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View Full Version : Bill Reiter's article on why LeBron is not the best



PinnacleFlash
10-28-2011, 03:04 PM
Link (http://www.foxsportsflorida.com/10/18/11/LeBron-isnt-1st--or-2nd--or-3rd/landing_heat.html?blockID=584702&feedID=3565)



Someone might want to tell ESPN to check with Magic Johnson, one of its basketball analysts, about what exactly matters most when it comes to assessing greatness.

On Tuesday, ESPN acted as if the 2010-11 season were the one cancelled by a lockout and LeBron James didn't execute one of the most startling choke jobs in sports history.

Ignoring history, common sense and one of the greatest players of all time's views, the World Wide Leader dubbed LeBron the No. 1 player in the NBA.

Are you kidding me?

The narrative that LeBron's Cleveland collapse two years ago was a fluke, the narrative that pointing out his glaring problems with pressure makes one a hater, the narrative that all answers to basketball greatness rest in the calculator rather than the court all of these were done away with when LeBron vanished in the NBA Finals.

That's probably why Magic had no problem saying the truth Saturday night to a crowd at the University of Albany. Some things are too clear to fake.

Veering from his point that it's better to be remembered for off-court accomplishments, Magic said, "There's going to always be great players in basketball. There's going to always be guys who win championships in the NBA except LeBron."

Followed by: "Everybody's always asking, 'Who is better between Kobe (Bryant) and LeBron?' I'm like, 'Are you kidding me? Kobe, five championships; LeBron, zero.'"

Followed by: "Stop trying to compare him to Michael Jordan. Come on, man, six championships for Jordan. You know that Michael averaged over 30 points every playoff series? Don't try to touch that."

It's fair to say Magic and most right-thinking basketball people are on the same page here: There is zero chance not an iota of a percentage point of possibility that LeBron James is the No. 1 player in the NBA.

Look, I get we can all disagree on which player is better than the next. I get LeBron engenders strong reactions. I get that ESPN is not alone in heaping undue praise on LBJ, and that not all of their writers even a few who cover him regularly fall into this trap. I get that ESPN needs to kiss and make up for helping LeBron commit public-relations suicide with The Decision.

But decrees like this one "YAY LEBRON! YAY!! YAY LEBRON!!!" are just plain silly. They undercut everything we know about sports.

If only stats mattered, and rising to the moment did not, Joe Montana would not be the greatest quarterback of all time. His winner-take-all intangibles would pale in comparison to someone like Dan Marino.

If this logic held, Wilt Chamberlain would be the Michael Jordan of the NBA. No one ever has, or will, compete with Wilt on the statistical plane. Yet there's a reason serious basketball people look at Jordan, Magic, Kareem, Russell and a slew of others with a higher level of respect.

That's why "Mr. October" means something in baseball.

Closing matters. Winning matters. Otherwise it's all just a glorified version of fantasy sports.

This is so clear as is the fact LeBron so ferociously undermined his own natural talent with mental weakness and big-game frailty that stating that fact no longer constitutes dangerous ground for most informed basketball and sports people.

And yet ESPN still doesn't get it. Look, I understand that the methodology they used masks the deeper issue, including the global sports super company's incessant need for LeBron to be on camera, often, exclusively.

The WWL asked 91 experts to rank 500 NBA players on a point scale of 1 to 10, and then used the averages to select the order.

There are a few problems here, starting with: If you use a methodology to rank NBA players, and it comes out that LeBron is No. 1, it turns out your methodology doesn't work. Period.

The other problem here is analytics' hold on how people view the game. When you spend a year writing about a guy like LeBron on a website or a Twitter account, or talking with your sports-writing friends about why analytics makes him the greatest in the game, it's really, really hard to admit you're wrong.

Even to yourself.

LeBron's Finals performance should have shown that Mark Twain was right: There are lies, damned lies, and statistics.

There's no doubt that pressure matters. LeBron showed us that. He also showed us that being clutch (or not) matters.

