Samsam Gullas: LeBron more like Magic than MJ

Last Friday, Gerald Anthony Gullas was both happy and sad. Happy because, seated beside Rep. Eduardo Gullas, his grandfather whom he fondly calls “Papa Eddie,” he made the announcement that will forever change his life: Samsam will run for Congress next year. Sad? That’s because, as big an NBA fan as he is, the scheduled press conference coincided with Miami Heat’s winning Game 6.

“I watched up to the 3rd quarter but missed the look on LeBron’s face when he finally won his first ring,” he said. Still, “CongresSam” is ecstatic. Last December when the NBA season began, I asked for Samsam’s predictions. His reply: LBJ will be the MVP and MIA will win. He’s two-for-two.

Yesterday, I interviewed Samsam again. A lifelong ballplayer—he regularly practices with the UV varsity squad (he’s the team manager plus the school’s AVP for Finance and Administration)—here’s the full commentary of the young Gullas:

MVP. “LeBron was legendary. With this championship he has put himself in the group together with the Jordans, Magics and Birds of the world. LeBron was aggressive and he showed that he wanted it more this year. The main difference was his improving post game; it was causing all kinds of problems for OKC. If LeBron didn’t score, 9 times out of 10, he would make the right pass. LeBron was just being LeBron. He made the game come to him. He assessed what defensive scheme OKC was running. He has been doing this even while we was with the Cavs but was never surrounded with two other superstars plus very good 3-point shooters.”

DOMINANCE. “Yes, I expected LeBron James to be dominant in every facet of the game. What I love about LeBron is that he can score 30 points and it would be not the best thing he did for the team. People always compare LeBron to Michael Jordan; I think he’s more of a Magic Johnson. LeBron is bigger, stronger, a better passer, a better ball handler and has more skills than MJ. But what MJ had was HEART. It is unfair to compare the two of them.”

KOBE. “I’m a Laker fan for life. But today, if I were to build a team, I would take LeBron as my franchise player. He does everything: score, rebound, pass and, most importantly, defend. Kobe will always be the better offensive player; LeBron is just the better all-around player.”

RESILIENCE. “Miami learned from last year’s loss. Erik Spoelstra said it best when he used a boxing analogy (but before that he said he was a huge Pacquiao fan), We were knocked down so many times, but each time we got up. With Boston they were down 3-2, Indiana 2-1 and OKC 1-0. Playoff basketball is more on making game-time adjustments and off-day adjustments. Credit should be given to Coach Spo, despite being a young coach he is able to adjust.”

TEAM. “LeBron became the beast we thought he would be last year. Wade said that this is LeBron’s team and he accepted the secondary role to perfection. Miami’s role players did well: Chalmers, Battier, Haslem and Miller. Lastly, credit to Coach Spo, his defensive schemes were a joy to watch. Papa Eddie voted for OKC to win but, as a former coach, he always admired the defensive schemes of Coach Spo.”

BOSH. “Bosh gives the Heat another scorer and one of the league’s best Pick and roll players. When used as a screener in the pick and roll with either Wade or James, it was a deadly combination. Bosh was also able to extend OKC’s defense because he can shoot. Perkins or Ibaka had to leave the paint making it very open for LeBron and Wade to penetrate.”

NEXT SEASON. ““I see Miami winning 1 or 2 more titles, but this year was the best chance for the Heat to win. Rose (Chicago), Ray Allen and other role players of Boston were injured. The West teams will be improving, so next season will be interesting. If OKC learns and takes this loss as the most humbling experience of their lives, they will be very dangerous next year.

“OKC will be contending again, Mavs might get an overhaul from free agency, Spurs will always be ready, and it seems like everyone is forgetting about number 24 in LA. Stay tuned!”

John Pages

By John Pages

I've been a sports columnist since 1994. First, in The Freeman newspaper under "Tennis Is My Game." Then, starting in 2003, with Sun.Star Cebu under the name "Match Point." Happy reading!

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