Kobe, LeBron and Jordan read Vol. Not fair

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[h2]Air standards seem out of reach[/h2]

Comment Email Print >http://a.espncdn.com/icons/share-i...y: -moz-initial;">Share </div><cite class= By Chris Broussard
ESPN The Magazine
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Harry How/Getty ImagesNo matter how well LeBron and Kobe play as individuals, reaching the MJ standard proves difficult.

The next time you see one of those innovative Kobe-LeBron puppet commercials, savor it, because it may be the only matchup we get this season between thegame's two biggest and best stars.

With LeBron's Cavaliers on the brink of summer vacation and Kobe's Lakers in a dogfight with the Denver Nuggets, who knows if we'll get to see the real deals try to one-up each other with the samepassion as their marionettes?

You can't blame Nike for pushing the potential dream matchup, and the roommate concept was a nice touch.

It was also right on the money. Figuratively speaking.

LeBron and Kobe are indeed roommates, living under the same roof built by MichaelJordan. Let's call it a mobile home -- one that's, of course, crazy mad plush -- because everywhere they go, the ceiling of theirJordan-constructed digs travels with them.

Everything they do on the basketball court is compared to Jordan. Obviously, that's a compliment to their great skills, but it's also anear-impossible standard that often clouds the judgment of their critics.

I mentioned to LeBron a few weeks ago that he's always being compared to Jordan. His response was a healthy one that I'm sure allows him to keep hissanity.

"Man, there'll never be another Michael Jordan," he said. "You'll drive yourself crazy trying to be the next MichaelJordan."

I'm not saying it's wrong to compare these guys to Jordan, mind you. In every field of endeavor, we compare today's best to the best ever, sothis is quite natural.

My point is just that Jordan changed the standard by which NBA superstars are measured, and that can often diminish the achievements of the great ones whofollow him.

[+] Enlarge
Jonathan Daniel /AllsportKobe and LeBron will have a hard time matching MJ's six rings.

For instance, with Jordan winning six titles without a dominant big man and with just one perennial All-Star teammate (Scottie Pippen) and with such nondescript guys as Stacey King, BillWennington, Will Perdue, Jud Buechler, RandyBrown, Steve Kerr, John Paxson, B.J.Armstrong, Scott Burrell, Luc Longley, JasonCaffey and Scott Williams playing key roles, a title is not just a titleanymore.

It's no longer enough for a truly, truly great player to win just a title; he must win multiple titles. Then, even if he wins multiple titles, weanalyze who he won them with and how good his teammates were.

That's why people seem to have forgotten that Kobe already has won three championships. We always belittle Kobe's three rings by saying, "Buthe had Shaq."

Yeah, and?

It's like Kobe has to win a championship without Shaq to validate himself.

He can thank Jordan for that.

And if the Cavs fail to defy history by rallying from their 3-1 deficit in the East finals versus Orlando, LeBron will take hits in some quarters for notbeing Jordanesque enough.

Never mind that he's scored more points in the first four games of a conference finals series than anyone else (including Jordan); LeBron is averaging42 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists on 50 percent shooting. Or that he hasn't had one teammate score 20 or more points in this series, a sad reality thathasn't happened in a conference final since MJ's Bulls lost to Detroit in 1989. Or that he has just one other starter hitting at least 44 percent ofhis shots. Or that the Cavs are the only team left standing that doesn't have at least two legitimate stars. Or that he doesn't have anything close toa Pippen or a frontline stopper like Dennis Rodman.

But such is life After Mike.

The legends we lift up and adore from the B.M. (Before Mike) days weren't held to nearly as high a standard.

First of all, before Mike, perimeter players weren't measured by their championships, because no matter how good you were, you needed a big man to winbig.

Oscar Robertson, whose triple-double play we laud (and rightly so), won only one title, and that was as a 32-year-old, 11-year veteran playing with a youngKareem Abdul-Jabbar. Yet Robertson, who averaged 19 points and 8 assists as a champion rather than the 30-12-11 we praise him for, is still viewed as possiblythe best guard ever not named Jordan.

The Logo, Jerry West, played 10 seasons with a healthy Elgin Baylor and four with a healthy Wilt Chamberlain and won just one ring. He lost seven times inthe NBA Finals before winning his lone championship (and eight times overall) yet he's nicknamed "Mr. Clutch."

I hesitate to write this next line because it feels sacrilegious, but it's true: If West were being held to the same standard as Kobe and LeBron,he'd be known as "Mr. Clutching His Throat."

