It’ll still be strange to see the
2016-17 NBA season kick off without
Kobe on the bench for the Los
Angeles Lakers, even though an Achilles’ tendon rupture effectively ended his
career back in 2013. At the end of the day, Kobe Shoes Australia Bryant’s
career is nothing short of a
master class in persistence.
From his 81-point game on a forgettable mid-2000s squad and
his five rings to his top-three position on the all-time scoring list and
the fact that he took the most missed shots in league history, there was never
any doubt that Kobe would keep going at 110% as long as he was able to,
which turned out to be just shy of two decades.
You can use the
description as derisively or as appraisingly as you want, but out of all the
players who tried to be the second Michael Jordan in the modern-day NBA, Kobe
was the only one to even come close.
LeBron over Kobe? Yes, you’re reading
correctly. While there’s an argument to be made for Bryant, we can help shaking
the idea that James swings the balance of a team in ways that Kobe never did.
Kobe is the best player on your team and you don’t have a Hall of Fame coach
(or, if you don’t want to be charitable to Pau Gasol, not paired with an elite
big man), you’re winning 34 games and missing
the playoffs. If it’s LeBron? Yeah, you going to the postseason.
still trails Bryant in the rings department, he’s managed to bring his teams to seven straight NBA Finals with Kobe 9 Shoes AU, and took
the Cleveland Cavaliers from a lottery team to the upper echelon of the league
overnight. That counts for something — to say nothing of his prodigious
on-court talent and astonishing numbers, as well as his health, which has to be
counted as an asset.
Out of all the
weird factoids that came out of the Cavaliers’ victory over the Warriors,
perhaps none was more curious than the following. At age 31, Michael Jordan had been to three NBA Finals, while
LeBron James, at the same age, had been to seven.
On one hand,
this is true. On the other hand, it’s virtually meaningless. Not only does age
not particularly matter, since Jordan was an NCAA player and LeBron came from
high school, but because you could easily reframe the facts to make all kinds
of bumper-sticker-ready statements with a similar amount of depth to them;
kind of like a very small lake after a very long drought.