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View Full Version : LBJ: Appreciate great playr more: comapre them less



JasonJohnHorn
11-25-2015, 09:04 AM
LeBron James recently said that people should appreciate great players more and compare them less, echoing the words of the legendary Harold Miner, who said that rather than being the next Dr. J or next Michael Jordan, he would be the first Harold Miner (in hindsight, he should have went with the next Michael Jordan).

This isn't news, exactly, but it does make for an interesting conversation.

When I was growing up (not that I mean to date myself), I got to watch Larry Bird, and Magic, and Hakeem, and Jordan and Thomas, and Barkley and Malone and Malone. I may have selective memory here, but I don't remember any of those players (with the exception of Jordan perhaps being compared to Dr. J) being compared to other players. Nobody said "Magic is the next Big O".

Later, when we saw guys like Pippen develop, or guys like Chris Webber come onto the scene with Shaq and Mourning and Mutumbo, there was little comparison, though there was some (people pondered is Shaq was the next Wilt, and I remember some comparisons between Mourning and Russell). But even when Webber was mentioned in the same context as Malone and Barkley, people simply wondered if he would be as good as them, not so much if he played like them.


But then we started getting more comparisons. Grant Hill got tagged as the next Michael Jordan, as has every great wing since: Kobe, T-Mac, LBJ. And now we seem more interested in framing guys against past greatness.


Is there a reason for this? Do today's players, though great, simply not 'break the mould'? I do see many of today's players transcend past greatness: Duncan, Garnett, LBJ, KD, Curry. But even some of this generation's best players, namely Kobe, can't shake the 'Jordan' comparison.


Thoughts?

SteBO
11-25-2015, 09:08 AM
I see LeBron's point & understand it. It's not gonna happen. Comparisons is a big part of sports. Take that way, and it ceases to be entertaining. The reason these guys are constantly getting compared to other greats (namely MJ and the like) is because "we" as fans (I use the quoted term loosely) love to measure greatness against other greatness to see just HOW great they are.

Hawkeye15
11-25-2015, 10:44 AM
Yeah, I get what he means, but the fact is, people like to compare. No way around it.

noahopz
11-25-2015, 11:02 AM
I think lebrons playing with the fire thats always going to be lit when you are actively playing in the NBA

legacy only matters after people retire

no one compares players to another player unless they are playing; because thats the legacy stand point we all strive for. thats where titles count, scoring counts, all time leaders count.

Players shouldnt be categorized within their own identity for the sheer fact that from a fandom stand point its critical that we put things in perspective.

baseball is baseball because of its records.

why shouldnt basketball be the same ?

why shouldnt we compare lebron to jordan to kobe to magic to bird to hakeem to shaq to duncan ????

its a sport, we shouldnt keep records then if comparisons arent needed.

we shouldnt have basketball cards of stats dont matter

and the championship should be won by lottery if it doesnt matter.

Lebron will be defined and compared to in ten years when ben simmons is in his prime, and thats the way it always has worked

mikan to wilt to jabbar to shaq

baylor to oscar to bird to magic to lebron

you get the point here right ?

this sounds like another time where Lebron lets his insecurity get the best of him, as hes recognizing his place in history saying

will 2 titles be enough

will people ever forget the jumping ship twice to and from miami etc etc

will my losses in the finals hurt my legacy

he sounds like his trying to validate his feelings by saying

I shouldnt be compared to another great who was better than me

I should be considered the greatest on my own

sorry but it just doesnt work that way.

Hawkeye15
11-25-2015, 11:30 AM
I think lebrons playing with the fire thats always going to be lit when you are actively playing in the NBA

legacy only matters after people retire

no one compares players to another player unless they are playing; because thats the legacy stand point we all strive for. thats where titles count, scoring counts, all time leaders count.

Players shouldnt be categorized within their own identity for the sheer fact that from a fandom stand point its critical that we put things in perspective.

baseball is baseball because of its records.

why shouldnt basketball be the same ?

why shouldnt we compare lebron to jordan to kobe to magic to bird to hakeem to shaq to duncan ????

its a sport, we shouldnt keep records then if comparisons arent needed.

we shouldnt have basketball cards of stats dont matter

and the championship should be won by lottery if it doesnt matter.

