NBA, The NBA's 30 Best Go-To Players / Oct 23, 2009 / 8:00 am

The NBA’s 30 best go-to players (#4: LeBron James)

LeBron James

Who do you want your offense to run through with everything on the line? Counting down 30th to 1st (one per team), I’ve ranked the League’s go-to guys…

*** *** ***

#4: LEBRON JAMES, Cavaliers

Under a different set of circumstances and a different kind of criteria, I could easily argue that LeBron is the all-around, pound-for-pound best player in basketball. In fact, save for the existence of one Usain Bolt, I could argue for ‘Bron as the top active athlete in any sport today.

So what is LeBron doing holding any spot other than #1 or #1A on this list?

Believe it or not, it has nothing to do with the 2009 Eastern Conference Finals. As bad as that loss may look on the surface — LBJ’s top-seeded, 66-win team mishandling a series against a team whose best player can’t operate 10 feet away from the basket — I’ve already gone over why Cleveland’s failure to advance to the ’09 NBA Finals was no fault of their King.

In the Orlando series, LeBron answered questions of whether he could hit a big three-pointer when needed (Game 2), of whether he could knock down clutch free throws (Game 4), and of whether he could simply take over and will his team to a win while facing elimination (Game 5). And those were only the most recent displays of LeBron’s underrated abilities in the clutch: According to 82games.com, dating back to the beginning of his rookie year, James has more game-winning shots than anybody in the NBA. Last season he ranked second to Kobe in “clutch time” scoring (55.9 points per 48 minutes) and first in assists (12.6 dimes per 48), while also leading the League in fourth-quarter scoring.

There are a few lonely stats that don’t work out in LeBron’s favor — his 4.8 turnovers per 48 minutes of clutch time was among the highest in the League — but the reasons why he doesn’t make this year’s medal stand of go-to players have more to do with experience and simple preference.

Personally, I don’t trust LeBron taking a jumper in the fourth quarter as much as I would trust the three men who will rank ahead of him. I trust him just a little less to step to the line and hit those ice-veined free throws. And I look at LeBron’s hands and see he doesn’t have that certain blinding piece of jewelry the top three have. Also, while it’s hard to blame one of the most powerful athletes in the League for using bull-rush tactics when he needs to create a shot as often as he does, that approach sometimes results in critical turnovers and creates scenarios where LeBron needs to rely on a referee bailing him out.

Really, though, at the stage in the game it’s hard to have a wrong answer. You take any of the top five or 10 players on this list as your franchise guy, and you’re going to win a lot of games and contend for championships.

At this stage it’s about what style do you want to watch. For me, I can appreciate the calculated moves of a Floyd Mayweather-type over the overwhelming onslaught of a Ricky Hatton. There’s not much wrong with the Hatton way if you know how to work it — and LeBron does — but over time he’ll come to know that having tools in your box other than a gigantic sledgehammer can make you that much more dangerous.

*** *** ***

5. Tim Duncan
6. Dirk Nowitzki
7. Brandon Roy
8. Carmelo Anthony
9. Chris Paul
10. Deron Williams
11. Vince Carter
12. Joe Johnson
13. Danny Granger
14. Steve Nash
15. Kevin Durant
16. Gilbert Arenas
17. Derrick Rose
18. Chris Bosh
19. Andre Iguodala
20. Tracy McGrady
21. Baron Davis
22. Michael Redd
23. Devin Harris
24. Kevin Martin
25. Al Jefferson
26. O.J. Mayo
27. Stephen Jackson
28. Nate Robinson
29. Boris Diaw
30. Rip Hamilton

* Follow Austin Burton on Twitter: @AustinatDIMEmag
* Follow Dime on Twitter: @DIMEMag
* Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook HERE

Related Posts with Thumbnails
  • The other Aj

    AB initally I thought you were nuts putting LBJ here, but after reading through you make some good points. LBJ’s crunch time usually consists of ‘bullying’ his way to the rim for a dunk or a ‘superstar’ referee call. As he gets older that stuff isn’t going to work as much.