Larry Bird won three rings, but none without Top 50 All-Time teammates Kevin McHale and Robert Parish, not to mention the scores of other solid Celtics he played with over theyears, including Hall of Famers Bill Walton and Tiny Archibald.

And though Magic Johnson's five rings all came with Kareem, I've never heard him questioned because he never won one without the game's all-timeleading scorer. Of course, Magic also had guys like James Worthy, Byron Scott, Jamaal Wilkes, Norm Nixon and Michael Cooper to finish his no-look dimes.

See, that's how good Jordan was. Before him, conventional wisdom was that you couldn't lead the league in scoring and lead a dynasty, that youcouldn't lack a dominant big man and build a dynasty.

Can Kobe and LeBron ever reach MJ's rarified air?

We'll see. But if not, they're still in some pretty lofty company.

Chris Broussard is a senior writer at ESPN The Magazine.
 

gabegrams

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Chris Broussard


That was a good read, and he made alot of valid points.

He has moved up a notch or 2 on my writers list.
 
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I agree...100%...

But with Mike he had probably the worse talent out of all of the "Dynasty" teams...

People just like to diss Kobe by name dropping Shaq...Shaq can't win a title without a really good perimeter player either...penny, wade, kobe. End thisnonsense once and for all...
 
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2:08 of the interview...i couldnt find the other�vid where he�says its unfair to compare him, d.wade and Lebron and etc to mike...its just unfair

chris broussard is�on point
��
 
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--Read it. Good stuff. I like MJ. I like Bron. I like KB too. And i believe it is wrong to use MJ as a measuring stick for the King's and Mamba'sgreatness.
--No one ever put that pressure on MJ.
 
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Great read! Everything in this article was on point. I would love to see the Kobe vs Lebron finals, but at the same time I feel it would be unfair to whomeverloses, especially Kobe. Kobe loses, everyone will say Lebron is better. Lebron loses, he didn't have the killer instinct, but it's okay because he is24 and has time to win championships. It's like sometimes we forget that basketball is a team sport and that it takes the team to win not just one player.
 
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Originally Posted by DARTH DNZY

--Read it. Good stuff. I like MJ. I like Bron. I like KB too. And i believe it is wrong to use MJ as a measuring stick for the King's and Mamba's greatness.
--NO ONE EVER PUT THAT PRESSURE ON MJ
lies.

did u not read the article? we always compare current greats to past greats... MJ had to be Bird and Magic

thats how it is, was and always will be
 
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THE Article has so many great points....

Kobe has to win one without Shaq although he has three already
LeBron has to win MORE than one or he isnt among the all-time greats ( yet the hall of fame is full of one-time or NO championship winners)

MJ will be the last person to win more than 5 titles... period
 

swolemeat

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great article, great read, but still, can you even compare Lebron when dude plays an entirely diff posistion???

still...

kobe>mj>lebron
 
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Don't mean a thing if you ain't got the ring

Tim Duncan won 4 titles post MJ as a #1 option without a 2nd HOF or top 50 player (3 if you include David Robinson)

Timmy doesn't get NEARLY enough love as he should


SWOLEMEAT
[hr][/hr] kobe>mj>lebron


I'm going to need you to turn in all 78 of your posts, and exit to the door on the left.
 
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Originally Posted by blacklion23

Great read! Everything in this article was on point. I would love to see the Kobe vs Lebron finals, but at the same time I feel it would be unfair to whomever loses, especially Kobe. Kobe loses, everyone will say Lebron is better. Lebron loses, he didn't have the killer instinct, but it's okay because he is 24 and has time to win championships. [color= rgb(255, 0, 0)]It's like sometimes we forget that basketball is a team sport and that it takes the team to win not just one player.[/color]
Very true.

With the EXCEPTION being"Air Jordan", "His Airness", "Money", "The GOAT", MICHAEL JORDAN.

That is all.
 
