Friday, January 20, 2012

Michael Jordan thinks only Kobe Bryant deserves comparisons, but what about - Rick Barry?

Earlier this week, Micheal Jordan made waves for something that we have all been arguing and prognasticating about for years since his second retirement. The media, fans, non-fans, kids, friends, enemies and the like argued Grant Hill. They argued Vince Carter. They Argued Tracy McGrady. Dwyane Wade. Lebron James. On and on. But Micheal kept quiet on the comparisons, mostly because Micheal knows he's the best and doesn't need to, and because he is too competitive still to give anyone a chance to come close to his greatness. Yet, with his distance from who he was growing, a part of him felt that it was time to give HIS idea of his "Air" Apparent. And out it came. Kobe Bryant. Right there, it didn't end, but the consensus definitely was swayed and questions, ideas and doubts were quenched.

But, luckily for us fans and debaters, there is more than one NBA great to compare and contrast our current lot of players to until our faces turn blue.

Arguably, one is the greatest pure shooter, one is the greatest pure interior defender, one may be the greatest of all time, including Mike. But we'll leave that to debate of course.

I chose only players in the league Currently, that still start for their respective teams and/or are a major part of their teams scheme and ability to contend. To add to the fun, I broke it down into three categories:

Skills: A player that may not have the disposition or the numbers, but have the same talents and abilities as the great their compared to.

Stats: A player that has similar but not exact skill level and the numbers to boot.

Match:This player, may not be a perfect fit, but they match talent, ability, close on numbers and have a familar characteristic set to the NBA Great they are paired with.

Championships and MVP's are out, as those are more a product of the team than the individual.
With that said, lets get to the comparisons. And please when your done, reading, don't be afraid to disagree and comment harshly.

Rick Barry

If there was ever a Jordan-esque scorer, with a Jordan-esque demeanor before Jordan was around, Rick Barry is that scorer.And I say scorer because the defense was not as tenacious as Jordan's. But the reason Barry is on this list and regarded as a top 50 player is because of his amazing offensive game and desire to bury his opponents night in night out. He had a hot head and was never afraid to let it burn if it meant that at of the end of the day he was on the winning side of the outcome. On the court, his pure deteremination outlasted opponents and was the sole reason for his ability to score at the clip he did, averaging 30 plus a season four times. Of the court, Barry single mindedness on winning bore a harsh exterior to an amazing player, seen more as a villain than anything else. But we know that under that exterior is the heart of lion and a competitor for the ages.


Dirk Nowitzki
Score, score and score some more. It may not seem like he has the elite athleticism that most believe it takes  to succeed in the league but Nowitzki looks at that only as a reason to work hard at his craft than his athletically gifted counterparts. The result of endless hours working on jumpers, turnarounds, up and unders and any other move you seen? An MVP scoring talent that can go shot for shot with anyone in the league, because he wants it just a little bit more than you.


Kobe Bryant
If anyone knows about being hated, whether for off the court gaffs or on the court flare and accomplishment, its Kobe Bryant. He is one of histories top scorers and will never be thought of anything but. The king of work ethic and extreme preparation matches up pretty nicely with the Elder Barry. Other than Barry;s free throw percentage advantage, Kobe has nearly identical numbers to Barry, including the four 30 point season averages. He may be MJ's choice for his closest comparison but statistically, on offense, Bryant mimics Rick Barry like no other.


Carmelo Anthony
The Melo man. Soft on the inside but hard as rock on the outside. He has a cool demeanor but can be as candid and agitating as Rick Barry was, and also as demanding as Barry was. His stats and skills are near exact and Carmelo even controversially changed teams just as Barry did in jumping to the NBA and the Warriors. The games are parallel, as both could play above the rim but are better known for their ability to use a nice jumper, great moves and any hole the defense gives them to rack up the points, game in game out. Grinders by nature and winners by desire, Anthony and Barry are aggressive attackers who relish the limelight and the victory more than most, to the point that nothing is more important. But even like Barry his extreme want to win can destroy a real image of a good person, but one who just can't bear to lose, or at the very least do anything it's takes to do so. Except play defense.

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