    He’s got better but he can still work on his mid-range game and his free throws shooting. Good point about his not being the “ice-veined” type…

  • ToAn

    so it’s allen or pierce at nr. 3? my guess is Ray-Ray

  • http:///www.in-n-outnba.blogspot.com Lucas

    Woah didn’t see this coming! I agree though, there are dealier guys with the balls in their hands.

  • Shrink This

    Right on AB.

  • Dagomar

    So you use stats to prove he’s probably the best clutch performer in the league and then reject them based on subjective emotions?

    If you look further into the stats, though, the argument in this article really falls apart: you dismiss Lebron’s drives to the net because supposedly they lead to more turnovers. But Lebron also shoots 56% in the clutch as compared to 46% for Bryant. He averages 1.6 more turnovers (but only .6 more than Wade despite shooting a much higher percentage). So obviously driving to the net – if that’s what the higher shooting percentage reveals – means Lebron is a much more efficient offensive player in the clutch than both Bryant and Wade. Is that entirely offset by turnovers? Unlikely.

    Did I mention Lebron rebounds more than both Wade and Kobe COMBINED in the clutch?

    Finally, if you’re going to mention the Orlando series – in which he averaged 38/8/8 by the way – you should also mention earlier series against the Wizard and Pistons. I think we already knew Bron can deliver when it counts in the playoffs.

    Sorry, but this ranking is pretty insane to me.

  • the_don_mega

    @AB – I assure you the Hatton-way doesn’t work… ask pacman…

  • the_don_mega

    but I gotta say I was surprised that you got Bron at 4… not arguing… just surprised… top 3 would be Kobe,Wade,Pierce?

  • king ralf

    very well written and nice comparisons

  • Kermit the Washington

    My prediction:

    3. Wade or Pierce
    2. Billups
    1. Kobe

  • aj

    Someone thinks way to highly of Big Baby and his one game-winner in the playoffs last year…

  • http://none Zeitgeist

    If Chauncey Billups is not in the top three My.Burton, then this entire series has been for naught.
    If the planet was going to pot and I needed someone to shoot the free throws to save us, it wouldn’t be any of the guys you have mentioned so far.

  • John

    Kobe, Wade and Pierce. 3 Finals MVP’s

  • ToAn

    @zeitgeist & kermit the washington: guys it’s one player for each team and carmelo represents denver at No. 8, so chauncey will definitely not be included in the top 3. my guess is as i said 1.kobe 2.wade 3.allen

  • VBG

    Wow, the choice between Allen and Pierce is gonna be tough. I see Pierce getting the nod though.

  • The other Aj

    @ToAn

    Pierce over Allen for the C’s

    You’re right about the nuggs. Melo should have been higher on this list by the way, at least ahead of B Roy.

  • Scott

    Well written and I think this is where Bron Bron belongs … but you cannot argue that a dude without a single championship is “the top active athlete in any sport today.”

    That is absolute craziness … have you heard of Tiger Woods or Roger Federer? Aside from marketing and endorsements Lebron is not even close to TW or Roger.

  • sh!tfaced

    Good one, AB. LeBron behind Kobe, Pierce and Wade, without a doubt.

  • ToAn

    @The other Aj: well, i’m not so sure about Pierce. In last year’s playoffs it was definitely Allen who was their go-to guy at the end of games – and Ray-Ray delivered again and again. maybe Austin is going to make an exception and take both ’cause it’s really close. Pierce has also a history of clutch performances but again, so has Ray and his FT’s are automatic.

    @scott: i think Austin was talking about how “athletic” bron is when he said that he is the top athlete. he didn’t mean the most succesfull athlete.

  • Me

    As long as Kobe isn’t #1. dude is overrated as a clutch player.

  • Sideswipe

    Explain to me how Kobe is overrated as a clutch player.

