I just recently saw the new Bill Simmons article on how he was blown away by Lebron at a Clippers game. Here's my thoughts.
"So when a basketball player gets thousands of NBA fans to geek out 25 minutes before a game, especially here, he has to be special. In my newest book, I wrote about how Michael Jordan's competitiveness separated him from everyone else, but so did his force of personality. He had a knack for pulling every eyeball in the room his way ... even a room with 18,000 people in it. Referees and opponents fawned over him. Teammates followed his instructions like drones. If he made an unusually splendid play and glanced into the stands for approval, entire sections would swoon. Command of the room. That's what Jordan had. Kobe doesn't have it, and he never had it. That will always be the difference between them."
Of course he's talking about Lebron James.
I don't think Bill Simmons is following Laker road games where Kobe Bryant routinely gets MVP chants and numerous Laker jerseys that is worn by fans in the stands. I don't think he saw the Olympics in 2008 where Kobe got the loudest ovation in the opening ceremonies and was the only athlete their that almost caused riots basically by his presence alone.I also don't think he has ever gone outside of America where Kobe is the most popular active NBA player on the planet and his jersey is currently the no. 1 seller in North America, Asia, and Europe. I also don't think he watches recent news where Kobe's jersey is once again the number one seller based on sales at the NBA Store in New York City and NBAStore.com since the start of the '09-10 season. So the facts state that Kobe gets fans more "geeked out" than Lebron James does.
Sure, Lebron gets fans on the road geeked out as well but not on the level that Kobe does. Lebron is also a global icon in own right but not as big as Kobe. So the propaganda game between fans of both NBA stars pull on each of their beloved icons and this article is no exception. I have read worst things written about Kobe in the past compared to this but it really infuriates me when they bring down Kobe and make Lebron look good and it shames me when my fellow Kobe fans bring down Lebron to make Kobe look good. I also don't believe that ESPN as a company is very anti-Kobe and pro-Lebron but some of their writers are. I admit I am not the biggest Lebron fan because I have been a Laker and Kobe fan since '96 but I never denied that Lebron is a great player but what fuels my dislike for the guy is the propaganda that media manufactured about him even before he entered the NBA. I thought that they were forcing this guy on us even if he doesn't deserve all the things they were throwing at him like pushing him that this is his time now and Kobe is over. Then I suddenly realized that none of that is Lebron's fault but the writers who made those propaganda and in turn provoking fanbases of both players to call names at each other. Fortunately for Lebron, he fulfilled the hype sparing him from a "Kwame Brown treatment" or worst.
The Kobe and Lebron debate is good for the league and everybody is entitled to their own opinions but I hope that writers like Bill Simmons should be more impartial and responsible because they reach a far greater audience and they work for big media companies like ESPN.