As long as I got Blazer red pumping through my veins, I'll always have a healthy hatred for Los Angeles . The titles. The urine colored jerseys. The Kardashians. Still, with the circus, that some of the top free agents created, hopefully coming to an end soon, I'm starting to gain more respect for Kobe Bryant. I used to think Kobe was a huge D-Bag. (can I say that?) He came off as arrogant, and selfish. I saw a guy who was trying to be better than MJ, yet he had no idea what it was that made MJ so great. Back in '08 he was demanding a trade, and throwing his teammates under the bus (Bynum), I just shook my head and thought, yep, that's Kobe. Who knew the guy just wanted to win. Lakers made the Gasol trade, Kobe got the help he needed, and the rest is history. Sure, he's still kinda selfish, but not nearly as much as he was before the trade. Remember the 81pt. game against Toronto. He's come a long way since those days.
Over the last few years, I've been watching Kobe he's seems more content, and willing to trust his teammates. He'll still jack up questionable shots, but on the whole one would get the feeling that it seems less about Kobe and more about winning. I never got that impression before. If you'll remember Kobe's had chances to become a free agent over the years too. With all that he's accomplished he could've gone the LBJ route, and made a spectacle of himself. That's not what we got though. We got professionalism and class from Mr. Bryant. Love him or hate him, you've gotta give him at least that much. When it came time to make his decision, he made it and we went on about our business. Nobody is bigger than this game that we all love so much. For that, I'm starting to respect Kobe more and more.
I got no problems, with anybody wanting to change teams. Even guys who've meant as much to their franchises as LBJ, and DW. All I'm asking, is for a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Just who do this guy think he is. I don't need an hour long special highlighting LBJ's achievements cuz let's be completely honest, he hasn't achieved squat. If LBJ blows his knee out tomorrow, my world don't stop. The sun don't chill.
For somebody who understands NBA history, like LBJ does, I'm really surprised he's let it come to this. I don't remember this big of a hoopla when Cazzie Russell became a free agent. Who's Cazzie Russell? Only the first free agent signing ever. A very significant moment in NBA history. I don't recall Kazaam holding fans hostage when he changed coast. At the time he was every bit as dominant as LBJ is now. Shaq wanted to go to L.A., so he went. End of story
I wonder if Lebron is even aware of the effect all this will have, and especially if he jumps ship and goes to Miami. Michael Jordan was a global icon because fans loved him. They wanted to be like him, shoot like him, jump and move like him. People named their children after him for goodness sake. That's power. I don't see Lebron ever reaching that status. Maybe if he stays in Cleveland, and wins multiple titles, he can get to that level. If he leaves on this circus train, people WILL hate him. Cleveland fans will call him a traitor. New York and Chicago fans will despise him for not going to their teams. Plus, whatever he wins in Miami will not be honored. Critics will say it's too lopsided. If for whatever reason the trio doesn't win a title, lord help us all cuz we'll never hear the end of it. I used to really like LBJ, but as the "Decision of 2010" inches closer, I can taste the vomit in my mouth starting to rise.