  • cbil01

    @ Scott

    here’s the thing about calling pro golfers “athletes”, if i can wear khakis and a polo while i’m playing a sport, there’s no athleticism involved in it. see also, poker. takes skill, yes, but athleticism? no. if phil mickelson is an athlete i’m a panda. and i’m pretty sure i’d take lebron over tiger in any test of running/jumping/strength or stamina which i think is what austin meant by the “top athlete” comment

  • karizmatic

    Nah Pierce has to get the nod for Boston, doesn’t he? And of course Kobe is number one. Are you kidding me? They don’t call him the stupid Black Mamba for nothing. He’s ice cold. At the same time I do agree he is overrated as a clutch player, but he’s going to be number one on any list like this. But if you look at ther games where he could have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that he was the real deal he quit. He quit on his team against Phoenix back in the day, refusing to take shots to prove a point and then later throwing his team and/or teammates under the bus. I didn’t appreciate that. LBJ did a similar act this year I don’t know if he simply ran out of gas or what, but that last game against Orlando it didn’t seem like he was really intent on winning or staking his claim as a warrior.

    What I want to see from guys who are considered clutch is they never say die attitude. I want guys who will put up 63 in an overtime loss just because they won’t go out without a fight. A lot of these guys play hard but when it comes down to it and they see the loss approaching they give up.

    Wade is the only guy in the league that I feel has that heart that will put up 40 or 50, or put up 18 points with his team down 10 and 5 minutes left on the clock trying to win. I mean all these guys have done it, but Wade is the guy I’ve seen do it the most consistently.

  • cbil01

    and while i’m here, 1-3 = kobe, wade, pierce

  • Ian

    dagomar i agree 100% with u.

    kermit denver already passed.

    austin idk about pierce or allen over td and bron.

    i dont get the knock about bron bullyin his way to the basket isnt that more effective than takin a jumpshot over 2 guys.

  • cru_thik305

    this is the biggest dumbest thing ive ever heard. you mean to tell me that pierce and wade are better go to players than lebron???? i can see kobe, maybe, but no way in hell are pierce and wade better go to players than lebron. You guys bring up that lebron leads everyone with turnovers in the clutch, but thats because he has the ball in his hands EVERY SINGLE play at the end of a close game. that is the definition of a go-to player. And you dont trust him taking a clutch jumpshot? does anyone remember game 5???? 16 points in 2 minutes??? this is ridiculous. Besides scoring for himself in the clutch, lebron is a way better playmaker than pierce or wade. when has lebron missed critical freethrows in the playoffs that cost the cavs the game? i know pierce missed a critical freethrow this year vs. the bulls in the 1st round that cost them the game, but he’s a better go to player? no way. i cannot believe this, i dont care if no one reads this, but i know that lebron is the definition of a go-to player, no matter what you guys say.

  • zen

    lebron is the best, he is more efficient. kobe is just more stylish, thats why he is a fan favorite.

  • Scott

    @ cbil01 aka Panda … comparing poker with golf = crazy

    Golf takes a lot of athletic ability (very different ahtletic ability then ball but they are certainly athletic skills) and from your comments it’s clear you do not golf.

  • TJ

    “Personally, I don’t trust LeBron taking a jumper in the fourth quarter as much as I would trust the three men who will rank ahead of him.”

    Lebron should be #1. If the question was “best go-to guy if you need a jumper” or even “best go-to guy for a last possession,” I could see your point. But as it is, Lebron is the best at carrying a team. He can score, make plays for others (MUCH, MUCH better than PP or Kobe, I would argue slightly better than DWade), get stops, or get a tough board. His versatility is crazy.

    Also, Kobe at his prime couldn’t carry a team like LBJ does, let alone now. Let’s not forget what Kobe was doing before he got Gasol from 2004-2007: missed playoffs, lost in 1st round, lost in 1st round. Lebron, after missing the playoffs his rookie year, has gotten to at least the 2nd round every year. Also, keep in mind that Lamar Odom (not good enough as Kobe’s second guy) would have been by far the second best player on the Cavs.

