Angeles is the pride leader who is still on top but getting older.
Like Christopher Walken once said " You got fat while we starved. Now it's our turn."
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