As someone who has followed the NBA virtually since there has been an NBA I have a problem with some NBA fans. OK, most of them.
Homers and Haters. As a Laker fan I'm a Kobe fan. If he were to go to another team I would still be a Kobe fan but not so much. My loyalties lie with the Lakers.
But I am a fan of excellence. I don't like Lebron James's attitude anymore than I liked Kobe's youthful attitude. But in order to be a fan of the game, one must put aside offcourt attitudes and focus on the game being played.
If Kobe or Lebron gets shut down for a game you know that's not going to happen often but a true fan will admire the effort of the one(s) involved in shutting them down. That doesn't mean you instantly start calling Kobe or Lebron a stiff and the person who defended well the next "Kobe stopper" or "Lebron stopper".
True greatness and records are both meant to be overshadowed and eclipsed as time goes on. What real interest would there be in next season if that were not the case?
When the Lakers play I rejoice and suffer with every win and loss just like everyone does with their favorite teams. When the Lakers are not playing I watch the people and teams I enjoy their abilities and efforts. Dwayne Wade, Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Tim Duncan, The Magic, The Cavs, The Celtics, I watch everyone for the love of the game.
For more than 15 years I've chatted and blogged about the NBA. But I seldom do anymore because there is little that is said without a homer making outrageous statements concerning his team or a favorite player. Then a hater chips in with their "Kobe is a rapist" claim as if stating this somehow justifies hating the Lakers. You hate the Lakers for the same reason you hate the Celtics, the Yankees and other successful franchises. They're not your team.
Today we have far more outstanding players in the NBA than we had during Micheal Jordan's prime years. Some should be revered and respected because they are in the twilight or prime of their years and are establishing NBA history virtually everytime they walk on a court.
Others are just now showing they are worthy of the attention they get. And worth watching their development. Still others are great role players. No team wins titles without key role players. Still others are to be lauded simply for the fact they are good enough to hold down a bench spot when so many million of others have tried and never got that far.
If the Lakers and Cavs play and Kobe outscores Lebron by 10 does this mean a thing in the larger picture whether the Lakers or Cavs won? It most certainly does. It goes to mental dominance. It may go to home court advantage should they meet in the finals. It absolutely goes to watching two future Hall of Famers meet.
But what it doesn't do is mean that Kobe rules and Lebron sucks or vice versa.
It simply means we got to see yet another great game in a history of great games.
To you homers and haters a word of advice. A little maturity makes the game a lot more fun.