    If you still have doubts, rewatch this:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1Px-jPm_TU

  • control

    This is kind of fucked up.

    There is no way anyone from Boston is a better go-to player than LeBron. If it’s Pierce, what did he do when he was alpha dog? Can’t remember? Oh, that is because he did NOTHING, JACK SHIT. He had to get two future hall of famers before he could do anything at all.

    Shit, Pierce doesn’t even look like he is a basketball player, looks like a pudgy fool. Does he even have a go to move other than jab step fade away? He’s not quick, he’s not strong, and he’s not that exceptional of a shooter…guy is as overrated as they come.

    You could make an argument that Kobe is a better go-to player than LeBron. I could even see arguments about Wade, since he has a ring (despite refs giving it to him). But anyone on Boston? Helll naw!

  • knock knock

    Seriously, some of you guys need to get off lebrons nuts. 82 games makes no sense, as i live in ohio n get to watch every cavs game. Lebron is far from clutch, in fact, how can 82 games say he’s the MOST clutch when he has hit a total of 2 game winners in his career??? That’s right, two. One was a travel, the other luck. TWO!!!! how is he clutch??? 7 years and 2 gamewinners??? LMAO

  • the_don_mega

    @knock – maybe 3… he did have a game winner agains GS last year…

  • cru_thik305

    this is really bothering me. is this a list of best go to players for a single possession? or the best go to guys at the end of a close game? i dont understand how you guys can say something like this without giving a solid explanation. assuming the remaining 3 guys are pierce, wade, and kobe (no particular order), i dont understand how you consider them to be better go-to guys than lebron. a go-to guy doesnt necessarily mean that they have to only be able to hit a clutch shot, they more importantly have to be able to make the right decisions in a close game. A true go-to player has to know when to take the last shot, or when to create and dish to a open teammate. Looking back on the finals this year, do you guys remember when kobe forced that last second shot in game 2 and ended up getting blocked by turkoglu? heres the link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rE69d0H9bz0 notice how he has 3 defenders on him, with 2 wide open teammates, and still forced up a shot. i know this is just one example, but i could never see lebron doing something like that, he always knows whether to take the shot for himself ( game 5, ecf 2007) or pass it up ( delonte west game winner, 1st rnd 2008) heres the link for that http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Iu0eojiHtg

    this isnt a post on why lebron should be higher than kobe or #1, but i cannot accept seeing him at number 4. maybe im a little biased because im a cavs fan, but deep down i just know that im right and you guys are wrong. sure, pierce, wade, and kobe might all be slightly better shooters than lebron, but at the end of the day i know that lebron is going to make the best decision, regardless if we win the game or not.

  • Monsieur Buckets

    Jesus Shuttlesworth is not in the top 30…?

  • gilford22

    I’m not a Lebron fan but I think he should have been in the top 3 at least, well he may never shoot a jumpshot in the latter stages of the game but i think i would still prefer the ones who are going strong to the basket and take those high percentage shots.

    Add to the fact that Lebron will not always take those shots and instead be a decoy to make the play more effective.

  • http://bt.davka.info/ SparkyJay23

    I’m laughing at you guys saying Lebron is underated at 4 – remind me what his go to move was against the magic with the game on the line and a fuking frenchman in front of him? run and fall over for the superstar call -lol

    i’m surprised TD and carmelo wern’t higher but its all good

    Today i reckon Kobe, Wade, jesus/The Truth in that order.
    over their careers Jesus,Wade,kobe

  • zen

    kobe takes jumpers because he cannot forcefully attack the basket the way lebron does. not as efficient as lebron does. lebron can slash to the basket at will, why would he settle for a less effective shot if no one could stop him attacking the rim. again, the way kobe shoots his jumpers are really flashy and cool thats why people are impressed by the game winners of kobe. lebron is better scientifically but if you look also at the stylishness, kobe looks better.

