Archive for June 12th, 2018

( Full Disclosure: I am a long time Laker fan, having rooted for them since the days of Jerry West and Elgin Baylor. I have stuck with them through the highs- Magic, Worthy, Kobe, Shaq – and the lows – Kobe’s final years. I admire the Warriors for their unselfish style of play which reminds of the glory years when Magic was battling Bird and the Celtics.  I detest Lebron because of his arrogance and selfishness and his me-first attitude and am thankful to Golden State for raining on his parade).

Now that the Warriors have swept the Cavaliers, Kevin Durant’s detractors have come out in full force. Over and over again, I hear him labeled ” a coward” and ” weak” for having joined a 73 win team in order to get a championship ring. These same people hate the Warriors for making the NBA championship a foregone conclusion. Many of them are also Lebron supporters who rail against the ” unfairness” in Lebron having to play, all on his lonesome) against a team with four All- Stars and a deeper bench. To which I say ” Bosh!” and I don’t mean Chris Bosh.

These critics seem to have forgotten that it was LeBron himself who, eight years ago, orchestrated the idea of a ” super-team”, one with three All-Stars when he enticed Chris Bosh to join him in decamping to Miami and teaming up with Dwayne Wade. There have been other super teams before but they were put together by GM’s through the draft and through trades. This was, as far as I know, the first time that players took it upon themselves to form a super team. Kevin Durant, on the other hand, suffered for seven years in Oklahoma City with the ball-hogging duo of James Harden and Russell Westbrook before being recruited by Stephen Curry and a bunch of Warriors players. Who can blame him for not wanting to continue playing with Westbrook, a player  like Lebron whose ego is even bigger than his admittedly great skills. Besides, in coming to Golden State, Durant not only took a huge play cut but subjugated his skills for the good of the team. It was only when Curry and Thompson misfired that Durant unleashed his one-on-one skills for the good of the team. The Warriors are only too aware of the sacrifices that KD has made and that’s what makes them such an unselfish team and a joy to watch.

Lebron is a terrific player with unbelievable physical attributes, definitely in the conversation for the Greatest of All -Time for fans who are interested in such things. He is also a selfish player who demands the ball, a flopper and a whiner who gets more than his share of calls because of his reputation. In recent years, he has expanded his game and is a threat from anywhere on the floor but I dislike his ball -dominant style of play where most often he barrels over defensive players and gets the call when he should actually be  called for an offensive foul. If he does not have a good supporting cast, it is partly because he insists on getting his full market value leaving very little for management to recruit other players with. He also drives away teammates with his selfish play. Kyrie Irving demanded a trade inspite of  reaching the finals three times and winning a Championship with LeBron. According to one report, he was tired of seeing Lebron hog the ball for most of the 24 second possession , being unable to do anything with it  and then passing ( to Irving) with only  2 or 3 seconds left . Irving would then have to hoist a desperation shot with the shot clock winding down, missing more often than not and getting the blame. Finally, LeBron undercuts team mates and the coach and often acts as a de facto GM insisting on trades and then moaning about the lack of support when things don’t pan out.

In the first game of these finals, LeBron played a fantastic game and I felt for him when the Cavs lost due to J,R Smith’s bonehead play. I was feeling more in sympathy with him after the final game and he had to stomach yet another defeat. Then he had to come out and talk about his self inflicted injury and detract from the Warriors win instead of keeping quiet about it and giving them their due. Reminded me of Serena Williams, who never lost a match without making excuses for it.

Now that the finals are over, there is a lot of speculation about where LeBron will go next. The possible landing spots are Houston, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Boston. I don’t care where he goes or whether he stays in Cleveland… I just don’t want to see him join the Lakers. LA has a  young team , and in Luke Walton, a coach in the Steve Kerr mold. They are fun to watch and with the addition of a superstar or two could challenge the Warriors and the Rockets. But not with LeBron. His me-first attitude would destroy the team’s chemistry and would impede the progress of the youngsters. Furthermore, LBJ has played so much basketball that he is older than his chronological age of 33. His skills will ,be on the decline in the next year or two; if he is given a long term max contract it will tie up valuable cap space much as happened in the final years with Kobe. I hope the Lakers don’t make that mistake. I loved Magic as a player but as a GM he is still an unknown quantity. I was unhappy with his drafting Lonzo Ball because of his crazy dad. Giving LiAngelo, a tryout was inexplicable. Please Magic, take a pass on LeBron.


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