Opinion — 14 April 2017

By Greg Buckley @g_buck23

With the 2017 NBA playoffs about to start, it has to be said again: Lebron James is the best alive in the game.

I’m a Golden State Warriors fan. I had no choice since my family is Bay Area all day with their sports teams.

NBA seasons can be hard to watch when your team sucks. Go ask Knicks and Lakers fans, if you can even find one. The Warriors have sucked for the large part of my life.

Until the 2006-07 when the “We Believe” team, when the Dubs upset the Mavericks in the first round.

You can call me a bandwagon fan, because at one time I was, but how long does the tag “bandwagon fan” stick with someone?

Before that moment, I followed one player starting in 2003.

I remember watching SportsCenter before it was turned into a drama show, about some skinny guy in high school dunking on everyone. His high school games were televised by ESPN, and he was on the cover of Sports Illustrated. All this before he was even in the league.

The self-proclaimed King had arrived, and his reign had begun.

Fast forward to this season. He has been to six-straight NBA finals, and probably seven this season. He has four Season MVP awards, and outside of the last two years, he should probably be the unanimous selection every season.

James has three Finals MVP’s, and it should be four.

According to Sports Illustrated, in the 2015 Finals James averaged 35.8 points, 13.3 rebounds and 8.8 assists across six Finals games. James scored 40 or more points three times in the series, including 44 points in Game 1, a career-high for James in the Finals.

Yes, they lost the series, but without James they would have never came close to winning two games. The NBA gave the Finals MVP to Andre Iguodala, because of the defense he played on James.

Really? Look at James stat line. Exactly what type of defense did Iguodala play on him?

The only true argument the haters have on James is he only has four rings as compared to Michael Jordan’s six.

I pray to the basketball gods he retires with more rings, just not at the expense of the Dubs.

Some say that MJ would take James one -on-one. Are you crazy? If you want to see a moment where size, strength and speed matters, then this would be the classic eagle versus worm match up.

James would put on a clinic. By the time it was over MJ would be submitting applications to model agencies due to the amount of posters he was just put on. James would say to MJ what Kendrick just said in his new song “Humble.”

Put James on any current team’s roster, and he instantly makes them a championship squad and gives them instant swag. Outside of the Dubs and Spurs, every team would cut all of their players to sign him.

So what do people hate on?

He is cocky, but anyone else in his shoes would be, too. (Size 15 for anyone wondering.) He has been balling out since he was a young grasshopper, always in the limelight. Let the man be cocky, and just know you will never understand why he does what he does.

Maybe the hate comes from when he left Cleveland to join Miami. That moment known as The Decision. A little bit over the top, but if I knew I was going to go somewhere and get what I wanted then I’m acting the same way. In fact, I’m putting a little more mustard on it. I’d do everything he did except I’d be riding an elephant who can high five people.

Look, haters are going to hate. It’s a known scientific fact, but the longer you harness that hate, the more you will miss out. In 50 years when folks talk about the greatest, do you really want to say you hated?

The Cavs and Dubs will meet in the finals this year, barring a serious injury to an important player.  James will dominate, and show the Warriors through grit that there isn’t anything they can do to their team to stop King James.

I predict Cavs in seven.

Long live the King.

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