NBA: What Makes Kobe Bryant’s Legacy Any Better Than LeBron James’?

There have been two words floating around the NBA this entire offseason—loyalty and winning.

Many people believe LeBron James has shown no loyalty to his hometown of Cleveland, and frankly, I have to agree with them.

While he had every right to leave through free agency, the way he did so was disrespectful and, well, pretty cruel. I think the images of the burning jerseys shows what regard the Cleveland natives hold him in now.

But what I don't get is the number of people who say he will forever be overshadowed by the likes of Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, and Kobe Bryant.

Wait, what? Kobe Bryant? Let me take you back to the offseason of 2007, when Kobe Bryant was demanding a trade from the Lakers. 

Let me refresh your memory, with a few paragraphs from an article on from 2007.

"When you love something as much as I love the Lakers its [sic] hard to even imagine thinking about being elsewhere," the message on his Web site,, read. "But, the ONE THING I will never sacrifice when it comes to basketball is WINNING."

The two-time scoring champion also wrote: "The more I thought about the future, the more I became convinced that the Lakers and me just have two different visions for the future."

The 28 year-old, nine-time All-Star has four years left on his contract, but can terminate it following the 2008-09 season.

Bryant last month voiced frustration at Lakers management and publicly requested he be traded after the team was eliminated by Phoenix in the first round of the playoffs.

Would it then be safe to assume, that if Kobe Bryant were a free agent during the 2007 offseason, he would have signed elsewhere?

Of course, history shows us that Memphis was stupid enough to trade Pau for scraps. So, Kobe got his running mate, and won back-to-back titles. And since then, everyone seemed to have forgott...

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