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Monday, June 17
The Indiana Daily Student


Talk of Lakers dynasty overrated

Well, the NBA Finals are over and done with, and one more season is down the drain in the sports world, leaving only baseball for our summer enjoyment. The Lakers defeated the Sixers last Friday night, and the talk has quickly turned to if the Lakers are the next great dynasty and if Kobe Bryant is the next Michael Jordan. I am here to quash all those rumors, as a resident of the greater Chicagoland area who got to see up close and personal the Bulls dynasty and the great Jordan himself.\nIt is true, the Lakers have had a great run in this year's playoffs -- going 15-1 -- the best record of any champion of all time. They have even defeated some quality teams, such as the San Antonio Spurs, the only champion not to win two titles in a row since the '80s, and the Sixers, who were the best team in the East all season long and featured league MVP Allen Iverson. Yet what one needs to take into account with this team is that the talent pool of the NBA is diluted. The argument can be made that the Bulls played in a similar pool their second three-peat, which is true, but the Bulls persevered through six titles, which is what makes them a dynasty. The Lakers have won only two so far, which while a good accomplishment, is not quite enough to make them a dynasty.\nPart of what made the great basketball dynasties of the past great was how they were able to deal with adversity and roster overhaul and continue to win. If you look at the Bulls, the roster that made up the second three titles is dramatically different from the roster that won the first three, with only Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Phil Jackson. They were able to rebuild and recreate the team, and each time the team that won was a little bit different, and a little bit better every year. The Lakers have not had to deal with free agency affecting any of their roster yet, so it will be interesting in the coming years when players reach the end of their contract and leave if the Lakers will be able to rebuild as easily as the Bulls did during their run.\nFinally, the debate of Kobe being the next Jordan is ridiculous. The NBA is desperately looking for a star to take over Jordan's place and is not finding any suitable choices. They tried Shaquille O'Neal for a while, but it became obvious the general public didn't take to him. Iverson is a great player, but most people, including NBA commissioner David Stern, can't get past the tattoos and cornrows. Vince Carter has yet to win anything significant, so Kobe is the obvious answer. Dynamic player, successful, million dollar smile, alot of the traits of Jordan.\nBut the simple fact is, he is not Jordan. No one will ever be Jordan. It is time for everyone to realize that Jordan is unique and the next great player will be his own person with his own game. Do we call Jordan the next Oscar Robertson? No. In baseball, do we call Mark McGwire the next Babe Ruth? No. They are just who they are, just like Kobe is Kobe and not anyone else. In his defense, Bryant said he can't be the next Jordan because no one can fill his shoes. I just wish the rest of the country and media would realize the same thing.

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