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.
Oh Lord Isiah! Florida International's current Head Coach was lethal. On the dribble, in the lane, open court and in your head. His scrappy play and never say die attitude coupled with his mean first step and ability to make plays, shooting and distributing, were nearly unmatched at his position. And the fire he played with and his love to get in your had and jabber away showed his competitive nature, his endless endurance, killer instinct and slight, well, very evident self confidence.
He's got the speed, no doubt. He can pass with the best and can get his points when he puts it together. He has a swagger that is almost annoying and can be scrappy and defend when, once again, his mind is on the prize. He even has Thomas' ho hum free throw percentages. But unfortunately, his age seems to disable the motor and focus he needs to take that step to great, but at 20, he has plenty of time to catch up to the rest.
He was the offseason darling but was always the most complete point gaurd in the league and best comparable to Isiah Thomas. Why? Becasue he just might be better. We know the physical talent is their, even with the knee surgery, but what about the numbers, mental toughness, the arrogance and the fire? Well, the numbers are right their wit Isiah's, off by a point per game but besting the Detroit legend on shooting percentages, rebounds, assists and steals. That tells you like Isiah, CP3 can take a game over when he needs to, whether it be by scoring, dishing, defense or just that momentum changing play. The fire is evident by his impatience with the Hornets and the league and his desire to play in a big market shows his confidence if not arrogance, to deliver in the toughest of arenas under the harshest of lights. An all time great in the making.