Hey guys Coach here. On the heels of last night’s epic failure by the Heat I felt it necessary to post something in defense of Lebron James. There’s no shortage of people ready to pounce on Lebron but before you do you should ask yourself if all the hatred is truly called for. Let’s first start with the Jordan comparison. Comparing Lebron to Michael Jordan is extremely unfair. Lebron James himself has never once said he was Michael Jordan nor has he ever tried to be. The only Jordan comparisons have come from fans that hate Lebron and the media. Lebron even went out of his way to change his number from 23 to 6 so as to avoid such comparison. But let’s go ahead and compare the two for a second. Let me preface this by saying I don’t think Lebron James is as good as Michael Jordan but who is? Michael Jordan is the greatest player of all time so saying Lebron isn’t the greatest player of all time really isn’t saying much. But let’s go ahead and do some comparison. The first thing people say is that Jordan won 6 rings and Lebron has none. Well let’s look a little closer as to why this is an unfair statement. Lebron James is 26 years old. He’s been in the league 8 years. When Michael Jordan was 26 years old he hadn’t even made it to a championship let alone won a ring. As it stands right now Lebron has the same number of rings Jordan had at the same stage in his career. Also by the time he was 26 Jordan had only spent 5 years in the league. Lebron James was averaging 20 points a game in the NBA at the age of 19 when Jordan was coming off the bench for North Carolina. In Jordan’s first full season he was 21 years old and averaged 28 points per game (as a rookie!). At the age of 21 Lebron James was in his 3rd season as a pro and was averaging 31 points. Lebron also took a Cavs team to the finals basically by himself at the age of 22. Jordan hadn’t even sniffed the playoffs when he was 22. Another argument made against Lebron is that he has a much better supporting cast than Jordan did. This is also a little unfair. He didn’t have that supporting cast until this past season. Before this year he’s had a horrible supporting cast. This is evident by the fact that as soon as he left Cleveland they became the worst team in the league and now have the number one pick in the draft. Last year with Lebron they finished with the best record in the east. Also let’s not downplay Jordan’s supporting team too much. Basically he had Pippen, and Horace Grant/Dennis Rodman. Pippen and Rodman are two hall of famers. So you had Jordan, the greatest player of all time, and then two hall of famers in Pippen and Rodman. Before Rodman you had Horace Grant who was more than serviceable. Let’s also factor in something that most people fail to see. Jordan was not only flanked by two hall of fame players but by a hall of fame coach. Eric Spoelstra is hardly a hall of fame coach. In fact he’s probably the opposite of that. Jordan had the zen master. The last argument that people make is that he shouldn’t have left Cleveland and that Jordan would never join a team with other stars on it. Lebron James is hardly the first player ever to leave the team that drafted him and he won’t be the last. Cleveland had seven years to build a winning team around him and couldn’t do it. Lerbon James is also not the first person ever to join a team and form a triumverant of super stars. Just ask Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen. When they did it they were just trying to win. When Lebron did it it was a problem. Bottom line is the guy felt like he could win and be part of something special. Now everyone will also say that he collapsed in these finals which is true. No doubt he had a meltdown. But if he does go on a run of a few championships all will be forgotten. In fact I venture to guess that if that does happen this loss will be looked upon as an event that motivated him to go even harder. Sure Lebron and the Heat did bring some of this on themselves saying how they were going to win it all before the season even started but again they are hardly the first ones to ever think that. Bottom line is winning heals everything and if they go on a run this series won’t really matter. If they never win a championship then of course Lebron’s legacy will be forever tainted. If I were a betting man, however, I’d bet the Heat to win it all next year coached by Pat Riley of course. In fact I would venture to guess Eric Spoelstra is packing up his office right now. I don’t know what’s going to happen but what I do know is it’s going to be pretty interesting and the NBA is once again intriguing. No matter who you are you have to thank Lebron at least for that.