Kobe vs. LeBron: Can Kobe’s Fans Finally Give a Little Credit Where It’s Due?

I've always admired Miami Heat forward LeBron James' talent on the basketball court, but I wouldn't call myself one of James' biggest fans.

My dislike of LeBron has nothing to do with his game and would be considered a very subjective opinion by anyone who heard it. However, there was nothing subjective about James' and the Heat's dizzying journey to the top of the league's hierarchy.

Miami's resounding 4-1 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder finally secured James his first elusive title, and it also cemented his status as the best player in the game right now.

James completed the rare trifecta of winning the league's MVP award, Finals' MVP award and the championship, while posting ridiculous playoff averages of 30.3 points, 9.7 rebounds, 5.6 assists and 50 percent shooting from the field along the way.

None of those numbers changes my opinion about James' arrogance or attitude, but they do give me a newfound respect for what James just accomplished and what he might in the future.

Some fans have yet to give a gracious nod in James' direction, and there will be legions of people who never will. But are Lakers fans generally, and Kobe Bryant fans specifically, included in that unofficial tally?

One of the first people I talked to after Miami's win in Game 5 was my cousin who is a huge Lakers and Bryant fan. I asked him what he thought about LeBron's historic postseason performance, and he responded with an expletive I can't reprint here, followed by his opinion that James was still a bum.

None of his criticism was based on anything that transpired on the court, and his mini-rant was oddly followed by a comparison to Kobe.

And my cousin is not the last Lakers or Kobe fan I have talked to who seems threatened by James' first ring and unwilling to lavish any praise where it's due.

Kobe is also my favorite player in the NBA, and t...

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