Monday, April 15, 2013

The King is Getting Closer

Recently I had an argument with a buddy of mine about the Lebron vs MJ debate.  He said Lebron isn't half the player Jordan was.  I told him Lebron's all around game is better than Jordan's ever was.  He laughed in my face.  I conceded Jordan being the superior player, but not by much.  I argued the NBA is much more talented now than it ever has been.  Once again, he laughed at me like I am crazy.  I don't see what's so crazy about that statement.  Look at the League player for player back then compared to now.  Look at the athletic ability of the guys now compared to then.  Michael Jordan was a superior athlete playing against inferior athletes.  Look at the footage of Jordan's games.  He's being guarded by guys like Jeff Hornacek, Bryon Russell, David Wesley, Reggie Miller, Anthony Mason, Craig Ehlo LOL.  Where are the Iguodala's, Sefolosha's, Avery Bradley's Tony Allen's, Westbrook's, Harden's, Barnes', Rondo's etc...?

Athletes and the sports they perform improve with time as education, coaching, sports medicine, training methods and the competition pool increases.  Look at the NBA in 1995 the middle of Jordan's career.  Aside from Jordan, the leading point scorers were all Centers & Power Forwards(guys who can't move their feet or jump high).  Jordan was one of the few great athletes in the league(run fast, jump high and physical specimen).  Look at the League rosters at in '95 compared to Present.  You can go down the lists of Leading Point Scorers, Rebounds, Steals, Blocks; all the Athletic Stats.  The League was built around Scoring Centers & Big Guys back then, and great athletes were few and far in between.  The League now is built around highly athletic Scoring Guards and Forwards(guys who can move their feet and jump high i.e. play better defense).  Now I"m not saying Jordan would not still be able to score 30 ppg in his prime, but he would not be scoring 37 or 35 ppg like he did from 86-88.  Jordan was ahead of his time and way ahead of his competition.  If he played today in his prime he would not be way ahead of the competition.  I believe he would still be the best player, but he would not dominate today the way he did back then.  "NOW CONSIDER YOURSELF EDUCATED & FEEL FREE TO SHARE THIS INFORMATION WITH YOUR FRIENDS," I said to his face.

Lebron James or Michael Jordan?  At the moment there is really no discussion.  Jordan dominated the NBA in such a way he changed the sport of basketball.  The game has become more global than ever before.  Who would've ever thought ten years after the Dream Team, USA basketball would be dominated by European teams from 2002-04.  The rest of the world had caught up to America in basketball.  At least for a couple years, but not anymore.  The competition rose up, but USA made the adjustment and came back stronger.  The Dream Team dominated the World so the World evolved.  Now it doesn't just happend automatically.  People need to have the desire to get better for the evolution to occur.  Scientists, Doctors, Educators and Athletes work together to improve.

The Argument with my buddy continued and got as intricate as the individual skill level of each player's game.  My friend being a Jordan disciple and completely against any possibility of Lebron getting close to Jordan's level, left my logic & reasoning mute to deaf ears.  But that's OK.  If someone wants to be defiant and wrong, I can be progressive and right all day and night:)  So next he insisted Jordan's dunking ability was superior and that Lebron is not clutch.  Better Dunker, that's debatable and really not an important skill.  Really only a matter of vertical leap and creativity and last I checked Lebron has a great vertical and is very creative.  4th Quarter, hands down Jordan is better.  Jordan is way better clutch player, but again Clutch-ness is predominately a result of Great Shooting Ability, which Lebron does not have.  I also agree Lebron's killer instinct is nowhere near Jordan's.  Lebron has been the best basketball player and has won on all his teams since he was a little kid.  Jordan as we know had to struggle to earn a spot on his varsity team so he had to endure much more adversity to achieve success in b-ball.  And don't forget Jordan didn't win his first Championship till he was 27, same exact age as Lebron so you cannot presume to know how many titles Lebron can or cannot win.  Not long after that point, Lebron James and the Heat beat the Celtics for their 23rd straight victory with King James willing his team to victory.  His Killer Instinct is developing.  Lebron is still a work-in-progress.  Once his athletic talents begin to diminish with age, he will continue to UP his cerebral game and one day we'll look up at a scoreboard that reads 35,000 points
and 10,000 assists.  And if all goes according to plan, "not 4 not 5 not 6 not 7", the King will approach those lofty goals.

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