HANG TIME, Texas – Celtics vs. Lakers. Luke vs. Darth Vader. Roadrunner vs. Wile E. Coyote.
We thrive on rivalries.
Kobe Bryant vs. LeBron James.
No current NBA conversation lights up the Twitterverse these days more than a debate on the relative merits of the game’s reigning twin stars.
While Bryant might insist that his Lakers are older than, well, let’s just say “dirt,” it seems that All-Star voters never tire of a classic.
The 34-year-old Bryant slightly widened his lead over James as the top vote-getter for the 2013 NBA All-Star Game in the third round of balloting and that surely will surely ratchet up the talk among the partisans to another level.
The league’s leading scorer this season at 30.3 points per game, Bryant has a lead of 1,177,456-1,151,152. That’s up by roughly 20,000 votes from the previous round of balloting that was released a week ago. James is averaging 26.5 points, 8.6 rebounds, 7.1 assists, shooting 54.4 percent and has scored at least 20 points in the first 30 games of the season.
Laker fans will continue to point to the way their man carries so much of the burden on an aging, struggling team, while the Heat fans say that James is having the kind of season that could bring him his fourth MVP award in five years.
Heat fans will continue to say that Kobe shoots too much and Laker fans will still insist that LeBron doesn’t have the same killer instinct.
Coming into the season, it was supposed to be the argument that would be settled next June in The Finals. But with the Lakers under .500, for now it’s an All-Star showdown.
Kobe vs. LeBron — the battle at the ballot box.
Final results and starting lineups will be announced on Jan. 17.