LeBron James: The 'Doctor' or the 'Mailman'?

Mitch Kunzler@@MitchKunzlerContributor IIIJuly 12, 2010

BOSTON - MAY 13:  LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers wipes the sweat from his face in the fourth quarter against the Boston Celtics during Game Six of the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the 2010 NBA playoffs at TD Garden on May 13, 2010 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Celtics defeated the Cavaliers 94-85.  NOTE TO USER: User Expressly Acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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SATIRE--The King's reign is over.

In fact, I don't even remember it beginning in the first place.

Sorry to wake everyone up from this pathetic trance, but LeBron James, who refers to himself as "The King", is one of the most overrated players in NBA History. Yep, I just said it.

Don't get me wrong, LeBron is a fantastic player, but there is no way that a player that always conveniently chokes when his team needs him, deserves the title "The King."

LeBron just hasn't impressed me enough, and the talcum powder ritual ceremonies and the stupid Iverson arm-sleeve trend isn't helping either. Is Iverson our role model now? Come on LeBron.

Granted, in the regular season, LeBron is phenomenal. But, then the playoffs come around and his face freezes up like he just took a steady stream of Botox injections. He gets into a playoff game and becomes more inconsistent than Quasimodo playing battleship.

I know thousands of fans are shaking their fists saying, "He brought the Cavs to the Finals! That's impressive enough!" Yeah, sure it would have been impressive, if he would have been the player that brought them there. But sadly, as anyone who watched the Cavs-Pistons series could tell you, it was actually Daniel "Boobie" Gibson who sent the Cavs to the finals, not LeBron. No arguments, no "buts."  It's a fact.

But just for the record, the Spurs swept the Cavs in the finals. It's kind of sad that LeBron James can't win a single game in the NBA finals. How's that for "The Chosen One"?

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And I'm not even done. Did anyone else notice, that in the Celtics-Cavs series earlier this year (especially Game 5), that LeBron just flat-out sucked? It was one of the worst performances by an MVP in playoff history. Enough said.

Okay, now that it is clear that LeBron James is not "God's gift to basketball", we can move on.

LeBron James announced last Thursday that he would be uniting with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh with the Miami Heat. This was one of the biggest moves in basketball history. It was monumental. From this situation, LeBron can go one of two directions—the "Julius Erving Direction", or the "Karl Malone Direction."

So to start off with, the "Julius Erving Direction."

The similarities between the Doctor and LeBron are so similar that it is almost scary to think about. They even play like each other. They both lack talent at shooting outside, and they both are monsters at getting to the rim. Their stats in PPG, RPG, APG, and FG% are also extremely parallel. Granted, the Doctor won 2 ABA titles, but let's put those two aside and just look at the NBA.

The Doctor made the finals several times but never came through. LeBron also didn't come through in the finals. Dr. J, like LeBron, won an MVP award, but wasn't able to appear in the championship. It wasn't until Dr. J teamed up with the best player in the NBA, Moses Malone, that he finally won a title.

Now, this is where we are at with LeBron.

LeBron has just teamed up with perhaps the best player in the NBA—Dwyane Wade. If James is like the Doctor, he will get a championship, but he will never get one without a player like Wade. And just for the record, LeBron recently changed his jersey number to six (the Doctor's number). Coincidence? I think not.

If LeBron doesn't get a ring, then we will know that he chose the "Karl Malone Direction." Like LeBron, the Mailman had several chances in the playoffs.  Like LeBron, Karl went to the finals. Like LeBron, Karl was also an MVP, and Like LeBron, Karl always choked when it mattered most.

So, what did Malone do? Like Dr. J and LeBron, the Mailman joined forces with the best player in the NBA at the time, Kobe Bryant. With Kobe and Shaq, Karl once again had his chance for a Championship Ring. But sorry Mailman, mail doesn't come on Sundays. In the finals, the Lakers came away with nothing. Karl Malone's tendency to choke was contagious and it suffocated the entire Lakers team. Malone retired without ever getting a ring.

So there are the two possible outcomes, The "Doctor Direction" and the "Mailman Direction." There is no possible "Jordan Direction" anymore. Jordan never had a superstar, Jordan never lost in the finals, and Jordan never choked.

As the new season approaches, the James, Wade, Bosh trio really reminds me of the Malone, Kobe, Shaq trio. But at the same time, LeBron and Erving's similarities cannot be ignored.

This year will show who LeBron James truly is. Will he get a ring and be another Dr. J? Or will he continue to choke and be the next Karl Malone? It is the ultimate test of pressure. We'll see how he handles it.