After last night’s despicable display of character by the former King, I have vowed never to utter his name ever again. Instead, I am only going to refer to him as ‘6.’ Here’s why:
When 6 entered the league, his expectations were sky high, and everybody KNEW that he was supposed to be the heir to Michael Jordan. And throughout his first few seasons, 6 did not disappoint. He took a dreadfully weak Cavs team to the NBA Finals – ala Allen Iverson with the Sixers – and there only seemed to be green pastures lying ahead in his future.
Despite losing before reaching the NBA Finals in the last two seasons, 6 helped lead the Cavs to the best record in the league in each of those seasons, while also scooping up 2 league MVPs. Sure his team had fallen short of winning the championship, but look at the pieces that were surrounding him. Needless to say, these guys were nowhere close to Kobe’s Lakers or Boston’s Big 3/4. If he just got a solid big man, or a legitimate slashing threat, his team would have been set to win some hardware.
Now I’m not saying that 6 should have remained with Cleveland. After all, they didn’t really do much to try to surround him with quality players (sorry, Shaq and Jamison, but your better days have passed you by). However, what I am saying is that 6 would have been best off if he had chosen to go to the New York Knicks.
First of all, with the Knicks picking up Amare Stoudemire earlier in the week, I felt that it would have been great for the league had 6 chosen to play with him. Just imagine the battles that would have taken place between Wade and Bosh, and 6 and Stoudemire. That would have been unbelievably competitive basketball that the entire NBA fan-base could have sunken their teeth into.
Instead, 6 took the easy way out by going to sunny South Beach to play with his buddies Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade. I don’t know about you, but I feel like true superstars only become true superstars because they are willing to face the challenges necessary to be considered elite. Do you think Jordan gave up and tried to join the Bad Boys Pistons after they beat him up? No way! He got tougher and better until he was able to rise above them and beat them.
When I saw 6 decide to take the easy way out and join forces to create a ‘super team,’ I totally lost all respect for him and his legacy. He is not the heir apparent to Jordan, Kobe is. And although I hold Jordan in higher regard than I do Kobe, I have to say that Kobe is the next best guy right now.
I understand that 6 is all about winning, and he didn’t want to be ’31 years old with bad knees and no rings,’ but if he joined Amare Stoudemire in New York with a sharpshooter like Gallo on the wing, that would have made for a very exciting brand of basketball entertainment that The Garden has been waiting for since the departure of Patrick Ewing. That team would have had enough pieces for 6 to win a championship, and people would not have criticized him for taking the easy way out. And, of course, that team would have been HIS team unanimously.
I am just disappointed that the so-called ‘best player in the league’ could not have enough faith in his own abilities to join a team like the Knicks. The fact that he felt the need to join this ‘super team’ in Miami definitely speaks volumes about him and his belief in himself. I always thought that he welcomed the spotlight with open arms (you know, like the way he throws the powder up before games?), but I guess I was wrong. 6 is nothing but an immature coward, who is just trying to take the easy way out.
Oh, and if he thinks sharing the championship spotlight with D-Wade and CB4 is going to feel just as good had he won it in Cleveland or New York, he has another thing coming. His wins will mean less, and his legacy will be forever tarnished. And forget about it if this team doesn’t win. People will never let him live it down.
If you ask me, the title of his 1-hour special on ESPN should be referred to as ‘The Blunder’ from now on.