Article on KB24, aka the “Kingmaker.”

Slate: The NBA and its marketers, dedicated to maximum hype always, have been rooting (via the medium of puppetry) for a collision of superduperstars in this year’s NBA Finals. The trailer for an ESPN special about Kobe Bryant and LeBron James, “Dream Season: 23 & 24,” prematurely posited that the Cleveland Cavalier gives Kobe a long-awaited, worthy rival to test himself against, like Magic Johnson against Larry Bird, each man’s brilliance counterbalanced by the other’s.

But Magic and Bird were true contemporaries: They battled for the college championship, then entered the NBA together as rookies. Kobe was a three-time NBA champ when LeBron was still in high school. And now, at age 30, Bryant is starting to fade from his physical peak, while the 24-year-old James is still on his way up. Their relationship is more like the one between Bird and the aging Julius Erving—though the two did star in a one-on-one video game, their on-court rivalry was punctuated by a frustrated Dr. J grabbing his young tormentor by the throat.

More importantly, the Waiting for LeBron premise shortchanges the rivalry that has truly defined an era in the NBA: Kobe Bryant against the Guy Beating Kobe Bryant.

Continue reading ‘Kobe the Kingmaker’

  • G-Small

    This is one of the BEST articles I’ve read in a long time.

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  • gugy

    indeed a nice article.

  • dan

    what the heck was this guy talking about?

  • Sean All Ivy

    This writer doesn’t give Kobe half the credit he deserves

  • WifelovesLuke

    The writer was just merely making the point that this so called rivalry is nothing of the kind. Magic = Champ. Bird = Champ. Kobe = Champ. Lebron = ? The guy has been called the chosen one and king since he put on a jersey, yet has failed to win the big one. Kobe has three, is close to number 4 and with a young roster and a few off season trades he could pick up 5 and 6 to match MJ before he fades away into the sun set. Lebron? Not ready yet and doesn’t have the pieces around him to make a solid 2 or 3 year run.

  • sketch

    Good read! I think that everything he wrote was true. Fact of the matter is, the who’s of who in the League all measure themselves up against Kobe as the competition! Every potential “next” Jordan has come and gone and have all FAILED and failed miserably because they could not come close to the ICONIC status. The Harold Miners( yes the Harold Miner from USC, called baby Jordan ),the VCs, the McGradys, etc… because they’ve all failed to win their championships. Kobe Bryant has been the only one who’s come close and is still in pursuit currently.

    Whether Kobe says he wants to be compared to Jordan or not, it doesn’t matter! Because Kobe says that he wants to be not only the best that he can be, but the best ever… and Jordan is pretty much that standard, so by default, Kobe is asking to be measured up to Jordan! And I think that he’s pretty darn close!
    Everyone in the media wants to hand the keys of the kingdom to

    LeHype, but he’s proven nothin yet except that he’s a great athlete! The things that he’s able to do physically is beyond anything that we’ve seen in an athlete. But skill wise, he’s not even close to being on the same stratosphere as Kobe. Kobe is so much more a complete player as far as what he can do with the ball and defense! LeHype has maybe a greater court vision and passing ability, but that part of LeHype’s game does not in any way eclipse Kobe’s as does Kobe’s offense arsenal to LeHype’s!

    Kobe’s taken on all comers who would challenge him for his title as the ruler of the League! And he’s taken them all down! Stackhouse, Arena, VC, McGrady, Iverson, KG, and on and on…the list has been long and he’s come out on top against them all. Now there’s a whole new class of newbies to challenge him… Wade, LeHype, and Melo. Kobe’s proven his worth over these worthy foes over and over again. But let’s do remember one thing that the writer had acknowledged which is Kobe is 30 compared to LeHype’s 24. Age is on LeHype’s side on this battle, but Kobe is more than holding his own. The fact that there’s such a heated debate over Kobe and LeHype as to who’s better shows you that Kobe is still up on top and has yet to be knocked off!

    Kobe in my opinion is definitely on the Mount Rushmore of Basketball right next to Jordan and LeHype’s gotta do much much more to even come to the base of the mountain let alone have his face memorialized on the side of the peak! I’m not saying that he won’t get there one day, but I just hate the fact that he’s been handed everything to the kingdom already while Kobe has to earn everything that he’s ever gotten!

    Kind of ironic right? Kobe was the privileged kid growing up in the more affluent neighborhood while LeHype grew up on the wrong side of the tracks. But once in the NBA, Kobe had to earn his spot in the rotation on the team, then as a starter, then as to who’s leading the team… him or Shaq, and eventually to the best player in the League and even beyond that… the world! LeHype had more hype than the zip codes that J-Lo’s@$$ covers. He comes in the league and is immediately given the reigns of the team, the franchise, the city, and now all media want to give him the kingdom.

    Unfortunately for Kobe, because of his personality and how much of a recluse he is, the media just doesn’t like him. That’s why they sided with Shaq over him all those years and now because Shaq’s already faded they have to prove themselves right about what they thought about Kobe that they are going “all in” with LeHype! They just can’t give Kobe the credit that he deserves because he’s “not likable”, while one can’t help but to love LeHype every time he steps out of his house. When Kobe scores 50, he’s selfish. When LeHype scores 50, it’s look how amazing he is. When Kobe scores 20, he’s not doing enough… he didn’t carry his team. When LeHype scores 20, it’s look how he involves his teammates!

    LeHype just gets pass after pass while Kobe gets stopped for profiling everywhere he goes. But don’t worry Kobe, there are people out there, not only fans, but people with objective opinions who sees things for what they really are and YOU’RE STILL THE REAL KING OF THE LEAGUE and have been for the past decade and will be for at least a few more years!

    GO KOBE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GO LAKERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!





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