BY: KWAME FISHER-JONES
Can someone, anyone, please explain why every salute and congratulatory pat on the back for a LeBron James accomplishment somehow morphs into a diss towards Michael Jordan.
It has become mandatory rhetoric to state when discussing James’ achievements “he’s not better than Jordan” or “Michael would have done this and more”.
The unsolicited comparisons have become so asinine it is insulting to the casual basketball fan and downright grounds for a five finger smack to the avid fan. Lebron James is the best basketball player on planet earth, POINT BLANK PERIOD and if you disagree you should be introduced to Rick James’ unity ring.
In 10 of James’ last 16 games the forward has shot over 60 percent, while scoring 29 points per, grabbing seven boards a night, and handing out seven assists a game. That ladies and gentlemen is the definition of greatness, not its opponent.
Enough with the nonsense please and enough with the fancy statistics that lie about how great, not good, but how great Jordan was. The NBA was fantastic before “His Airness” arrived, loved while No.23 played, and is amazing now that MJ has departed. Yet, these pundits and writers refusal to even acknowledge another player’s greatness is comical.
The disregard for Bill Russell, Magic Johnson, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Larry Bird is horrid enough, but to imply that there is only one gold standard to which all man can be measured has become infuriating.
As a writer for Bleacher Report one often encounters “Jordan Zumbies”, these are people who refuse to acknowledge any other player even dribbled a ball, yet alone played at a high level. One that stands above the rest was Daniel M., who could recite a Wikipedia stat regarding Jordan on demand, and while people marveled at his retention regarding MJ we all were miffed at his linear line of thinking.
Sadly the sports world is filled with Daniel Ms, fans who feel it is their civic duty to infiltrate any conversation about basketball with “well he’s no Jordan”. One has to wonder if the real No.23 could measure up to the standards of those who blindly follow him.
How dare James accomplish a feat that could lead some to perceive his skill set superior to that of the great and almighty “Money Mike”, and furthermore death to anyone who dares to mention James’ achievements without paying homage to Jordan.
Almost on cue fans alike love to gawk at MJ’s nineties statistics and conveniently forget No.23’s eighties shortcomings. Alas, this is not an article attacking Jordan but rather congratulating James.
What LBJ has accomplished thus far in his career is not only spectacular but is also trailblazing. Consider the young man came right out of high school and combatants took turns humbling the boy who would soon become king. Every missed shot was scrutinized and 60 win seasons were trivialized, all in an attempt to demolish a throne that had yet to be built.
Now with three NBA Finals appearances under his belt, three regular season MVP trophies, and one championship ring glistening on his garb all in his first eight seasons, the metrics have changed. The present day opponents have been removed and deemed inferior and the only way for the Kingdom to remain intact is for James to defeat ghosts of yesterday.
This task is not only unjust it is unmerited. No man should be expected to defeat both fact in today’s players and fiction in yesterday’s legends.
Take a moment if you will and lean back, then take a sip from your favorite beverage and just partake in a Miami Heat game. Watch James fly down the court on a missed or made shot, watch James as he gives league scoring leader Kevin Durant fits on Monday, locks down Kobe Bryant on Wednesday, and battles Dwight Howard on Friday. Then watch James make at least one unbelievable PASS per quarter, while chiming in for 30 plus.
There is no doubt MJ dominated his era and even yet to arrive aliens are aware of that, but LeBron is dominating this era. We as fans should bask in the now, instead of rushing back to the “then”.
There is no greater force in the game, again POINT BLANK PERIOD.
The man has fans expecting 82-0 seasons and disappointment only stems from the fact he is not selfish enough. Winning is all James is enamored with, and judging by his capriole to Miami winning is all the forward will do.
The Jordan comparisons have become an epidemic that needs to cease immediately. The only true test for James should be on the court against his contemporaries. Once he is retired, then and only then, should we pit legend against legend. Until that time please allow this moment to be “his moment”.
Please allow LeBron’s greatness to be defined by his current accomplishments and not those of his predecessors.
Lost in the individual analyzing is just how well James’ Miami Heat have played. The “Sunshine Boys” have won 12 of their last 14 and eight of those wins have been by ten or more points. How well the Heat have played should be the story, rather than a tale of the tape for a fictitious bout.
Here and now is how James should be judged and today’s conquest should be all that is relevant. We should all leave the past for those whose time has expired and not attempt to compare those already written scribes to unfinished scriptures.