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Originally Posted by outacontrol music

Don't mean a thing if you ain't got the ring

Tim Duncan won 4 titles post MJ as a #1 option without a 2nd HOF or top 50 player (3 if you include David Robinson)

Timmy doesn't get NEARLY enough love as he should
A good amount of his peers along with fans consider him the greatest at his position of all-time. He doesn't get love cause most of the timewe never argue about big men unless it involves Shaq
 
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Originally Posted by StephonUrkel

Originally Posted by DARTH DNZY

--Read it. Good stuff. I like MJ. I like Bron. I like KB too. And i believe it is wrong to use MJ as a measuring stick for the King's and Mamba's greatness.
--NO ONE EVER PUT THAT PRESSURE ON MJ
lies.

did u not read the article? we always compare current greats to past greats... MJ had to be Bird and Magic

thats how it is, was and always will be
--Yeah I read the article. But the degree of pressure is still greater on today's players to eclipse MJ. They cant. They wont. MJ could not be the nextBird. Or next Magic. Kobe had to face this adversity because he was constantly compared to MJ. Same with Bron cuz he is becoming the new face of the NBA.I'm not saying there was no pressure at all for MJ I'm just saying its more difficult for KB and Bron.
--Even though MJ may have been pressured to be the next whatever..he was not hated for it, he was not criticized for it ad most importantly he succeeded in it.This paved an unfair measuring stick for future players.
--But now that you mention it...the tandem of Magic and Bird did for the NBA in the 80's was MJ did in the 90's. But I personally didnt see anypressure there. One's a deadly shooting, sharp passing small forward..the other is a oversized..great playmaking point guard...and the last is the greatestcompetitor to ever play the 4 spot.
 

swolemeat

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Originally Posted by outacontrol music

Don't mean a thing if you ain't got the ring

Tim Duncan won 4 titles post MJ as a #1 option without a 2nd HOF or top 50 player (3 if you include David Robinson)

Timmy doesn't get NEARLY enough love as he should


SWOLEMEAT
[hr][/hr] kobe>mj>lebron

I'm going to need you to turn in all 78 of your posts, and exit to the door on the left.

ill exit like your sorry cavs and extra sorry mo williams will do tonight.

nah i like MJ, i dont wanna compare him cause its a diff era and he was a sort of a barrier breaker, setting new standards

but

KOBE>Lebron ALL DAY
 
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Originally Posted by DARTH DNZY

Originally Posted by StephonUrkel

Originally Posted by DARTH DNZY

--Read it. Good stuff. I like MJ. I like Bron. I like KB too. And i believe it is wrong to use MJ as a measuring stick for the King's and Mamba's greatness.
--NO ONE EVER PUT THAT PRESSURE ON MJ
lies.

did u not read the article? we always compare current greats to past greats... MJ had to be Bird and Magic

thats how it is, was and always will be
--Yeah I read the article. But the degree of pressure is still greater on today's players to eclipse MJ. They cant. They wont. MJ could not be the next Bird. Or next Magic. Kobe had to face this adversity because he was constantly compared to MJ. Same with Bron cuz he is becoming the new face of the NBA. I'm not saying there was no pressure at all for MJ I'm just saying its more difficult for KB and Bron.
--Even though MJ may have been pressured to be the next whatever..he was not hated for it, he was not criticized for it ad most importantly he succeeded in it. This paved an unfair measuring stick for future players.
--But now that you mention it...the tandem of Magic and Bird did for the NBA in the 80's was MJ did in the 90's. But I personally didnt see any pressure there. One's a deadly shooting, sharp passing small forward..the other is a oversized..great playmaking point guard...and the last is the greatest competitor to ever play the 4 spot.
I am not trying to joke on you or pick on you in any way so keep that in mind.


How old were you when MJ played College ball or was a rookie in the league???

Im just asking to see if you are "not remembering" or just were not alive or too young to remember.

There were PLENTY of Jordan haters.

Tell me this, what pick was MJ in his draft?

There were many people that looked over Jordan.

There were also those that hated on him while he was doing the unthinkable.

We live in different times.

The internet being the biggest development and change.

Is hate for Kobe and Bron greater?

There is no way to tell or to actually compare this.

But to say that Jordan had no hate against him, had no "real" pressure other then what you said, etc. etc.

Is SIMPLY LUDICROUS.
 
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Originally Posted by 731balla

Originally Posted by blacklion23

Great read! Everything in this article was on point. I would love to see the Kobe vs Lebron finals, but at the same time I feel it would be unfair to whomever loses, especially Kobe. Kobe loses, everyone will say Lebron is better. Lebron loses, he didn't have the killer instinct, but it's okay because he is 24 and has time to win championships. [color= rgb(255, 0, 0)]It's like sometimes we forget that basketball is a team sport and that it takes the team to win not just one player.[/color]
Very true.

With the EXCEPTION being"Air Jordan", "His Airness", "Money", "The GOAT", MICHAEL JORDAN.

That is all.
+ Scottie

THAT is all
 
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