Lebron will be defined and compared to in ten years when ben simmons is in his prime, and thats the way it always has worked

mikan to wilt to jabbar to shaq

baylor to oscar to bird to magic to lebron

you get the point here right ?

this sounds like another time where Lebron lets his insecurity get the best of him, as hes recognizing his place in history saying

will 2 titles be enough

will people ever forget the jumping ship twice to and from miami etc etc

will my losses in the finals hurt my legacy

he sounds like his trying to validate his feelings by saying

I shouldnt be compared to another great who was better than me

I should be considered the greatest on my own

sorry but it just doesnt work that way.

highly doubt that is what he is thinking. The dude just gave his opinion that he doesn't worry about comparisons. Whether that is true or not only he knows.

xbrackattackx
11-25-2015, 01:36 PM
Maybe me and Brons egos are different. But if I played basketball professionally and someone compared me to Kareem,Magic,Jordan,Hakeem,Tmac,Kobe,Bird,Russell, Hill, Whoever. I would feel honored. Those are the founding fathers. It would be like someone saying a president was as good as Washington,Lincon or Truman. Comparisons aren't always a negative thing. But at the same time I get what he's saying. Just enjoy players, cause Father Time will soon catch them. As we see with Kobe,KG and even the immortal Duncan.

Gander13SM
11-25-2015, 01:55 PM
I agree with LeBron. People don't need to stop comparing guys but they do need to learn to appreciate each individual player for who they are. This is the reason I don't believe in "greatest of all time". And why I try to avoid comparing players from different eras. The game has changed too much from one era to the next. There's no way of knowing how that player would have performed in a different era or how they would have had to change their game.

They also need to stop putting players (particularly from the 90s) on a pedestal.

People look at the past, particularly the time they were growing up, with rose tinted glasses. They forget a lot of the players/teams negatives and only remember the positive stuff. Which makes it impossible for players now to surpass them because their mistakes aren't as easily forgotten as they're happening right now.

Selective memories. Childhood romanticism. And an inability to appreciate a player within their own era.

Chronz
11-25-2015, 02:53 PM
Hes a hypocrite, he says all the time how he wants to finish as the best player of all-time, well, dont we have to compare him to other greats to get there?

ewing
11-25-2015, 02:54 PM
has anyone ever been as good as this guy at anything and still so transparently insecure?

D-Leethal
11-25-2015, 03:27 PM
has anyone ever been as good as this guy at anything and still so transparently insecure?

lol, seriously.

Something tells me if he was 5-1 in the Finals he would be inviting everybody to compare him and his accomplishments to the rest of the top 10 GOATs.

FlashBolt
11-25-2015, 05:10 PM
Hes a hypocrite, he says all the time how he wants to finish as the best player of all-time, well, dont we have to compare him to other greats to get there?

He never said not to compare them. I think his point is that people are always looking for what-if scenarios that they forget the great player's that they were. Certainly he's comparing himself all the time but as a fan, we're never going to truly appreciate a great player until they are gone... and even when they are gone, we go back to comparing them.

Gander13SM
11-25-2015, 06:03 PM
He never said not to compare them. I think his point is that people are always looking for what-if scenarios that they forget the great player's that they were. Certainly he's comparing himself all the time but as a fan, we're never going to truly appreciate a great player until they are gone... and even when they are gone, we go back to comparing them.

Very true^

It's a shame really.

Chronz
11-25-2015, 06:05 PM
He never said not to compare them. I think his point is that people are always looking for what-if scenarios that they forget the great player's that they were. Certainly he's comparing himself all the time but as a fan, we're never going to truly appreciate a great player until they are gone... and even when they are gone, we go back to comparing them.

I know, his exact words (going by this thread) was to compare them less. Even if that were his point, it only serves in showcasing his own admission that hes not as great as he wanted to be initially, which is fine, but sad to me.

I think every player should strive to be the greatest, well except the bums, but hes completely asinine to think you arrive at any sort of stature without comparison. Its just another one of Brons mental ticks. Its weird because the sports media types always talk about how smart he is with them, how he has a media side to him and a personal side, yet he will still go out of his way to say **** that contradicts things in the past. I always try to view the context behind them (such as the not 1,2,3,4,5 hype fest with his new fans vs his realistic approach with reporters) but this one escapes me. Hes trying to sound noble but all he does is undermine his own position in history by asking us not to compare him vs former greats. Its sad because if he actually means this, it means hes done trying to be the GOAT.

Most of us thought he had no chance anyways but Im of the opinion that you can always make up for a mistake (Dallas) when the GOAT took entire seasons off. Its better to make the Finals than retire and escape the challenge in the first place, but it all depends on his play from here on out. Maybe Bron knows he doesn't have it in him to be as great as he set out to be, and now hes realizing that. Dont compare greats, PLZ.

Chronz
11-25-2015, 06:15 PM
Very true^

It's a shame really.

No its not, its us trying to get excited for the possibility of ELITE greatness. If you see someone similarly dominant, you look back to the past to get an idea of the expectations. Its what gets us hyped in the first place. This isn't a mutually exclusive thing, its not like we cant appreciate a Lebron without comparing him to others. Most of us know there will never be another MJ, doesn't stop the comparisons because some of us want these guys to top precedent. If we cant get excited for that possibility then the sport will suffer tremendously. This isn't baseball, football, or even soccer, this is a sport where 1 MAN can completely transform the identity of his franchise, sure he needs help, but he himself is enough to get the wheel rolling in most cases.

