Allow me to get this out of my system, please.
LeBron James is a man among boys.
He's a point guard in a power forward's body.
He cuts through defenses like a hot knife through butter.
He passes as if he has eyes in the back of his head.
He has the potential to be one of the all-time greats.
But when push came to shove in the Gold Medal game, Kobe Bryant threw the punch.
Bryant put the entire United States on his back and scored 13 fourth-quarter points en route to bringing home the Gold for the Redeem Team. It was sweet redemption for Bryant, a part of the 2004 team that finished with a bronze medal.
And months after his championship aspirations were dashed by the Boston Celtics in June, it looked like Kobe took out his frustrations on Pau Gasol and the Spaniards.
Yes, Dwyane Wade led U.S. scorers with 27 points, but when Team U.S.A. needed a key basket all eyes were on Kobe and he did not disappoint. He was ESPN classic "en fuego" and Spain "couldn't stop him, they could only hope to contain him" ... and they couldn't.
As Chris Bosh, Deron Williams and Chris Paul enter their primes, Team U.S.A. should only get better as they try to reclaim the strangle-hold they had on the world's top spot.
And just like Superman, Kobe will be there when you need him the most.