Friday, January 20, 2012

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

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.

Charles Barkley 

Sir Charles Barkley. The enigmatic power forward that truly put the power in forward. He was better than most, stronger than most, faster than most, and played way harder than most, cause he had to. Like Daft Punk says, Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger....and in Sir Charles case, Shorter. At 6-4 Charles Barkley was the height of a tweener guard and the weight of a small center. But if you ever think that you could out work Charles, you would be dead wrong. He motor ran hot, and his game ran hotter. His will was his greatest ally and strength, so much so that many forget his size and only remember the bulldog they see on tape. The best undersized player ever, one of the best power forwards ever.


Blake Griffin
We're talking skills folks. I get that Blake is 6 inches taller than Chuck, but look at the kid. Like Chuck he's not thin in the least. He can do things that most power forwards can't because of his will to be better and never quit. He runs it like Chuck, powers like Chuck and can do it like Chuck. Pass, shoot, dribble and defend, and all at a harder level than most power forwards. But his will, evident by his ability to do what he did last year after rehabbing an injury that can destroy careers and change players forever, can't be forgotten. He plays hard cause he wants to, and because he needs to.


Kevin Love
He's got the numbers folks. His scoring ability and rebounding prowess precedes him, but unlike others with similar stats in those categories, Kevin Love can dish as well. it may not be evident in the numbers but if you watch his game his ability to find the slasher or open player is good for his size, its just his teammates inability to covert that lessens his dime count. Percentages match, game, match's, results match. Which in my mind, makes Chuck's output even more impressive. 


Dwyane Wade
You won't always find what your looking for in the same section of the store. Chuck's match is no different.
At 6'3, Dwyane Wade was describe as a tweener coming out of college. A two guard that could play the one but might have trouble at the two with guards in the NBA averaging between 6'6 and 6'7. Wrong. Chuck's T-Mobile Co-Star got his weight up to 220 from 205 and not only flourished at the position but has become a dominant force there. Like Chuck, his speed at his position ( I know it sounds weird now but watch the tape) and athleticism as well as abnormal arm length make him a nightmare for defenders and scorer's alike. He plays with a point guard's speed and a shooting guard's mentality. And as for the motor, the fire and the aggressiveness that Sir Charles played with? Check. Check and Check. The run down block, a true measure of the former which Wade and Lebron love, was a staple in Barkley's game.
Wade plays harder than 99% of the league and his will may be only matched by MJ's comparable Kobe. Chuck and Wade, may be small, but their bite is bigger than almost any opponent they face.

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