Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Lebron vs. The World: The Saga Continues

That's a very intriguing title, isn't it? It's as if Lebron James is on some quest to save the universe, all while keeping others from looking at his lemonade. This make-believe journey through NBA talent isn't that serious. I mean, it's not like he had his Summer League jersey retired. After Part one, I received a few debaters (again, on the Facebook import, not Fundamentally UnSound...) saying that Lebron may not be as dominant as he is portrayed in this series. I'm not delusional in my basketball opinion, but for the sake of argument, Lebron's awesomeness has to be on full display. I'm nothing near being a big fan of Lebron, but I maintain that disputers of my opinion aren't giving Lebron enough credit; which is why I decided to do this in the first place. Anyway, this is the continuation of Lebron's one-on-one journey with key players. The rules are still the same, except I have added the "win by 2" stipulation. So don't be upset if some of the scores look different for some players than others. Will I finally get to the most anticipated matchup between The King and The Mamba? Read on and find out...

Josh Smith: 6'9", 235 lbs.

One thing is certain with this matchup: there won't be a shortage of athleticism. J-Smoove has the length and explosiveness to bother Lebron, and he's a willing defender. The glaring question for him is if he's a capable enough scorer to beat Lebron, because he can't catch alley-oops in one-on-one. I say that he isn't, and that's all the edge Lebron needs to win. Final score: Lebron 11, Smith 6.

Michael Redd: 6'6", 215 lbs.

Against Michael Redd, Lebron defintely couldn't give the lefty any space to release that jumper. While Redd's reputation is that of a deadly perimeter shooter, which explains his Team USA roster spot, few people remember that coming out of Ohio State he was more a defensive player. And ever since he's become the go-to guy for the Milwaukee Bucks, he's developed the scorer aspect of his game. However, Lebron James is still some kind of a beast, and just like the others so far, he would have a great deal of trouble stopping him from going to the basket. Lebron advances. Final score: Lebron 11, Redd 7.

Ray Allen: 6'5", 205 lbs.

Jesus Shuttlesworth isn't the player he was with Milwaukee and Seattle. His points per game average dropped by nine last season. Part of that may be due to age, but I think a lot of it has to do with joining a team with two other all-stars. Just as with Redd, Lebron would have to guard against the perimeter jumper. I mean, Ray Allen isn't going to go right around Lebron like he's Sasha Vujacic or something. Even if Ray-Ray channeled the emotions and looked at Lebron as if that were his incarcerated father, he still wouldn't put up much of a fight. Lebron for the win. Final score: Lebron 11, Ray-Ray 5.

Caron Butler: 6'7", 228 lbs.

Caron Butler aka "Tough Juice" is climbing up the ladder of the NBA's elite. While he still has a ways to go, one would be hard-pressed to find a swingman that plays as hard as Caron does on a nightly basis. He's one of the few perimeter players that takes equal pride in his game on both ends of the floor. Butler also has no timidness in him, and his tumultuous adolescence and overcoming of it is testament to that. But as good as he is, Lebron still has physical advantages over him. Remember, after DeShawn "I-Can't-Feel-My-Face" Stevenson, Caron was the primary defender against Lebron in the playoffs; and the Wizards didn't exactly contain The King that series. Lebron moves on to the next opponent. Final score; Lebron 11, Caron 7.

Dwyane Wade: 6'4", 216 lbs.

D-Wade emerges as the Boss of the second part of Lebron's journey. The only reason he makes this list is because he's Dwyane Wade. At 6'4", he's at least four inches shorter than Lebron, and gives up at least forty pounds in weight. Flash has been a shooting guard for most of his NBA career, and he's undersized on most nights. He still manages to be a top ten player in Association, and his ability alone would keep him in the one-on-one game. Remember that classic back-and-forth battle these two had a couple years ago? In the end, with the T-Mac game notwithstanding, this would Lebron's toughest bout thus far. However, Lebron's size would eventually get to D-Wade, despite Wade having an endless supply of G2. Lebron would pull out a tough victory, and D-Wade's Mama definitely won't like that. Final score: Lebron 16, D-Wade 14.

This concludes Part 2 of Lebron's journey through the NBA's elite. Part Three will be up soon, and I guarantee that one will have cause the most debate. Well, bring it on then. Your arguments will get treated like Lisa Leslie (I couldn't resist...).


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