So, OK. LeBron James, under no honest assessment, is currently the best player in the league.

Can that eventually change? Absolutely. Dirk Nowitzki's place in the game has risen sharply given his sudden ability to exhibit incredible leadership and willpower under pressure. Those same skills are why I'd put Dwyane Wade ahead of LeBron.

My top five, off the top of my head, would go like this: Wade, Dirk, Derrick Rose, Kobe/Dwight Howard, and, just after them, LeBron.

Howard makes the list because, unlike LeBron, he's yet to demonstrate a supernatural ability to torpedo his team's ability to be champions.

LeBron is an amazing player. But unless he changes unless he and his supporters recognize his frailties so that he may overcome them he will remain the guy we saw in the Finals. The guy Magic feels fine ripping publicly. The guy with the all-time talent who's good enough to get you deep into the playoffs, then rip out your heart with an all-time vanishing act.

LeBron James and all who support him Heat fans, his family and friends, his blind media followers need to know criticism is in his best interest.

He cannot become strong enough if he doesn't realize he is weak. He cannot become great in the clutch if he's convinced himself (with your unerring help) that he's already there. Dirk went through the darkness of being seen for what he was after 2006, and that is a big part of the reason the 2011 version of himself emerged to take away what LeBron covets most.

Don't pretend this doesn't matter to the players being ranked. When these rankings came out, and Carmelo Anthony was ranked 12th, he tweeted: "I needed some motivation today and i just received it. Thank you @NBAonESPN!!!!!!!!! #NBArank"

Yes, motivation is good. And with a little more clear-headed thinking and honesty directed his way, maybe LeBron can get the right kind.

Because failure is good. Failure is important. Failure molds us into our best as long as we know, or someone's there to tell us, why we've failed.

LeBron James is not the No. 1 player in the NBA. The sooner he and his supporters realize that, the sooner that might just change.

It's a great article IMO. I don't agree with his top players rankings but it was solid a great article.

PinnacleFlash
10-28-2011, 03:37 PM
If only stats mattered, and rising to the moment did not, Joe Montana would not be the greatest quarterback of all time. His winner-take-all intangibles would pale in comparison to someone like Dan Marino.

If this logic held, Wilt Chamberlain would be the Michael Jordan of the NBA. No one ever has, or will, compete with Wilt on the statistical plane. Yet there's a reason serious basketball people look at Jordan, Magic, Kareem, Russell and a slew of others with a higher level of respect.

Too accurate. :win:

The goods
10-28-2011, 03:40 PM
Lebron is gonna beast this season I hate to say it and hope I'm wrong but I feel he's gonna do it,its to many people hating on him and he's just waiting to prove people wrong.

Htownballa1622
10-28-2011, 03:40 PM
Lebron is the best in the league today.

Inb4close

Chacarron
10-28-2011, 03:41 PM
Lebron is gonna beast this season I hate to say it and hope I'm wrong but I feel he's gonna do it,its to many people hating on him and he's just waiting to prove people wrong.

I fully agree.

PinnacleFlash
10-28-2011, 03:42 PM
Lebron is gonna beast this season I hate to say it and hope I'm wrong but I feel he's gonna do it,its to many people hating on him and he's just waiting to prove people wrong.
He will beast in the regular season, sure, he always does. Too bad he never beasts in the post-season outside of 2009. Lebron is not a motivated player, he is no Kobe or MJ when it comes to that.

Either way he is still not the best player in the league.

JordansBulls
10-28-2011, 03:45 PM
Lebron is gonna beast this season I hate to say it and hope I'm wrong but I feel he's gonna do it,its to many people hating on him and he's just waiting to prove people wrong.

that was said last year when Barkley and others went off on him and he said they were getting it for the 2010-2011 season.

naps
10-28-2011, 03:46 PM
He's the hands down best in the league.

Hawkeye15
10-28-2011, 03:49 PM
cool. I will stick with the 10,000 articles saying he is the best.

