Friday, January 20, 2012

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

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.

Magic Johnson

Magic Johnson may have been from the Mid West but he was made to play in Hollywood. His larger than life size as the point guard position and off the court persona are still ever present to this day. He's articulate, 
intelligent, and it showed in his game on the court. He could thread the needle with the pass, break down defenders with the dribble, back down defenders with his size and run the floor like gazelle. But it was his one in a lifetime vision that really let his game shine. He seemed to see things that weren't there until they were and almost always seemed to be in the right position. And his versatility was cleared evident and on display when the Laker's center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar went down with an injury and Magic played throughout the game at point guard, forward and center in Game 6 of the 1980 Finals and dropped 42 points, grabbed 15 boards and doled out 7 assist to clinch an NBA title. Arguably one of history's top 5 players.


Lamar Odom
Lamar Odom, talent-wise, could have been a legend. at 6-10, he could play every position on the floor, exhibiting above average floor vision, an outside shooting touch, an interior scoring ability, transition play and great ability to play the glass and above the rim. This package wrapped up in a power forwards body should  have been a real treat to experience. He even has the off court likable nature the Magic naturally exudes. But  his personal hurdles, preference to play second fiddle and seemingly endless stream of tragedies marred a career that though full of accomplishments, lesser than what one might expect.

Stats and Match:

Lebron James
If Lebron were sure of who he was he might be the perfect match for the Magic Man but we will settle for almost perfect. Lebron was made to be Magic, the body, the athleticism, the vision, scoring and defense. He has the stats and he has the demeanor. He even shares the career moments that dulled other wise bright and shining careers, on and off the court. Even more so, like Magic, Lebron is becoming a larger than life character in our society and a mainstay in the minds of even the most reclined of sports fans. The talent and production exhibited by these two can only be matched by one other player. We'll get to him shortly. 

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