Kobe Bryant’s Journey Should Be a Lesson To LeBron James in Free Agency

Most of the speculation concerning LeBron James' impending free agency decision has centered around which teams will be able to afford his services, rather than the roster that will surround him.

If James is truly serious about cementing his legacy by competing for an NBA championship, it may benefit him to take a peek at Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers, and how they arrived at this point.

The past two seasons the Cleveland Cavailiers existed under the myth that they could be competitive by surrounding James with various players who were long on athleticism, but short on talent.

Even after the Cavaliers lost to the Orlando Magic in the Eastern Conference Finals of 2009, an emphasis was placed on size and depth, rather than a true NBA superstar to pair alongside James.

Cleveland added an aging Shaquille O'Neal to compete with the Magic's Dwight Howard, and they added the athleticism of Jamario Moon and Anthony Parker for good measure.

The Cavaliers' facade came crashing down when they were matched against a Boston Celtics' team in this year's postseason, who were simply more talented at every position besides the one James played.

It was the second straight year the Cavaliers had entered the postseason as the NBA's best regular season team, and the second straight year they were unceremoniously ushered out of the postseason.

It became apparent the biggest flaw facing the Cavaliers was their talent level, and it's a situation Bryant is all to familiar with following the departure of O'Neal from Los Angeles.

The Lakers missed the postseason in 2005, Bryant's first year as the face of the franchise, and even though Los Angeles qualified for the postseason the next two years, Bryant's frustrations began to boil over.

Bryant threatened to force a trade if the Lakers failed to surround him with talent that was capab...

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