From Cleveland To LA: The Death Of The King

By Ikenga Chronicles July 2, 2018

From Cleveland To LA: The Death Of The King

–Vitus Ozoke

Whoever advised LeBron James to sign with Los Angeles Lakers gave him a very bad piece of advice. And the reason is that man there in the yellow jersey, Kobe Bryant (The Black mamba!). At this stage of his career in the NBA, James should be about the consolidation of legacy.

At 33, James has, roughly, four more years of fairly productive basketball. Going into Kobe’s house to run out your career clock is a dumb decision. Staples Center is Kobe’s shrine, and will be for a long time to come. Anybody who goes in there, especially at the age of 33, goes in as a worshipper, not the Chief Priest.

LA is a Kobe town! There are no two ways about that. Kobe holds the NBA record of the most seasons played for a single franchise – 20 years with Lakers, winning 5 championships for that City of Angels. You can’t beat that! He stuck with Lakers through thick and thin; through the ebbs and the flows; in sickness and in health; for better for worse; until age did they part. Nobody, not the least LeBron James, has shown that loyalty to a sports franchise.

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He may no longer have an active physical presence, but Kobe’s spirit will for long lurk in the backgrounds in Staples Center. When he is not there, Jersey #8 and Jersey #24 will hang like twin swords of Damocles from the Staples ceiling top, defending a legacy hard-earned. Nobody in the history of the NBA has had two jerseys retired in their honor by a single franchise. LA Lakers is a Kobe shrine, and the Black Mamba is the Chief Priest! Why is King James going to kowtow and worship in Kobe’s shrine? Who had his ear?

By signing with Lakers, James has multiplied his legacy woes. It is no longer just a comparison with Kobe as GOAT (Greatest of All Times), it is now a comparison of both as GLOAT (Greatest Lakers of All Times). In that comparative contest, King James, at 33, will be smoked like a puff of cheap ganja.

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Yes, at 33. Had LeBron James been younger; had he joined Lakers at 18, or even mid 20s, he would have worked his way from a worshipper at Kobe’s shrine to being a Kobe acolyte, and, ultimately dethroning the Black Mamba as the Chief Priest. Kobe might not have kissed his ring, in loyalty pledge, but the king would not have kissed his either. But the king is 33, and 33 in basketball world sounds like geriatrics.

It should be a sad day in King James’ kingdom. The king has inked away his kingdom in a desperate post-sweep scramble for rehabilitation, redemption, and rebound. Whoever ministered LA Lakers into the King’s ear should have their head spiked for treason. The king has been taken captive, shipped by pirates from the East coast of Cleveland to the West coast tremors of LA, where he will end up as a footnote in a Kobe encyclopedic volume. His guards and counsellors have betrayed him.

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I just hope the king is not naked like the emperor, because there are limited clothing options in LA. He cannot be clothed in Jersey #8, nor in Jersey #24. He can look up the ceiling and watch them swaggerly sway in grand grace and elegance as they, like minstrels, sing the ballad of the Black Mamba.

Long live the King! But the Black Mamba lives on!

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