By Mike BresnahanLos Angeles TimesJune 1, 2010LeBron James was the king. The injured, hobbled Kobe Bryant was merely a member of his court.A little more than a month ago, the Cleveland Cavaliers had zipped through the regular season and topped off the Chicago Bulls in the first round while Bryant and the Lakers limped around against the young, feisty Oklahoma City Thunder.James received his second consecutive most-valuable-player trophy a week after Bryant scored 12 points in a playoff loss against the Thunder, his lowest postseason output in six years. He looked exactly like a guy who had logged more than 44,000 minutes in over 1,200 games.Fast forward to now, an NBA reality check in which the Cavaliers have been eliminated and Bryant is four victories from his fifth NBA championship while playing some of the best basketball of his career.“I mean, what can you say about Kobe?” Phoenix Suns Coach Alvin Gentry said after the Lakers eliminated Phoenix last week. “I don’t know if there’s words.”He eventually found some.“At this time right now, he’s the best player in basketball,” Gentry said. “And I don’t think it’s even close.”If Bryant’s knee hadn’t been drained, the Lakers might be talking about rejection… Read full this story
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