  • karizmatic

    @ knock knock

    I think 82 games uses a certain period of time in the game like the last production in the last five minutes or something to denote crunch time. I don’t think it’s just a measure of who has hit the most game winners.

  • cru_thik305

    i expect an apology for this, someone must be pulling a prank on us because this just cannot be true. am i dreaming?

  • cru_thik305

    “Personally, I don’t trust LeBron taking a jumper in the fourth quarter as much as I would trust the three men who will rank ahead of him”

    so this is your definition of a go to player? in that case eddie house should be on this list. this is ridiculous

  • dreams

    LeHYPE james isn’t # 1! Austin took lebron’s dick outta his mouth!
    ahaahhahahahahahhahaaha
    ahahhahahaahhahahaahaahh
    ahahahahahahahhhaahahhaha
    hahahahahaahahahahahah

  • K Dizzle

    This might never happen again cuz I’m Lakers til I die, but this Paul Pierce hate is ridiculous. Dude IS clutch, BEEN clutch since he got screwed by nba execs outta Kansas.

    @ Control – maybe the fact that he doesn’t look like a baller, looks pudgy, ain’t the strongest or fastest is why he’s a better ballplayer than some of the thoroughbreds (like Lebron) in the league. One guy will run past you, dunk on you, pin your shit to the glass, but can’t shoot. Other dude is old school throwback. PP plays like Dantley, Aguire, Blackmon, Bird, Wilkes. Fakes, stepbacks, up and unders, pull ups. Nobody draws legitimate fouls like Pierce. The dude’s nickname is The Truth. Point blank. All that shit that Carmelo been doin and is gonna do is shit PP already done. You need a bucket from anywhere on the court, Pierce will get it. 1st quarter or ten seconds left don’t faze him. He won’t blow by you and he’s stronger than he looks. He’ll get you with a good basketball play. How many times you watch games where the other team is creepin back and the Celts just clear out the middle for Truth and just iso the defender. You watchin the game and the announcer just starts screamin,”Why aren’t they doubleteamin him?” Yeah, Ray hits the gamewinners too, but PP gets him in the position to do so. Sayin that PP didn’t do shit without 2 HOFers is ridic cuz what did Ray and KG do on their own, what did Kobe do on his own? What has Duncan done on his own? It cuz of PP that Ray gets that look for the gamewinner.

    Y’all need to remember that it’s BEST GO-TO-GUYS, not who’s hit the most gamewinners. It’s more than just hittin the shot, it’s makin the right play…and the top 3, Kobe, Wade, Pierce NEVER FUCK UP.
    Keep it real for a minute. When your team’s up one with like ten ticks left, and Mamba, Flash and Truth got the rock, you doin nuthin but being balled up in the fetal position hopin your coach smart enough to get the ball outta their hands. Heads can live in the past all they want and look to the future for the up and comers, but RIGHT NOW, there’s no doubt(apart from Tim over Carmelo)that the top 5 are the coldest killers in the league

    sorry from the essay, but that had to be said

  • Jamestown

    Excellent piece Dime…

    Good counter argument from 32 too

  • 92021SpurMD

    I think alot of you are missing the point Austin made about Lebron not having a jumper; what if the Defense stopped him from getting to the rim???? Do you trust his jumper enough as a last resort? I wouldn’t. Even if he decides to bully through three people, AND gets the superstar call, do you trust him to make the free throws? You’re always HOPING he makes the shot, you never already assume they are going in. Not only do Pierce (vastly UNDERRATED!!!), Wade, and Bryant give you that “aww crap, now he’s gonna make the free throws” feeling when they get fouled, but you definitely can’t defend them to a weakness. All three can get tough buckets in the hole, all three can create a shot, all three can step back and drain the trey. Lebron, he’s gonna either dunk or get fouled, then make one out of two. I personally think he should be behind Timmy, he always seems to make his FTs when it matters. Plus his decisions always seem to put points on the board!

