Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Why LeBron Will Never Win A Ring

The aftermath of the 2011 NBA Finals has began to generate even more criticism on LeBron James than his poor play in the Finals itself, if you can believe that. Questionable comments in the post game presser of game six have people thinking LBJ needs to work on not only his 4th quarter mentality, but also his people skills. If you've read the quote then you probably lost a little respect for LeBron basically telling you to have fun waking up for work tomorrow while he continues to bask in glory and fame as "King James".

One thing I'm going to make very clear throughout this blog is my relentless hatred toward LeBron James. And even though I could probably write a novel based on his plethora of character issues backed up by direct quotes from LeBron's own mouth, I don't want to get into all of that on just my first real blog post ever. No, the purpose of this post is not to reinforce the fact that LeBron is immature, ignorant, and classlesss, but instead to explain why none of those character flaws contribute to why LeBron James will never win an NBA Championship.

First off, I want to use Kobe Bryant as an example of a superstar a team would ideally win a championship with. I don't want to even entertain the moron's who think LeBron vs Jordan would be a better comparison because it's ridiculous and would make me look like a buffoon. Because if your LeBron and your deferring to Dwyane Wade in the 4th quarter, if your deferring to ANYONE in the 4th quarter of games, you will NEVER be Jordan, you will never even be Kobe Bryant for that matter. But for the sake of argument lets put Kobe Bryant, a 5-time NBA champ, and 2-time Finals MVP against LeBron James in order to determine what Kobe has, that LeBron lacks, thats gotten him five rings when LeBron has failed to get one. Now lets think back to Kobe's five championships. Being that no one who will read this can say they watched every game of every playoffs series Kobe has ever played in, I'm going to ask one simple question. In every championship run Kobe Bryant has been a part of, what is the reoccurring trend we've all seen in the Sports Center highlights? What do you see Kobe Bryant doing in every highlight in the playoffs? Not throwing down thunderous jams or slashing to the basket on every possesion and sure as hell not playing the role of distributor. Nope.
Every single championship Kobe Bryant has won there is an abundance of highlights of him knocking down dagger jump shots from 15-20 feet away from the basket. The simple concept of the midrange game in basketball is what seperates LeBron James from Kobe Bryant and every other player that has carried his team to the promise land. There is no question that LeBron is by far a better scorer, passer, rebounder, defender and overall athlete than Bryant. But the problem James runs into every postseason is the fact that in the playoffs every team plays amazing defense, every squad protects the paint, and everyone knows your not going to get the same calls in the postseason that you got in the regular season. The lanes that LeBron can get to for the highlight reel dunks in the regular season disappear in the playoffs because your playing the same good team for a week and a half and after that your playing a better defensive team. And because LeBron still lacks a consistent jumpshot that he can carry a team with, his legacy suffers.

You would think assembling three superstars on the same team would in a way rid James of the responsibility of having to rely on his jump shot. But not when his running mate, Dwyane Wade, has a suspect jump shot as well. The unfortunate truth is that LeBron and Wade's styles don't compliment each other, because they both need the ball in their hands to be successful, and neither of them stretches the defense with their range. LeBron said it himself after game six, that the Mavericks did a great job of cutting off his driving lanes forcing him to pass the ball. The point I'm trying to make with all this is that when Kobe's driving lane is cut off he can always pull up and sink the 15 footer. There is no defense for a complete offense. Look at recent history and you'll see the teams that have won it all have had one or more stars on their team that can knock down the big time 4th quarter jumpers that every championship team needs. Los Angeles had Kobe, Boston had Pierce and Allen, San Antonio had Ginobli, 06' Miami had an on fire Dwyane Wade, Detroit had Rip and Chauncey, the Bulls had Jordan, and Dallas had Dirk. You could pull up thousands of stats that LeBron dominates Kobe in. But Kobe will continue to win championships because he has two things LeBron doesn't. One is a jump shot, and the other is that killer instinct in the 4th quarter that you have to have to be remembered as one of the best ever.

Unless LeBron is able to inherit these two things in the near future, he's going to find it awfully hard to ever win in the Finals. Not to mention how much shorter his career will be without a reliable jumper. Because the dark cloud looming on LeBron is that once his athleticism and explosiveness starts to fade as it does in every great athlete, what does he have to fall back on? The only reason Kobe's career has lasted this long is because he has had that jumper in his back pocket to keep his game at a high level.

Regardless of LeBron's totally unlikeable personality, his tendency to play the blame game (first it was his supporting cast, now it's God's fault), his receding hairline that he still tries to hard to hide with his headband, or his embarrassing introduction to his text messages "Yo, It's King James" (Honestly who does that??). None of those things contribute to why he will never win a ring. We've seen champions with character problems similar to James'. What we haven't seen is a NBA team win a championship without a superstar featuring a complete offensive game in his repertoire.

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