A lot of times we can be led to believe things because everyone just says its so. I remember when everyone thought that Harold Miner was going to be the next big thing in basketball. I also remember when everyone said Harrison Barnes would lead UNC to a national championship his freshman season. Well none of that really ever happened.
Michael Jordan was a horse of a different breed. We had never seen anyone be that physical and yet still maintain the finesse that a player needed to be both an acrobat and a pure player. However were we so mesmerized by the acrobatics that we didn't really look at the player. We remember the highlights but do they always tell the whole story?
Recently John Salley was asked who was the greatest player of all time and he said he thought it was Magic Johnson. Wait Magic and not Jordan?????? If you were to ask Magic who was the best player he ever played against he would say Jordan.
Let's keep things in perspective though. Magic had been in the NBA ten years before Jordan defeated his Lakers and even then Magic didn't believe Jordan was better than him. Magic didn't really crown the man until after a Dream Team practice when Magic had been out of the league a year and had been diagnosed with HIV(ahem... that's a story for another day though)...
Salley never had to guard Jordan but he said it was pretty simple...
Push him left and he will shoot the ball and never pass it. If he jumps airborne, put him on the ground.
Well since I have about half of Jordan's finals games on tape, I decided to watch for myself and to my amazement, I never saw Jordan go left and pass. Every time he went left he shot the ball. You had to know that every team in the league had this scounting report but no one could stop him from getting that shot.
I was never really a Jordan fan but I did respect his game. I still think he may be the greatest athlete to play the game but I think Lebron may be the most complete player ever. You can take from that what you want.
You can put stock into what John Salley said but he saw the young Jordan. By the time Jordan had peaked, Salley wasn't really getting much playing time and he didn't get to see it up close. However I don't have a problem with Magic being called the best ever either. Magic and Bird saved the NBA and got people interested again. So maybe Salley was just paying respect.
What do you think??
Stay Breezy ~ I'm Out!