Why I Will Root for Kobe Bryant Next Season
This NBA offseason has been filled with drama.
The biggest headline was when LeBron left Cleveland for Miami on ESPN in an hour-long show called, "The Decision." He joined Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to form a superstar trio down on South Beach. With his decision, he made it clear that he needs two other superstars to win championships, and that winning is more important than building his legacy.
I believe that, to build your legacy as the greatest ever, you need to do it on your own, and let the stars come to you.
LeBron James should have stayed in Cleveland or gone to Chicago, New Jersey, or even New York. And here's why:
LeBron James has been deemed "the Chosen One," and possibly the closest thing to Michael Jordan. Now, James could be farther away from achieving that goal. He went to Miami, and teamed up with two other superstars, one of whom has already won a championship. James will quickly learn that the Heat are Wade's team, and his scoring will suffer. That's what happens when you put three 20-point scorers on the same team.
For example, Michael Jordan built the Chicago Bulls to be the best team back in the 1990s. Jordan stayed in Chicago and let the stars be built around him. Jordan then made those stars around him better. For example, Dennis Rodman and Scottie Pippen weren't superstars before their time with the Bulls and Jordan.
It's likely the Heat will win three or four championships with James, Wade, and Bosh, but it won't necessarily be James' team.
Yes, he'll get to be the point man, but not all the time. He'll still get to take last shots at the buzzer, but not all the time.
Wade is a clutch player himself. If James wanted the team to be built around himself, he should have stayed in Cleveland, or gone to Chicago, New Jersey, or New York. Plus, that would have some day cemented his legacy as perhaps one of the best to play the game.
LeBron James is like today's Magic Johnson, not Michael Jordan. The Lakers weren't just built around Magic, like the Bulls were built around Jordan, and the Lakers were built around Kobe Bryant. The Lakers had Michael Cooper, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, James Worthy and Byron Scott to surround Johnson.
The Bulls had Pippen, Rodman, Tony Kukoc, Steve Kerr, Luke Longley, and Ron Harper. Those guys were brought in to be Jordan's sidekicks, but it was still Jordan's team. Jordan always got the last shot because he was the center of the team.
Today's Lakers team is built around Kobe. Pau Gasol, Ron Artest, Derek Fisher, and Lamar Odom are all assets to Kobe Bryant, and Kobe needs them to win championships. It's still Kobe's team, and always will be until he leaves, which probably won't ever happen because he'll retire a Laker. Kobe will always get the last shot as long he is with the Lakers because he too is the center of the team, just as Jordan was with the Bulls.
With the Heat, LeBron will get to take last shots, and be the center sometimes, but not all the time. The team also has Bosh and Wade, and this is still Wade's team. He was drafted here, has won a championship here, and has proven to be a clutch and game-changing player.
If James wanted to be the best player in basketball, he would have stayed in Cleveland to be the center of the team and let the team be built around him, just like the Bulls did with Jordan, and the Lakers have done with Kobe Bryant.
Winning championships is important, and I believe LeBron will win four or five championships, but it won't mean he will be better than Bryant or Jordan. If he did it without Wade or Bosh, and on the Cavs, I would say there's a better possibility, because he wouldn't be playing with two proven superstars.
There you have it! That is why I will be rooting for Kobe Bryant next season.
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