PinnacleFlash
10-28-2011, 03:51 PM
cool. I will stick with the 10,000 articles saying he is the best.
LOL, 10,000, Lebron stans will be Lebron stans.

RekeHavoc
10-28-2011, 03:52 PM
i dont think anyone needs an article to see why he isnt the best,lol

Sactown
10-28-2011, 03:59 PM
Lebron is head and shoulders over the rest of the league IMO
INB4LOCK

Dade County
10-28-2011, 04:03 PM
PinnacleFlash

Are you a bulls fan?

PinnacleFlash
10-28-2011, 04:04 PM
PinnacleFlash

Are you a bulls fan?
Yeah since I am from Chicago. Who is the best player on the Heat/NBA to you?

ink
10-28-2011, 04:10 PM
Wow, I'm not a Lebron fan but that was a really stupid article. The reasoning, the issue, the concern, everything.

I'm not really sure why a professional writer would even bother with a fan-created issue like "who's the best". Who actually cares?

PinnacleFlash
10-28-2011, 04:11 PM
Wow, I'm not a Lebron fan but that was a really stupid article. I'm not really sure why a professional writer would even bother with a fan-created issue like "who's the best". Who actually cares?
How was it stupid, and who is the best to you then? Lebron? :rolleyes:

Dade County
10-28-2011, 04:13 PM
Yeah since I am from Chicago. Who is the best player on the Heat/NBA to you?

Wade is the best player in the league... that goes with out saying.


And... So how did you feel about Lbj in the playoffs last season? This is going to be a good one.

Did you break your tv, did you want to kill the refs, did all this hate for Lbj come out of that series, did you cry, did you write hate letters/death threats to Lbj,... etc.

PinnacleFlash
10-28-2011, 04:15 PM
And... So how did you feel about Lbj in the playoffs last season? This is going to be a good one
Lebron was great in the playoffs up until the finals. I said Lebron was the best player and better than Wade before the 2011 NBA finals started too. Although I said Dirk was having the best 2011 playoffs then since Dirk dominated the Thunder and Lakers.




Did you break your tv, did you want to kill the refs, did all this hate for Lbj come out of that series, did you cry, did you write hate letters/death threats to Lbj,... etc.
I probably would have if he won the finals, but thanks Lebron for single handily costing your team the championship instead. ;)

ink
10-28-2011, 04:22 PM
How was it stupid, and who is the best to you then? Lebron? :rolleyes:

The answer to your second question is in the first six words of my post. The answer to the first question is that the article barely scrapes below the surface accusation that fans make: he choked. Why bother writing the article if that's all the insight you have? Seriously, you and I have both heard 7 year olds on the court talking about guys choking. What's a professional writer's excuse for really only having that to say??

And the issue: who really cares? And if so, why?

JordansBulls
10-28-2011, 04:24 PM
He's the hands down best in the league.

No player who loses 3 years in a row with HCA is the best in the league especially not hands down.

Dade County
10-28-2011, 04:24 PM
I probably would have if he won the finals, but thanks Lebron for single handily costing your team the championship instead. ;)

ONE WORD ...

Illuminati

He was just falling orders, thats what these sick *** people do. :facepalm:

PinnacleFlash
10-28-2011, 04:27 PM
ONE WORD ...

Illuminati

He was just falling orders, thats what these sick *** people do. :facepalm:
:confused:


No player who loses 3 years in a row with HCA is the best in the league especially not hands down.
Can anyone name me an all-time great that lost with HCA for 3 straight years? I bet nobody can

ugafan
10-28-2011, 04:27 PM
Can anyone name me an all-time great that lost with HCA for 3 straight years? I bet nobody can

LeBron James.

PinnacleFlash
10-28-2011, 04:52 PM
LeBron James.

