Do not get me wrong Lebron James will go down one of the greatest basketball players of all-time, but he is ruining everything the NBA All-Star game used to be. Back in the 80’s Isiah Thomas and Magic Johnson went at each other in all-star games, yes they had a great relationship but there was a point in Magic’s career where he had to decide between his friendship with Isiah or the Los Angeles Lakers and
we all know he chose his team. Back to Lebron James though, the NBA switched the format as Lebron James and Stephen Curry lead the way in All-Star game votes and not shockingly Lebron James chose Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Both Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving are what you would call Lebron’s rivals in the NBA right now.
Kyrie Irving did everything possible to get away from Lebron James by even threatening the Cleveland organization he would opt for knee surgery which would have kept him out for most of this season if they did not move him. Kevin Durant if you recall said years ago he was tired of being second and has joined a Golden State Warrior team which could end up being a dynasty assuming Klay Thompson re-signs when he is due for a contract extension. Kevin Durant took it right to Lebron James in the NBA Finals in what was basically a rout in 5 games, yes Lebron James did average a triple double but that series was the passing of the torch. Lebron James chose to pass to Kyle Korver for a 3 looking for what would have been a 10th assist and Kevin Durant came down court and hit a cold blooded 3 pointer over a late recovering Lebron James.
Lebron James clearly picked the more star studded roster, he is accompanied by Kevin Durant,Kyrie Irving,Anthony Davis,Demarcus Cousins,Russell Westbrook,Kevin Love,Victor Oladipo,Bradley Beal,John Wall,Kristaps Porzingis, and Lamarcus Aldridge. Stephen Curry’s teams boast Giannis Antetokoumpo,James Harden,Al Horford,Demar Derozan,Klay Thompson,Draymmond Green,Joel Embiid,Jimmy Butler,Damian Lillard, Karl Anthony-Towns, and Kyle Lowry. Of course Lebron’s roster looks better on paper but Curry’s team is just as lethal, it all will come down to which team plays better out on the floor. Lebron’s team might have troubles since Russell and Kevin still do not have the best relationship and how do we know how Kyrie feels about playing with Lebron? So that might end up hampering them.
We all know Russell Westbrook will be out to get his and will more then likely have motivations of outscoring everyone on Lebron’s roster, Russell is not the most friendly guy compared to Lebron so chemistry might be an issue. Stephen Curry is what you call a chemistry wizard and Draymmond Green and Al Horford are two of the most versatile and unselfish bigs in the game. Jimmy Butler and Joel Embiid are killers on the basketball floor and demand pressure so I do not believe this will be one of those high-scoring exhibitions. Look for Jimmy Butler,Draymmond Green, and Klay Thompson to get serious in the second half if not earlier to neutralize Durant,Westbrook, and Irving who will for sure be looking to fill up the scoreboard. Not to mention Curry and Harden are arguably the two best play-makers in the NBA and both are elite 3 point shooters, Giannis will look to put his stamp in the game and prove himself as the future face of the league if he hasn’t already.
I miss Kevin Garnett and Kobe Bryant who were two of the league’s most fierce competitors, they never looked to buddy up with their competition or get all friendly on the basketball floor. Lebron James has done this throughout a playoff series against Paul George giving high 5’s, after the Cavaliers got blown out a week ago on their home floor he was laughing and joking as if he won the basketball game. He also did the same with the Spurs when Dejounte Murray was looking to win and defeat Lebron and Lebron was trying to make friends and give credit to the kid. The Cavaliers ended up losing the game and Lebron was all laughs after the game, did we ever see Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan show this type of friendliness on the basketball court? I do not think so. When Michael and Kobe lost they took it personal, losing never left them happy.
To conclude I do not want to sound like a Lebron basher but I was old enough to witness Michael Jordan win his last 3 championships and I do everything possible to study the history of the game since I came into this world 1989 and never got to see Larry and Magic dominate in the 80’s and see their legendary rivalry. The NBA lacks a rivalry because Lebron does not allow it, Kevin Durant is the player trying to ruin his legacy and keep him away from ever winning another title yet he teams up with the man in the All-Star game? Kyrie Irving got away from your shadow to compete against you in the Eastern Conference and you also pick him? I will never understand.