Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Remove The Snake-Colored Glasses

The postseason has already started. And while this year's playoffs is adding to the evidence that point guard and not center is now Basketball's most important position, this post won't be about that. Actually, I'd like to spend a few words on an ever-growing hype I have. More after the random pic...

About six weeks into the regular season, it had become apparent to me that there is a new holder to the, "Best Basketball Player in the World" crown. I'm not changing my mind, nor am I going to restate any of the major points of why Lebron reigns supreme in this post. Just reread it. At the time, I was fine with those that held onto the idea that Kobe is still numero uno because The Mamba is still a devastating basketball Shogun. But if there's one rule that I have when debating sports (or anything) is that both parties must willing to hear the other side's arguments. In a perfect world, this would be the norm. But nope.

It seems that Lakers fans are having a tough time with the thought of Lebron or anyone being better at Basketball than their precious Mamba. I don't like to generalize, but every single LA supporter I've run into is the same way. I feel like Lakers fans are the NBA version of Patriots fans. It's not a stereotype, it's just based on the info that I've gathered since the turn of the year. I'm fine with respectful disagreements coupled with properly substantiated reasons and acceptance of opinions on the other side of the spectrum. However, the Laker fans that I've come across just can't seem to grasp this brand new concept. They can't see beyond Kobe's butterfly crown tattoo. Kobe fans, meet me after the random picture.

Look, I understand what you're going through. I know, you're not over it. It can be tough when something that has been so understood for so long come into question. But what you must realize is that Kobe being the best Basketballer was a temporary idea, and that it's shelf life has expired. What you fail to get is that when I and others say that Lebron is better, it does not mean that Kobe Bryant is terrible and overrated. Every sane hoops fan recognizes Kobe as the game's most cerebral and complete entity. Both of Kobe's fadewaways against Lebron this season are two of the best executed jumpers I've ever seen. Just because he isn't my overwhelmingly favorite player doesn't mean I relinquish my Basketball opinion for eternity. During my interactions with Kobe supporters, they seem to overlook Lebron's skill and use his physical imposition as a flaw. When this occurs, I begin to sense some distortion in the Laker fan, as if his precious Mamba's character has been insulted and he must defend his honor. I said Lebron was better; I didn't talk about Kobe's Mama.

So that is what it has come to. Showtime supporters need to check themselves just a little bit. All we are saying is that Kobe Bryant, in the rankings of people that play basketball worldwide, is #2. Until Lakers fans accept this, I can't talk about this topic anymore with them. I'll just direct them to the post. If you want to talk about Lebron/Kobe, you better like the T'Wolves or somebody. Laker fans, ya cut off.


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