NBA Fans May Never See the Kobe-LeBron Finals the League So Desperately Wants

In each of the last two seasons, fans and analysts alike have placed LeBron James in the NBA Finals long before the playoffs even started.  Nike even released an ad campaign featuring puppets of LeBron and Kobe talking trash back and forth in anticipation of the showdown in 2009.

Then came the shocking (for some) fall of LeBron and his Cavalier crew to the Orlando Magic in the Easter Conference Finals.  James infamously stormed off the floor after the game six loss, and the world let go of the Kobe/LeBron debate for a few weeks.

In 2010, after winning his second MVP award, James was once again crowned in the court of public opinion as the leader of the Eastern Conference Champions before the playoffs began.  During those playoffs, the Cavs were eliminated even earlier than they were the year before.

After the Boston Celtics ousted Cleveland in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, LeBron once again stormed off the floor (he did learn his lesson and shake a few hands this time). He took off his jersey halfway down the tunnel, and many wondered if he'd ever don those colors again.

Obviously, we now know that LeBron's career in Cleveland is indeed over.  He is now a member of the Miami Heat, and with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh on either side, he'll likely dominate the regular season once again.

The Heat will likely win upward of 60, maybe 65 games.  LeBron will be on the top-seeded team in the East for the third year in a row.  People will pencil them into the championship round before the playoffs begin.  In fact, this year that started prior to the opening of training camps. 

Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers were also prematurely inserted into the finals in each of the last few years.  The difference though, is that the Lakers fulfilled those expectations.

Kobe has lived up to his billing, LeBron has not.

This season represen...

About the Author