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2010-11 NBA Preview: Kobe's Legacy Would Benefit Most By Beating C's or Heat?

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 17:  Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers looks on in Game Seven of the 2010 NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics at Staples Center on June 17, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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John EvansContributor IOctober 4, 2010

This upcoming NBA season promises to be one filled with excitement and drama. With the All-Star trio formation of Lebron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh down in South Beach, the Heat have been bolstered and primed for NBA championship contention, leaving teams like the Orlando Magic, Boston Celtics and even the back-to-back defending NBA champions, The Los Angeles Lakers in the dark. With all the media coverage on the Heat, it's almost been widely forgotten that 4 months ago, Kobe Bryant won his 5th championship ring and 2nd consecutive Finals MVP. With the Lakers' recent victory over the Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals, Kobe has tied Magic Johnson in championships won and may be on his way to becoming the greatest Laker of all time.

No disrespect to the Orlando Magic and their fans, but next years NBA Finals will most likely be one of two scenarios: Lakers vs. Celtics or Lakers vs. Heat. If you were to ask Kobe Bryant who he would prefer to face in the NBA Finals next year, he'd probably tell you that he doesn't care, but from a basketball fan's perspective, I wonder how defeating either team would enhance his legacy. Kobe's main goal is to tie Micheal Jordan in rings and be known as the greatest shooting guard to ever grace the NBA with his presence, another NBA Finals victory would certainly help his case. Let's take an in-depth look at how defeating The Heat or The Celtics in the NBA Finals would affect Kobe Bryant's already great & established legacy.

Kobe and The Lakers Defeat The Boston Celtics

If Kobe and the Lakers were to defeat their long time nemesis, the Boston Celtics, again in the NBA Finals, Kobe would take the throne from Magic Johnson and become the greatest Laker ever. Kobe and the Lakers would tie their hated rivals with 17 NBA championships and potentially shift a balance that has been set for decades. Kobe(aside from Derek Fisher)would be the most successful Laker ever with six championship rings and three Finals MVP's. Another victory over the Celtics would make Kobe Bryant the greatest player to ever wear purple & gold and tie Magic Johnson in NBA Finals victories over the Celtics with 2.

Kobe and The Lakers Defeat The Miami Heat

If Kobe and the Lakers were to defeat the "South Beach Trio" of Wade, James and Bosh, then their would be nothing that could keep Kobe Bryant out of the conversation along with Micheal Jordan as the greatest player of all time. I have a belief that the players you play along side with make you great, but the players you beat make you immortal. Kobe defeating the Heat would catapult him so high because of the amount of hype, star power and talent that is surrounding this team. In terms of talent and star power, the Heat may have assembled one of the greatest trios ever, and beating them would solidify Kobe Bryant's spot next to Micheal Jordan as possibly the greatest shooting guard of all time.

So there you have it, if Kobe beats the Celtics again, he would be the greatest Laker of all time. If Kobe were to beat the Heat, then there would be nothing from here on out that could keep him off the same pedestal as Micheal Jordan.

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