LeBron, the Warriors, and Media Prejudice in Los Angeles

Years ago I wrote a lot of critical stuff about LeBron James. He has proven me wrong and today he clearly is basketball’s best player, and among the all time elite, perhaps on the way to ending his career as the best of all time. His numbers in this year’s NBA finals are astounding, averaging over 40 points and a triple-double per game, but the numbers do

not even do him justice - his play has been even better than that.

His Cavaliers are up two games to one against the deep and powerful Warriors, despite the current injury-riddled squad having not a single additional established, front-line player. If James can lead Cleveland to the NBA title, it will be an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime result.

The closest comparison I can think of would be
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Michael Jordan in his early years with the Bulls. There was Jordan, the league’s best by a wide margin, playing on a team of decent though not great veterans and some yet untapped young talent, but the team did not excel at all. For example, in Jordan’s third season, 1986-7 his Bulls team made the playoffs despite finishing the regular season under .500 at 40-42, and despite decent, established NBA players such as Charles Oakley, John Paxson, Sedale Threatt, and others, they lost all three of their post season games. In 1987-8, Horace Grant and Sam Vincent were new and key parts of the team, as was a rookie by the name of Scottie PIppin. The Bulls’ won-lost record improved to 50-32, yet the Bulls lost four of five games to Detroit in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. The next season Jordan played with Pippen, Grant, Paxson and Bill Cartwright, and the team again was eliminated by Detroit, four games to two, but in the Eastern Conference Finals.

You cannot tell me that the current supporting cast of Cavaliers can compare to Jordan’s teammates in those early years. Yet, Jordan could not get his teams even TO the finals. James is doing his best to win a title playing alongside Matthew Dellavedova, Tristan Thompson and Timofey Mozgov. Absolutely amazing.

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All of this is making the personnel at Los Angeles Sports Talk Radio KSPN, the local ESPN outlet, very sad. You see, one of the guys who has a show is former Laker and current Laker's color commentator, Mychal Thompson, the father of Warriors' guard Klay Thompson. For a couple of years now it has been sickening to hear Thompson rave on and on about his son, who a listener would think was a combination of James, Jordan, and Abraham Lincoln. What's even worse, though, is how other hosts and commentators on the station
have followed suit, leaving all objectivity, not to mention reality, aside, constantly not just lavishing praise on Thompson himself, but unabashedly rooting for the Golden State Warriors. In Los Angeles. On the Lakers’ station.

These are the same guys who will not ever root for the Clippers, Los Angeles’ GOOD basketball team, or the Angels, the “other” LA baseball team, and despite their good Stanley Cup run, the Ducks of neighboring Orange County, a far better and more exciting team this season than their beloved Kings.

But the Warriors are a different story – an opponent of their Lakers that has been embraced for all the wrong reasons.

Game four is later today, and I’m rooting for Cleveland.

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