It is the eve of the NBA’s trade deadline. The past few months have been as exciting as the chess game between Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky in 1972. As we all know, chess is a game of strategy and each time is posturing for the big sweepstakes – the battle to capture a trio of stars. The combinations range from LeBron, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami to LeBron, Chris Bosh and Ray Allen in Cleveland.
Some of the free agents and those who wished to capture the spotlight as a free agent have now declared their intentions. Dirk Nowitzki will stay in Dallas, Paul Pierce will stay in Boston, Amar’e Stoudemire will move to New York.
Of all the teams, the ones playing a high stakes chess game by spending on advertising are the Bulls and the Nets. Each team is watching who will play the “King” before they sign up their roster. The Bulls signed up Leo Burnett Worldwide to develop a campaign targeted at LeBron daring him to proclaim if he is worthy enough to fill the Air Jordans that dominated this franchise and won them 6 Championships. The Nets, boldly proclaiming to take over New York, with their “Blueprint for Greatness” campaign.
Some of us may remember that in 1975 because FIDE refused to meet Fischer’s conditions for a World Championship match with the Soviet Anatoly Karpov, Fischer refused to play. Consequently FIDE awarded the title of World Champion to Karpov. That has left many chess aficionados debating whether Fischer would have beat Karpov. In 2009 and 2010, NBA fans were looking forward to a Kobe-LeBron match-up that never happened because the Cavaliers were beaten in the Eastern Conference finals.
I for one, am declaring that Dwyane Wade is a player that is not being given the prominence he deserves. Why not anticipate a Kobe-Dwyane face-off? After all, let’s not forget that unlike LeBron, D-Wade single handedly “carried” his team to a victory against the Mavs in 2006. I remember watching the 4th quarter in Game 3 when it seemed that Dallas was about to clinch the game, when Dwyane just took over and never looked back. Dwyane helped make history as the Miami Heat was the third team to come back from a 2-0 deficit to win the Championship.
I am glad that Wade decided to stay in Miami and that Chris Bosh chose to play with him. It will be interesting to watch a Lakers-Heat finals and watch chess masters Phil Jackson vs. Pat Riley who have both led their teams to multiple championships. In this free agency of Kings, Pawns and Rooks, Kobe and Dwyane have proved to be the “Knights” in Shining Armor.
After the drama of the trade deadlines end, I will still be of the opinion that despite all the LeBron hype, history will show that Kobe is an equal to Jordan.
Do you disagree?
(Photos courtesy of ESPN and Lakes.TopBuzz.com)