For my whole life up until his Achilles injury in 2013, Kobe Bryant was undoubtedly my favorite basketball player. In the eyes of a 14-year-old boy, buckets were the ultimate attention grabber. Kobe could miss his last four shots while double teamed, but when he scored I would go nuts.
Fast forward to post Achilles injury Kobe and an older me; the magic had rubbed off. Watching old man Kobe was like watching the old family dog creep closer to doggy heaven (all while eating your puppies’ food just to throw it back up.) Even watching him score 60 in his final game didn’t quite feel right.
Post Achilles tear on, I was searching for the next great Laker to idolize. First it was Julius Randle, then he broke his leg opening night. Then it was D’Angelo Russell, until he was labeled a snitch and banished from the Laker kingdom. Then it was Brandon Ingram, until his mediocre rookie season. Then, it was Lonzo Ball until I was sick of defending him against other NBA fans.
Enter LeBron James.
Was all this build up written just for me to cop out and say the best basketball player in the world is my favorite athlete? Yes, yes it was, but in my defense, I’ve always been a LeBron secret admirer. He’s got the mind of a supercomputer, the body of a demigod, and is beefing with Donald Trump. I’m not disrespectful enough to say 23 over 24 yet, but ask me again after I see him catch a couple of touchdown passes from Lonzo.
Follow Jonathan Kermah on twitter @Jkermah98