What Ever Happened to Rivalry?

The Cavs are coming off a good road win last night against the Lakers (actually, who am I kidding we SHOULD have won that game regardless) that snapped our 6-game losing streak and while I’m pleased to see our “Big 3” led the box score, there was something else that irked me about the vibe of the game.

Kobe Bryant is one of the best, some may debate the best, to ever play the game of basketball. LeBron James, of course, is right up there too. I get that these gentlemen have a lot of respect for each other’s game; they’re both banged up a bit and haven’t had the seasons they were probably expecting to have thus far and can relate to each other on many levels aside from just being extremely athletic and talented. Something’s missing though:


Who would beat who in a Kobe/LeBron 1-on-1 match has been a major conversation piece of the NBA since The King came into the league.

So LeBron misses an easy dunk last night and laughs it off with his buddy Kobe down at the other end? NO. That’s not how the game works. LeBron should have tried untying Kobe’s shoes after poking fun at his missed dunk (totally kidding, but welcome to Cleveland, J.R. Smith). Where is the intensity between these two future hall-of-famers? As my father watched the game finish up and saw Kobe and LeBron engage in a long embrace, he, as only ridiculous a question my father would ask, asked: “What’s with the love affair going on between these two?”

Exactly right, Dwight Howard.
Exactly right, Dwight Howard.

But see, he’s totally right. Kobe got beat by LeBron at the Staples Center, his home court, ending the Cavs’ losing streak. Are the Lakers going to make the playoffs? Probably not, but it’s not exciting at all as a fan to watch Kobe be like, “Meh, we gave it our best shot, guys. LeBron you are just great. Really. Watching you and your disappointing team come and beat us at home was just swell.”

You never saw this kind of stuff between Magic and Larry (at least not during the game) and definitely not between The Bad Boys of Detroit and whoever it was they were trying to absolutely destroy during the playoffs in their era. Heck, even just the thrill of having another “Malice at the Palace” is something I wouldn’t be mad at. You hear that, Metta WORLD PEACE?


If you have a solid 12 minutes of free time, no distractions, please re-watch the madness in the link above. I beg of you. You’ll miss that day in a sort of, sick and twisted, respect for the NBA type of way.

In any case, if the Cavs had even just the tiniest flicker of hatred toward another team or player, it could seriously help out our chances of winning. I’m sick of the latest “scandal” in the NBA involving coach/player problems. Eff that! Go put that effort toward doing whatever J.R. Smith would recommend. Seriously.


3 thoughts on “What Ever Happened to Rivalry?

  1. THANK YOU! About time I heard someone else gripe about this soft bullshit in the NBA. I miss the Davis “brothers” in Indiana, New York’s front line, Charles freaking Oakley. Back in the day, every team literally had a dude who’s role was enforcer.

    Re-watch the 30 for 30 Winning Time about Reggie Miller for a refresher of what it used to be like to drive the lane.

    Oh. By the way, AWESOME blog Nell! Well I don’t get the non-sports jokes but whatever..


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