Monday, June 6, 2011


Can we please stop dissecting greatness? When Shaq and Kobe were winning together all folks cared about was "who's team is it, Shaq's or Kobe's?" That has to be the stupidest sports discussion ever and I roll my eyes whenever it's brought up when talking about a team. Now everybody's going back and forth about LeBron and D. Wade. Who's Batman? Who's Robin? It's clear that Chris Bosh is Catwoman but it makes no sense arguing the roles of 'Bron and Wade. At any given moment, they're both capable of carrying their team. The fact that LeBron couldn't lure any free agents to move to wack-ass Cleveland doesn't make him any less of a great player. He had no help and after 7 years of trying, he wasn't obligated to stay there! They all went to a team that plays in a great city to live in. Simple. Given the choice to join your All-Star friends, how many of you would suggest the 3 of you join forces in Ohio? Toronto? I didn't think so. If just so happened that Wade was already a Heat player. You people weren't calling him Batman when his team was suckin' like a fellatiologist last season and LeBron was dragging the talent-deficient Cavs to the best record in the league two years straight. If Miami was a cold-weather city and he decided to move to Cleveland, you'd probably be shittin' on Wade's name like you do LeBron's. What if they all decided to get together and play in Houston? Who'd be Robin then? 

Wilt Chamberlain didn't win an NBA Championship until 1972 when he joined Jerry West and the Los Angeles Lakers. I'll slap the sh*t outta anyone who dares call Wilt "Robin" to Jerry's "Batman" and it's no more accurate to reverse those labels on those two hall of famers. They were equally as vital to that team's winning. Hell, Jerry West lost in the finals 8 times and is STILL regarded as Mr. Clutch though he didn't get a ring until Wilt became a Laker. Nobody asked who's team it was THEN. When Magic and Kareem played together in the 80s and were winning 5 titles, it was understood that the combination of Magic and Kareem was what made these teams dangerous. You had to deal with The Captain in the paint with that skyhook as well as contain Magic Johnson's ability to run a team. Now, all of a sudden, it's not enough to be a good player on a good team. You've gotta be considered THE MAN on that team to get full respect. I find that to be some bullshit. 

I blame Michael Jordan. Jordan was signed by Nike as a rookie to an unprecedented contract. Nike essentially decided to put all of their marketing efforts into one player instead of a collection of players like typically done by shoe companies. While there were multiple athletes endorsing Converse, Adidas, etc., Mike was given his own shoe with his name on it. From that moment on, he was viewed as a stand-alone performer. It wasn't the Bulls. It was Michael Jordan and the Bulls. His teammates were called "The Jordanaires". They were basically treated like background singers to Mike's lead role. What used to be a barber shop quintet on the court became a solo artist with 4 beat-boxers behind him. Before him, TEAMS were marketed. After him, INDIVIDUALS were marketed. 

The bottom line is, great players who play on teams where they are the only great player end up retiring with no titles. See Charles Barkley, Dominique Wilkins, and Patrick Ewing to name a few. You think Bill Russell woulda won 11 rings without Bob Cousy and John Havlicek? Do me a favor. Read this.  In the deciding game of the Finals, Russell turned the ball over on a bad pass. As the story goes, he pleaded with his teammates to bail him out of that situation, acknowledging that he messed up.  Can you imagine the public scrutiny if that happened to today's "star player"? Let LeBron give up the potential game winning basket, THEN turn the ball over in the deciding moments of Game 7. Regardless if a teammate came up with the play that helped the team win. All folks would talk about is that poor defense and turnover and how LeBron isn't a clutch performer. I remind you AGAIN that Jerry West lost 8 times in the finals, didn't win until Chamberlain joined the team and yet, he's regarded as "Mr. Clutch" in NBA circles. When all is said and done, we were privileged enough to say we saw the likes of Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Tim Duncan, Shaquille O'Neal play. Years from now, I hope folks are able to appreciate that fact and respect the hard work that goes into putting together the legacy these guys have left. When LeBron and Kobe are retired, you're gonna sound really stupid questioning their impact on the game. Save yourself the embarrassment. And for cryin' out loud, stop doing what a hater does but denying you're a hater. I know that's nothing to be proud of but if you're gonna do it, claim it when I call you out. 

All comments are welcome. :)


  1. I disagree slightly, Barkley played with a ton of great players, never won I think we tend to over state Barkley's "greatness" or we are confusing skills and personality. Just my opinion.

  2. Reg! To me, Barkley played on 1 good team. The Suns team that almost beat the Bulls in the Finals. I'd say he was a great player. Certainly deserving of hall of fame induction. I don't put him on my Mt. Rushmore of NBA ballers but he's certainly an NBA great in my mind.