I could have sworn I said all-time great.

beliges
10-28-2011, 05:08 PM
Look everyone is entitled to their opinion. Just because someone thinks Lebron is NOT the best player in the NBA, they should not be criticized. Their is a very prevalent and legitimate argument to be made as to why Lebron is not the best. On the other hand, if you think Lebron IS the best in the league then good for you. Nothing wrong with that either. But lets stop it with the "oh Lebron gets hated on" and all the other whining. If someone doesnt think Lebron is the best they are not "hating" on him. The best in the league does not choke when the pressure gets tough the way Lebron does. Its not hating but it is what it is. When Lebron wins, the hating will stop. Until then, his personality and his lack of success is why people criticize him, and do so justifiably.

da ThRONe
10-28-2011, 05:08 PM
How do you list guys who struggled at some point this post season ahead of LeBron? Wade had several bad games. The Heat completely shut Rose down. Howard was booted in the first round. And Kobe on maybe the most talented team was booted the second round.

If I thought LeBron give his all and failed I would feel different, but clearly LeBron wasn't even in it after game 3. It wasn't like he cracked under pressure as much as he just checked out mentally.

daleja424
10-28-2011, 05:11 PM
Haters say what?

Wade>You
10-28-2011, 05:12 PM
When one LeBron hate thread dies, another one is born

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vX07j9SDFcc

beliges
10-28-2011, 05:13 PM
How do you list guys who struggled at some point this post season ahead of LeBron? Wade had several bad games. The Heat completely shut Rose down. Howard was booted in the first round. And Kobe on maybe the most talented team was booted the second round.

If I thought LeBron give his all and failed I would feel different, but clearly LeBron wasn't even in it after game 3. It wasn't like he cracked under pressure as much as he just checked out mentally.

Huh? The most talented team in the league is clearly the Heat. Even without as deep of a team as some of the others in the league, any team with two top 3 players in the league and a top 5 PF is the most talented. No other team has that level of elite talent on their team.

And yes there are elite guys who have struggled in the post season but none of them from what I can remember choked and performed as bad as Lebron has done during his career. And as for Wade, you must be forgetting that Wade was able to get it done and win it all before.

And I dont know which is worse. A player checking out of the biggest series of his life or a player choking away the biggest series of his life but I can tell you one thing, Lebron did both of those last year.

robrobert13
10-28-2011, 05:13 PM
He will beast in the regular season, sure, he always does. Too bad he never beasts in the post-season outside of 2009. Lebron is not a motivated player, he is no Kobe or MJ when it comes to that.

Either way he is still not the best player in the league.

He's 26 years old dumbass. Do you understand that he has another 8-12 years in this league, and he hasn't even hit his prime yet?

beliges
10-28-2011, 05:17 PM
Haters say what?

Dude, why is it that if someone doesnt like Lebron its called hating? Why do you expect people to just praise Lebron? After all he has done in his career as far as all the douche moves hes made. And after all the failures he has had during the post season, why do you expect people to just praise him no matter what he does? What has he done to earn the right to be immune from criticism? I dont get it. Many people think Lebron is not the best in the game and they feel this way based on Lebron's failures to perform during the post season. Its not called hating, its called criticism. Some people here feel as though no matter what Lebron does its a travesty to criticize him because he puts up great regular season numbers or because he has a great PER. Lebron can be the best player during the regular season, I have no arguments there. But is he the best when the games matter the most? Definitely not. Not yet.

beliges
10-28-2011, 05:19 PM
He's 26 years old dumbass. Do you understand that he has another 8-12 years in this league, and he hasn't even hit his prime yet?

He has hit his athletic prime already and his game is mostly based on his athleticism. Thats why people have been saying for a looong looong time that he needs to develop his game to the point that he is not relying on his athleticism so much. And thus far, he hasnt done that.

ink
10-28-2011, 05:21 PM
This thread is deteriorating. Sorry guys, but you all know that we've seen enough of these threads. Send me a PM if you want to discuss or lobby for it getting re-opened. Right now I really don't see how it adds anything new.