  • cru_thik305

    all im saying is that ‘bron is a top 3 go to player, really should be 1 or 2, but there is no way he is only the 4th best go to player. Assuming the rest of the list goes Wade and Pierce and Kobe in that order, this just doesnt make any sense. Why do people act like lebron cant shoot? defenders have to respect his jumper, its not like he’s rondo or something. Its just that hes a better driver than a shooter, so other teams would rather have him shoot because its their best chance, not because he cant shoot.

  • 92021SpurMD

    Lebron’s J is still suspect. Last year he was hot. He drains shots this year and next year at that clip, then teams won’t have a weakness to send him to, much like Pierce, Wade, or Bryant.

  • Nyeme

    The question is “Who do you want your offense to run through with everything on the line? Counting down 30th to 1st (one per team)” This whole statement for this is bullsh!t. Lebron should not be higher than Melo. Lebron has had 1 Playoffs series of good decision making and coming through in the clutch. 1 set of games out of 6 years. For the majority of his time in the NBA, teams WANTED him to have the ball, knowing he would uff up.

    OK, the real debate is Hey-Zeus vs Pierce. I’m going with Shuttlesworth. Pierce delivers but his is also prone to turnover the ball ALOT, something Ray never does. KG and Pierce look to Hey-Zeus to deliver.

  • Zack

    There’s no way you can put Lebron out of the top 3. It’s Kobe-Wade-LBJ in some order and then everybody else.

    And I don’t care if Lebron’s J is shaky. The reason he’s better than Pierce is that he doesn’t need to use his jumper as much. He’s the most difficult guy in the league to keep from getting to the rim. I’ll take the guy who gets layups at the end of games over the guy who takes jumpers.

  • BiG ShoT BoB

    I say it goes:

    3) Wade
    2) Pierce
    1) Kobe

  • 92021SpurMD

    And Zack, that is exactly why you would have ZERO rings. Everyone knows that once you “bully” through the defense, eventually you have to make free throws, which is just a less active version of the jumper.

  • F.L.A.S.H.

    lebron airballed freethrows in the finals, i don’t give a shit how good he is now, but thats gonna stick with him forever…..

    other than the obvious fact that kobe is #1, it’s too hard to choose between pierce/wade/allen for 2 and 3

    -allen is the best at THE LAST SHOT
    -wade is the best at THE LAST 5 MINUTES
    -pierce is pretty damn good at both things

  • Zack

    SpurMD – He has zero rings b/c you can’t win a title with one guy. The supporting casts of the teams that have beaten Lebron in the playoffs have been sooooo much better than his. I mean come on, who is the best guy LBJ has played with? Mo freaking Williams? Duncan gets Manu and TP, Kobe gets Pau, Odom, Bynum, Howard gets Turk, Lewis, Pierce gets KG and RayRay. It’s not even close.

  • cru_thik305

    wtf? that is why cleveland surrounds lebron with shooters, teams cant just focus on stopping him from getting to the rim because he is a very capable and willing passer. and his jumper DOES NOT suck, since when does being a shooter = a go-to player?

  • control

    K Dizzle

    Yeah, PP is crafty. That is about the ONLY thing he has going for him. I just don’t know how you can rank PP (or Rayray) over LeBron, when either of those guys aren’t even the clear cut go-to guy on THEIR OWN TEAM. There is not even one comment or lucid thought about anyone saying “Delante West SHOULD be here instead of LeBron” (unless of course we were talking about best go-to guy for getting revenge on a drug lord for killing your woman).

    With Tim Duncan, there were doubts, with Melo, there were doubts, PP is going to have doubts. There aren’t going to be doubts with Wade or Kobe, nor is there any with James. I just don’t feel that you can rate James at 4th UNDER PP or Ray all things considered.

  • Reddi Red

    i feel you post # 41. very good post!

    1. kobe
    2. pierce
    3. wade

    if I HAD to name the top 5:

    1. kobe
    2. pierce
    3. Bron
    4. wade
    5. (hate to say it) – Dirk

  • karizmatic

    Ehhh #49 is right and not right at the same time. Free throw actrive version of a jumper…hmmm.

