Kobe Bryant, LeBron James

No one wins NBA championships on his own. LeBron James teamed up with stars and friends, and so have other MVPs and superstars during the history of the league. Kobe Bryant knows a thing or two about great teammates.

Bryant doesn’t have much to do these days except criticize and react to things that are happening. Almost like a reporter, only he’s paid more than anyone else in the NBA while not playing at all for a second straight season. It doesn’t mean he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

Bryant has a point. He had Shaquille O’Neal during the three peat (2000-2002). Pau Gasol might not be Shaq, but the Lakers had an excellent team in 2009 and 2010, winning two more titles to bring Kobe’s ring tally to five.

Michael Jordan had Scottie Pippen as his wing man, and some of his other teammates like Dennis Rodman, Horace Grant and Toni Kukoc are nothing to be ashamed of. Take almost every Finals MVP or so called one-man team and you’ll find out it’s a lot more than just the face of the franchise responsible for winning the title.

So why does LeBron James’ story rub people the wrong way? For two reasons: The way he left the Cavaliers in 2010 and his arrogant, over the top ‘Decision’ announcement, and how he, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh orchestrated to get together and play next to each other. There’s this flawed logic that says stars shouldn’t be friends and never try to team up. Some people just feel weird when players hold most of the power in the system, as if there’s something unnatural about it.

James going back to Cleveland works both ways. In one way he’s repenting for leaving them in 2010, coming back to complete a job he didn’t finish. The other angle of this is him once again teaming up with All-Stars like Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, younger versions of what he had in Miami, realizing he wasn’t going to win an NBA title if he stayed there.

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