This Off-Season’s Winner? Kobe Bryant’s (Potential) Legacy

It still hasn’t gotten old.

June 17, 2010 - Los Angeles, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES - epa02208460 Los Angeles Lakers' Derek Fisher celebrate after defeating the Boston Celtics during game seven of the NBA Finals at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, USA, 17 June 2010. The Lakers defeated the Celtics 83-79 to win their 16th championships.


Every day I wake up and I ask myself, “Am I still living in a world where the Boston Celtics choked away a 13 point lead in the second half of Game 7 to lose to the Lakers?” And then I’ll hop on my BlackBerry and confirm: indeed, I am living in such a world. And such a world is a beautiful place.

……

This off-season has seen seismic shifts in the power hierarchy of the NBA. Amar’e Staudemire left for the bright lights (and #8 seed) of New York. Carlos Boozer went to Chicago (who quietly built themselves a very solid squad in the wake of losing the LeBronathon). And Darko Milicic signed a contract that will pay him to suck at his profession and make more money in one year than I’ll probably make in six lifetimes.

The big news came from “South Beach”, where Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade looked at each other and said, “You know what? 80 degree weather in December, stupid amounts of models, playing basketball together, when we’re in the physical primes of our lives… it’s something that sounds fun.”

LeBron definitely threw away his chance to be considered the greatest of all time. And, he definitely broke one of the foundational cruxes that makes the NBA so great: one man can dominate a game like in no other sport; and alpha males don’t join forces–they try to beat each other. And on top of that, this is all happening in Miami–easily the biggest bandwagon sports town in America. It’s hard for me to think of a lesser deserving fanbase in sports to be able to watch this team 41 nights a year.

But, As a 23 year old, I guess I understand. If two of my friends and I were three of the top six or seven players in the NBA, and we had a chance to play basketball together in a town featuring a bottomless pit of groupies and 80 degree days in December… it’s hard for me to pretend I would care about anybody’s opinion on my legacy. It’s not a fun realization, but it’s true: I doubt LeBron is losing any sleep over how people like you and me view his legacy.

Next: The NBA’s Newest Rivalry

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