I remember looking out on the court during the United States' victory over Greece at the Beijing Olympics. Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Dwayne Wade were on the floor together, and it just didn't seem fair. It was hard to imagine three basketball players of such surpassing skill playing on the same team at the same time. I'll admit, it was hard to decide which of the three NBA greats was the best player of the three. I've gone back and forth in my oime. wn mind, and it's never an easy call.
But if I had to choose, I'd go with James. He'd certainly be my choice if I had one player to build an NBA team around. Amazing as it seems, he's only 23. He turns 24 in December. Last year, LeBron averaged 30 points. over 7 rebounds and 7 assists. I think he's still getting better. He"s not as good a pure shooter as Bryant or Wade, but he's a physical freak who can score and make the players around him better. Look at the team that was around him when he willed the Cavs to the NBA Finals two years ago.
Ultimately, players are judged by championships. Wade carried Miami to a title. He's an extraordinary talent. Bryant has won three, but he had Shaquille O'Neal every time. Bryant needs to lift this current Lakers team to another championship to cement his reputation as a great team player. James will eventually win NBA titles and be regarded as one of the top five players of all time. Maybe he'll have to leave Cleveland and go somewhere else to prove it.