LeBron James has hurt if not ruined
his chances at being compared to Michael Jordan . . . or has he? And if he has
is it his fault? Well, no one should be compared to Jordan. Not Kobe, LeBron,
or anyone. There is one Kobe, one LeBron, one Jordan, one Russell, one Bird,
and one Magic. It is so annoying to me when legends get compared to all-stars
and players from different generations.
Anyway, back to my point. Kobe,
Jordan, Russell, Bird, and Magic played with one team and won a ring with that
one team in fact they won a total of 30.
However, Kobe had Shaq, Jordan had
Pippen, Russell had Cousy, and Magic had Kareem. LeBron? He had well . . . Big
Z and as much as I respect Big Z he is not a Shaq or Kareem. Sure he had Mo
Williams, Antawan Jaminson, and Shaq but for a combined 3 and a half seasons. Williams
and Jaminson are all-stars but not legends. Shaq last year was 37 and not the
Shaq Kobe played with. LeBron now has Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade to help him win a ring.
The bottom line is Kobe, Jordan,
Russell, Bird, and Magic had serious help and I guarantee that any of those
legends except maybe Jordan could not win a ring with the 2003-2010 Cavs.
The other bottom line is that it
is not LeBron’s fault for leaving Cleveland; it was the former general manager’s fault, Danny Ferry. Obviously, LeBron made
the decision but if the Cavs had dumped some salary to get LeBron some help or
just made better moves LeBron could still be a Cav and I think Ferry knows it,
which is why Ferry left.
The Cavs knew James wanted to win a
ring and with the current Cavs roster even with James could not win a
championship and they could not do anything about it.
One thing that could have helped
James stay might have been draft picks. In 2004 with the tenth and the Cavs
only pick they selected Luke Jackson ahead of Al Jefferson, Josh Smith, J.R.
Smith, and Jameer Nelson among others.
In 2005 they did not have a single
pick in the draft. In 2006 they
did pretty good with the 25th, 42nd, and 55th picks, Cleveland
selected Shannon Brown, Daniel Gibson, and Ejike Ugobaja. Brown though played
one year with the Cavs. Gibson is still a Cav and is a solid bench player.
Ugobaja never played with Cleveland or any NBA team.
In 2007 they didnât have a pick in
the draft either. They used their only pick, the 19th pick, in the
2008 draft to draft a solid bench player in J.J. Hickson. However, they could
have drafted Mario Chalmers, Chris Douglas-Roberts, or Patrick Ewing Jr. Ok
Ewing Jr. has never played in the NBA but his dad could have coached.
In my opinion we have not seen
enough of the 2009 draft class to say whom teams missed out on and the 2010
draft class obviously has not played in the NBA yet.
The Cavs went for need ahead of
talent and it worked out in some cases (Hickson and Gibson) but didnât in other
cases (Jackson and Brown). If the Cavs had drafted Al Jefferson, Josh Smith,
J.R. Smith or Jameer Nelson LeBron might still be in town . . . or not and his
legacy could be completely changed.
Imagine Jefferson, Josh Smith, J.R.
Smith, or Nelson playing in the 2007 Finals. Jefferson would most likely have
guarded Tim Duncan or Fabricio Oberto. Josh Smith would have most likely
guarded Bruce Bowen. J.R. Smith probably would have guarded Michael Finley.
Lastly, Nelson would have guarded series MVP, Tony Parker. Obviously, I am
assuming that all of those players would have started and still be on the team
three years later among other factors. If that had happened LeBron might still
be the king in Cleveland and/or have a ring on his finger.