Now that All Star weekend has come and gone, the NBA is left with even more questions and more interesting storylines. From what’s next for the plummeting Lakers who are now having to take the back seat in their own city to the L.A Clippers, a team who has just found recent success after years of dwelling in mediocrity. Will the Lakers make the playoffs, will they trade Dwight by the deadline, or will he walk away and leave them high and dry during the summer. But let’s be honest; no one cares about the Lakers except for California Residents and a few misguided ones from Houston.
The biggest blip that seemed to throw a shadow over All Star weekend came from Michael Jordan because of the comments he made about how he would pick Kobe Bryant over Lebron James because “5 rings out weighs 1 ring any day of the week.” Before I get into how idiotic this is, let me say, based strictly upon his poor and questionable draft picks selected over the past few years as General Manager for the Charlotte Bobcats, M.J should be the last person giving an opinion on who HE would pick.
But, all the satirical hyperbole aside, I believe Lebron gave the best rebuttal in an interview this past week end. He basically said that rings are not indicative of the greatness of a player. All rings mean is that a player was fortunate enough to have a great supporting cast around him that enabled him to win a championship. Prime example: Is Pao Gasol a better player than Hall of Famer Charles Barkley because he has more rings than him? Survey Says.. “Absolutely Not!” Is Robert “Big Shot Bob” Horry better than Micheal Jordan because he has one more ring than him? “Hell Naw!” Since people are so focused on counting rings; that would mean M.J isn’t the greatest ever because Bill Russell has almost twice as many championships as Jordan does.
My stance on the matter is, regardless of rings, King James is a better player and better athlete. Let’s disregard the fact that I’m the biggest Lebron fan on the planet. Truth of the matter is, numbers do not lie. Numbers say that at this point in Lebron’s career, Kobe never had the numbers Lebron had. Next, Lebron makes everyone around him better, and not to mention, put the city of Cleveland on the map. Quick survey: How many of you knew ANY Cavalier’s players BEFORE Lebron descended upon Cleveland? Better yet, who knew that Cleveland even had a team?
Don’t worry.. I’ll wait.
At the end of the day, rings are a team accomplishment. If Lebron had the same roster and Hall of Fame coach in Phil Jackson, there would be no doubt that this debate wouldn’t even be relevant. No player in NBA history has ever won a title without a good supporting cast. Look at M.J. I can recall times before Pippen and before Rodman when Jordan couldn’t make it to the Finals and sat on the team bus and cried like a new born baby. Or how after the departure of Shaq, Kobe couldn’t get his team to reach higher than the #8 seed and how, until Phil returned and they made a trade for Pao Gasol, they were repeatedly bounced from the playoffs by the Phoenix Suns.
Let’s think reasonably and not get caught up in the shine from the rings like a groupie looking for a way out of the projects. All of these players are great in their own right and their talents are unparalleled. If you would like to rebut or debate this feature with me, follow me on twitter @KardhiacThePoet and let the debate begin.