Saturday, July 19, 2008

Lebron vs. The World

Sparked from a conversation with one of my friends, I wonder if there'd be anyone within the basketball realm that could defeat Lebron James in a game of one-on-one.  I say no, and I say with strong conviction.  Now, I know I'm going to get fans of a certain Mamba claiming that Lebron would be no match for him.  Remember, one-on-one is totally different than the team game.  After all, Kwame Brown was drafted based on a spirited victory over Tyson Chandler (*rests case*).  The rules of the game would be as follows:  1) Game to 11; 2) Lebron gets ball first; 3) "Make it, take it;" and 4) All baskets count as one point.  I've taken the liberty of removing small guards and true big men from this list, because Lebron's obvious size/strength/quickness advantages would make those games unfair (he's listed at 6'8", 250 lbs.).  I'm going to start with a few names, and the list will probably grow, resulting in a multi-part series.  The King's first opponent immediately follows the random picture...

Andre Iguodala:  6'6", 207 lbs.

AI the Second is a supremely gifted athlete, and is a triple-double threat whenever he's on the floor.  However, whatever he is, Lebron is three notches ahead of that at least.  There'd be no way Iguodala could stop Lebron's tank-like drives to the basket, and The King could dominate in the post.  Also, as versatile as Iguodala is on the court, he doesn't function well in a one-on-one capacity (see: last year's playoffs).  If skinny Tayshaun Prince could lock him up, he has no chance against Lebron.  Final score:  Lebron 11, Iguodala 4.

Brandon Roy: 6'6", 229 lbs.

Brandon Roy isn't the athlete that Andre Iguodala is, but he's way more skilled offensively than him.  He can create his own shot, and shoots well with distance.  However, there's a minor task of having to defend a freight train; and Roy's efforts will be as futile as they were at the end of the Blazers/Cavs game in regular season.  Lebron will go by Roy as if he's not there and score layups at will.  Final score:  Lebron 11, Roy 6.

Tracy McGrady: 6'8", 223 lbs.

This is where Lebron's journey gets increasingly difficult.  As everyone knows, a healthy T-Mac is still one of the deadliest perimeter scoring weapons in the Association.  He's more comparable in size with Lebron, so his moves would have more of an impact on King James than the previous two players.  This one-on-one game would be even for awhile; but I think Lebron's rength would eventually wear down T-Mac, and Lebron advances.  Final score:  Lebron 11, McGrady 8.

Ron Artest: 6'7", 248 lbs.

The Tru Warier is the only perimeter player in basketball that can match Lebron's strength.  I've seen Ron-Ron successfully back down Ben Wallace in the post.  Artest has two areas that would result in his demise in a game to 11 with The King.  The first is that Lebron has an overwhelmingly big quickness advantage.  If Ron-Ron guesses wrong on defense, Lebron's too fast for him to recover.  The second drawback is that Artest doesn't possess a one-on-one mentality.  He can score, but I think he'd have to work really hard to get a bucket each time he had the rock; whereas Lebron's baskets would be a little easier to get.  Ron would play tough, but Lebron still moves on to the next and final opponent of this part.  Final score:  Lebron 11, Ron-Ron 6.

Carmelo Anthony:  6'8", 203 lbs.

Lebron's longtime friend would be the "Boss" opponent of this first stage of one-on-one games. If there's one thing Melo can do, it's score the basketball.  However, if it's one thing Melo can't do, it's defend the basketball.  If Lebron were to miss, then it's quite possible for Melo to go on a bit of a scoring run, since it is "make it, take it."  The best defense against Lebron is a strong offense, because he can't score if he doesn't have the ball.  However, I think Lebron could bother Melo more on defense than the vice-versa, and Lebron's speed would end up being too much for Anthony.  Melo, in true Boss fashion, would be difficult to overcome; but it's still Lebron for the win.  Final score:  Lebron 11, Melo 9.

So that's it for the first round of Lebron's one-on-one opponents.  I know a lot of you will be clamoring on my take of the matchup between him and a certain Mamba; but that'll come when it's ready.  Stay tuned for Part 2.


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