  • karizmatic

    free throw less active version of jumper

  • karizmatic

    @ 50 Actually I think I would take Kobe for the last shot…but definitely Wade for the last 5 minutes and Pierce is good at both.

  • Ian

    Dizzle
    So kobe never fucks up?

    Knock knock
    Last shot doesn’t mean u r clutch or not its last minutes of a close game that count. When 82 games say game winners they don’t mean at the buzzer is means that if I scored a basket to give my team the lead with let’s say a minute left and we win without the other team scoring isn’t that a game winner?

    Panda
    Golf=poker gtfoh that’s ignorant. Let’s have lebron with all that speed strenght and athletism outdrive tiger or daly. Golf is the hardest game to play (good level) and basketball is one of the easiest imo cuz u can be good on one area and suck at everything else u can afford to do that on individual shit(bowling doesn’t count).

  • Ian

    Control
    I agree with u on that
    Kobe wade and bron should be top 3 cuz u can make a case for other players on tds pps and melos teams

  • rell

    @control
    I don’t agree with you that a player ranking should be pentalized because they have another go to guy on their team. Case in point, if you put Ray Ray or Billups on the Cavs with Lebron, who do you think should get the ball in the clutch. It doesn’t become crystal clear anymore because depending on the situation Lebron might not be my #1 choice anymore.

    There maybe doubts about the go to player on the Celtics, Spurs, or Nuggets but alot team have no doubts (Pacers-Granger, Deron Williams-Jazz, Hawks-Johnson) but I would take none of these player in the clutch over Allen, Pierce, or Timmy.

  • control

    rell

    I think you CAN make that argument. It factors in at least, not to the point where you’d take Granger over Duncan or anything like that. If you think about it, if a team has to lock down TWO crunch time threats, instead of just focusing in on one star, then both of those threats are having an easier time to come through.

    Also, there isn’t anyone you could add to the Cavs short of Kobe that would even start a debate about who is the go-to player for the Cavs. If you did add Billups or Allen, what would change for the Cavs? LeBron is the alpha dog, period. He’s gonna set it up, and he’s a good enough play maker to ensure that the other people get their chance to step up too. The guy is the ‘go-to’ player for the Cavs in all senses of the word. Start of the game, middle, and end, it all starts and ends with him. Ain’t no other player you can really say that about.

  • K Dizzle

    @ Ian

    nope…..right now? Kobe never fucks up if we talkin about on the court in crunch time.
    Can’t leave him open cuz he’ll hit the jumper?
    check
    Will pass out of the double team (to the hot shooter)? check
    Will draw the foul or get by you if you play too close?
    check
    Will hit his free throws?
    check
    Can drain the 3 with the hand in his face?
    check
    Can post you up and kick out if the double comes or put a unguardable fadeaway on you?
    check
    Will work out with Dream to improve his footwork around the basket to get easy points?
    check
    Got to the Finals as the top dog and got smoked?
    check
    Came back the next year and put learned lessons into effect?
    check
    I ain’t a Kobe fanatic, but when Austin started writin this article, the only question was who would be 2-30 cuz NOBODY questioned who #1 was.

    So, yeah, Kobe doesn’t fuck up anymore. He’s selfish and confident enough to know what he can do, but he’s smarter now to know nodody wins on their own and he needs Fish, odom, Bynum, Ron, Pau. (Damn, we stacked!)

    Nuthin left but to win it again.
    Lakers alllllllllllllllll day
    I’m out

  • Ian

    nice i was going to give some examples to prove u wrong but u ended the post with a he doesnt do it anymore and i have to give u that.

  • http://dimemag.com charismatick

    LeBron “the lord of no rings” James.