I know why Bron said this but hes an idiot, logically speaking. Im sure hes mastered the art of talking to the media, but hes completely inept when it comes to defending his stance vs the intelligentsia, and yes, that includes people like us who talk sports despite there being no money in it for us. We do this for the LOVE of the game. If you sound like an idiot to them, then you're a ****ing idiot.

da ThRONe
11-25-2015, 06:28 PM
I don't think comparing players block my ability to appreciate them.

Yanks All Day
11-25-2015, 06:45 PM
No its not, its us trying to get excited for the possibility of ELITE greatness. If you see someone similarly dominant, you look back to the past to get an idea of the expectations. Its what gets us hyped in the first place. This isn't a mutually exclusive thing, its not like we cant appreciate a Lebron without comparing him to others. Most of us know there will never be another MJ, doesn't stop the comparisons because some of us want these guys to top precedent. If we cant get excited for that possibility then the sport will suffer tremendously. This isn't baseball, football, or even soccer, this is a sport where 1 MAN can completely transform the identity of his franchise, sure he needs help, but he himself is enough to get the wheel rolling in most cases.

I know why Bron said this but hes an idiot, logically speaking. Im sure hes mastered the art of talking to the media, but hes completely inept when it comes to defending his stance vs the intelligentsia, and yes, that includes people like us who talk sports despite there being no money in it for us. We do this for the LOVE of the game. If you sound like an idiot to them, then you're a ****ing idiot.

Except in the case of LeBron James, that's EXACTLY what's happening. We've never seen a player like LeBron. The closest thing is Oscar Robertson. Yet, when he first came in the league, it was "well, he's not Kobe." Then when people realized he's better, it became, "well, he's not Jordan." It's never been what it actually deserves, which is "Wow, I've never seen anything like this, and might never see anything like it again."

He keeps hitting these milestones such as "fastest to x amount of points" or "one of only 2 players in history to do x, y, and z," and yet all we talk about is how he'll never be Jordan. It's consistently used not as a barometer for LeBron's greatness, but as a reason to dock points from any argument in favor of LeBron. There's a clear paranoia of anyone who might surpass MJ in any way and a need to knock them down.

What LeBron's saying is simple: we're so caught up in comparisons that we're missing how special what we're seeing now actually is. Particularly in his own case.

The game has changed. You just can't compare players from different eras. Players now are bigger, stronger, faster, more athletic, and the training programs are far more advanced. There are 20 point guards in basketball right now that are more athletic and skilled than 98% of the guards Jordan played against. Point-forwards were rarities in the 80s and 90s and it was marveled when they happened. Now, they're all over the place. That's what's so messed up about it all. You genuinely can't tell, but we try so hard to justify it. We're so caught up in making sure that one player is better than another that we miss the greatness of this generation. Basketball might have been tougher in decades past, but it'd be ridiculous to not realize the advances that are so common to us today that they've gone unnoticed. Russell Westbrook would have absolutely dominated that era.

Michael Jordan is the greatest player of all time because of his sustained excellence and ability to dominate when the stakes were highest. LeBron James will never catch Jordan, but it's not because of a lack of skill. LeBron is bigger and stronger than Jordan ever was, and probably just as fast. He's a better facilitator, passer, and rebounder than Jordan ever was. For the majority of his career, LeBron's been a better shooter than Jordan, considering MJ didn't develop a consistent jumper until later in his career, and he never developed a 3 pointer). MJ was probably a more dominant defender for a longer period of time, but there's no question that LBJ is more versatile. All of that, for some reason, is overlooked.

He's going to surpass MJ in every statistical category imaginable when it's all said and done. He might even win as many rings. We don't know that much yet, but what we do know is that he'll never be put in Jordan's class. And it has NOTHING to do with skill set, drive, determination, or talent. It's because from the second he turned pro, he was compared to MJ. Everything he's done has been a comparison, which has brought much more scrutiny than deserved. At the end of his career, some people will look back and say, "Well he wasn't Michael. Or Magic. Or Oscar." What everyone should be saying is that "He's the only LeBron, and we might never see that again." Unfortunately, that won't be the case.

LeBron James might (probably) never be considered better than Michael Jordan. But he's good enough to be in the conversation. And that's what people are downplaying so easily when they should be marveling at it. Thousands of players have played in the NBA. Only 2 or 3 EVER deserve to be in the conversation of greatest ever. LeBron is playing his way into the conversation. And because we're so caught up in comparing everything, it's actually taking away the appreciation that we should be having for the feat.