COMMENTARY | A LeBron James-Kobe Bryant Big Two sounds good on paper and makes for savvy media sound bites.
Salary cap aside, I can think of three reasons the Miami Heat star won't ever leave South Beach or sign with the Los Angeles Lakers when the 2014 NBA free agency season rolls around.
Another Cleveland Cavaliers debacle is sure to happen
This maniacal debate was set in motion recently by ESPN's Stephen A. Smith, who said this about the possibility LeBron leaves the Miami Heat when he becomes a free agent: "At Least 50-50 he leaves Miami."
Don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of the outspoken and usually dead-on sports prognosticator. However, I've dug deep on this one and respectfully disagree with his forecast on LeBron James' future.
Remember "The Decision" on July, 8, 2010?
Ordinarily, I'd leave it there, but this argument deserves a little debate before the last rites are given.
Back then when James sat in the chair on live television and shocked the world, the equivalent of a zombie apocalypse followed.
Cavs majority owner Dan Gilbert joined the anti-James movement by writing an "open letter" about LeBron's shocking decision to bail from his roots to the glitz of South Beach.
Gilbert referred to the then two-time NBA MVP's decision as "selfish," "heartless" and "cowardly betrayal," among other things.
Current and former NBA players criticized his LeBron's move and at one point James acknowledged that race could be a factor in the fallout from his decision to move on from Cleveland.
Who am I to feel this way, but I found myself feeling sorry for Bron-Bron. I thought he'd never recover from that public tsunami.
Fresh off that prediction, others suggested when he does leave, the Lakers is a likely landing point.
Kobe Bryant isn't built to share the big stage: Ask Dwight Howard
Taken from a page of National Geographic and the University of Michigan, the Black Mamba snake is solitary and prefers to be alone.
It's no secret that Kobe loves the stage in Tinseltown with the spotlight firmly planted on him -- and him only.
The Lakers star bumped heads with Shaquille O'Neal, Dwight Howard, and perhaps a handful of others who chose to remain tight-lipped and just play the game.
Rumor is Howard was so fed up with the attention given to the aging star -- and the lack of love given him -- he passed on $30 million to leave the circus show.
Next season, Kobe will be the highest-paid player in the league at just over $30 million, according to ESPN. After that, he joins James in free agency.
In order for a Kobe-LeBron dynamic duo to pan out, Bryant has to agree to a sizable pay cut. And if Carmelo Anthony joins them both to complete the Lakers' "Big Three," Bryant has to pinch pennies even more.
Given his level of Mamba pride, I wager that Kobe would rather lose the ring race with Michael Jordan than take a pay cut.
LeBron James is nobody's ring bearer
That brings me to my final reason it's highly unlikely, if not altogether impossible, for the two alpha-males to join forces.
A growing number of fans -- and even sports analysts -- believe that King James may be willing to help Kobe get another ring or two.
If you're like me, the word "absurdity" comes to mind.
I'm not even sure they have a deeply seated fondness of one another like that.
Sure, they both respect the other's game, but that's where the cookie crumbles.
Michael Jordan didn't want to join Isiah Thomas; he wanted to beat him. Larry Bird didn't want Magic Johnson dishing assists to him; he wanted to beat him.
Two dominant personalities like LeBron James and Kobe Bryant just don't mix. It's that simple.
Bradley is a professional writer and journalist, sportswriter, and avid fan of the NBA, NFL, NCAA, PGA and all things tennis. He keeps a watchful eye on Miami Heat developments.
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- Kobe Bryant