  • chief youngblood

    I concur with K Dizzle

  • Gastro

    Ridiculous that Kobe is to be trusted more than LeBron in the 4th quarter, especially last 20 seconds. Kobe chokes more often than LeBron. He’s more egocentric and self-centrered and can’t see other possibilities except for himself taking the shot on the field. He doesn’t trust his teammates, he can’t see the qualities in them.

    Post 32 is really good and the youtube-example is excellent.

  • QazQami

    “but the reasons why he doesn’t make this year’s medal stand of go-to players have more to do with experience and simple preference.”

    wrong.

    u may prefer kobe & rayray but there’s no way they can be most clutch than LeBron.ur opininon doesn t reflect reality.

  • QazQami

    by the way have u looked at the last (game 1 finals)action when kobe gets rejected by hedo from behind ?

    there s not 1 not 2 but 3 !!!!! LA players alone but kb24 still dont care and wanna b the hero !

    u think lebron would heve not pass in that spot?

    i mean… come on … lol

  • Doug

    yall some hatin ass bitches,QazQami yall wanna dissect kobe this cat has been proving hater like yall wrong his whole career and this is the thanks he gets respect the game you bitches stop hating Bron aint there yet face facts. Damn yall hate I can’t believe you bron zombies are posting on this 3 day old shit…weenies ass dudes.Cru_thik305 your real tool are you actually citing shit on youtube about Kobe from the finals this years…the finals he was just the mvp for wining his 4th ring and doing what you guys said he couldn’t do without shaq…respect the game you hatin’ ass bitch bron has a long way to go he’s been in the league 7 years and has won nba mvp and a nba finals sweep to show on his resume,this cat is way behind the ball to me,he relies on sheer athleticism his jumper has gotten marginally better at best and he still hasn’t developed a post game…and to top it off he was on his first nba defensive team this year and he’s been the L for seven years by that time in Kobe’s career he’d already been selected to 3 or 4 nba defensive teams. He deserves to be ranked at #4.I think Brandon Roy’s all around game is leaps and bounds ahead of Lebron.Kobe is that dude yall he’s earned his stripes stop hating damn.

  • Doug

    gastro your an ass clown too”He’s more egocentric and self-centrered and can’t see other possibilities except for himself taking the shot on the field. He doesn’t trust his teammates, he can’t see the qualities in them”what does that have to do with anything all the greats are egocentric and self-centered MJ was that way too and so is Kobe you ass pirate.That’s what makes them great they believe in themselves to such an extent that idiots like you write shit about there character like you know them. Stop cutting around shit end of the day bron isn’t the closer Kobe is hell he’s not the closer that melo,d-wade or b.roy are much less kobe.yall cats are in denial and i can tell by your arguements.Kobe misses more big shots to you because he takes more,he has the balls to do it he isn’t putting game winning shots in the hands of tools like damen jones and mo williams he has the stones to take big shots and most of the time he makes them.

  • Doug

    riddle me this bron zombies? what has trusting in those ass clowns he calls teammates got Lebron?Huh?Huh?answer me you NBA experts?………….0 rings……..1 MVP and 1 finals sweep…I rest my case….Until bron grows some nuts and stops biting his nails when he plays kobes looking all shook and shit he will never win a ring…his team smells fear and that’s why they get ousted every year.

  • AntwonFisher

    Doug, Are you really making a point that Lebron needs to develop a post game? What? With all the time he spends in the paint posting up, I’m amazed he’s not good at it right? . Oh no! I suppose Shaq is a bad post player for not developing his 3 pointer enough right? LeBron’s game is driving; he’s a strong guard. It’s a high percentage shot that he takes. You’re a pure retard. Also, Kobe raped that girl.

  • QazQami

    lol@doug

    i luv kobe too, i just say that lebron takes better decisions and is #1 on this list …
    U 4 sure are a fuckin hater my friend haha
    lmfao what a monkey ^^

  • Doug2

    Doug…I think the words you need to learn are…”period”…”comma”…maybe go back to grade 4 before you post shit that makes zero sense…

  • wano

    Bron da fuckin best in the world fuck kobe.