The conversation has been on a variety of topics, Mount Rushmore, 5 championships, the greatest player of all time…..you’ve heard the pundants and the experts name the greatest NBA players and the conversation over the last few days has been interesting. My opinion is that LeBron James is without a doubt the greatest basketball player of all time, even exceeding the exploits of one Michael Jordan. I know that is crossing the line, but I believe the time in which an NBA player actually played has a tremendous impact in determining who is in fact the greatest NBA player of all time. LeBron James has done it all and I believe that the measure of a basketball player cannot be dictated by how many NBA titles said player actually won. There are two many factors involved in determining the greatest NBA player of all time and the way the modern game is played and administrated has an impact as well. First of all the game has changed, today’s players are certainly more stronger and athletic today vs 10, 20 or even 30 years ago. In my opinion there has never been a player with the strength, endurance, basketball IQ, and bravery as LeBron James. James won two NBA championships in Miami and I would venture to say he would have probably won at least three more had he elected to stay in Miami. It took per guts to leave Miami and to go back to Cleveland. The conversation changed when LeBron opted to return home to Cleveland. Suddenly it is not about the greatest clutch shooter, it is not about how many NBA titles Michael Jordan delivered or How many titles LeBron James delivered. The conversation is suddenly about how much better did LeBron James make the players around him….. Jordan was not an expert at making players around him better. He was simply interested in securing the wins in NBA title games. Jordan had endurance, however he was not interested in getting stronger, he was more interested in securing NBA titles. Nothing is wrong with that. However, I have never seen a player with the physical skills set attention to detail and the ability to make each and every player the best they can be, Jordan did not have that skill set, LeBron James does. James can score, he can rebound, he can run the floor and he could probably play all 5 positions on the basketball floor, Michael Jordan could not do this. What makes LeBron James so good, he is a student of the game, knows every play ahead of time and knows where his teammates are in at any given time. What he has put together in Cleveland is remarkable. LeBron James molded and shaped this team. Jordon never had this much influence, LeBron James is the greatest basketball player and the greatest facilitator, personnel administrator and teammate that anyone would want if they want to get better as basketball players. For these reasons LeBron James will go down as the greatest NBA player of all time, That is how good he is. ,
LeBron James seems to be in a perpetual state of frozen animation when playing basketball. Don't get me wrong he's a brilliant player and he possessive wild skills. The problem is we do not understand why he is not consistently taking over the game. Sometimes he appears lost even though he is probably the best player on the planet.
Yes LeBron James seems to be someone who really has a problem being consistent in how he approaches the game. Yet despite this, he is an outstanding player and that's something that we all have to come to terms with. Yes many hate him for having the gall to say he was going to take his talents to Miami but we must understand this is truly a talented basketball player.
So that is the LeBron James we know. Sometimes he's there. Sometimes he gives you maximum effort and sometimes when he's on the big stage he seems to freeze up. Probably it is psychological I can't really tell you why but it seems to happen quite often. No we can't get into LeBron James' head. That is an exercise reserved for the experts, but we can ponder why he seems to disappear in some circumstances.
But maybe LeBron James' coach can tell you why he seems to have a photographic memory. A great memory of plays and situations and how the play is likely to turn out.
Spoelstra said James' recall helps because ultimately it's attention to detail that helps a team win. “That's how coaches are,” Spoelstra said. “We remember details and we want to emphasize those details. And when your best player recalls the minor things and also understands the importance of those things, it has a big impact on our team.”
James looks at his ability in two ways.
“Sometimes it works great, sometimes it doesn't,” he said. “Sometimes it can cloud my mind too much and I get to thinking about the game too much instead of just playing. Sometimes I'm able to put myself in situations that are better for me and better for our team by knowing what happened before.
“I guess it's a gift and a curse.”
From ESPN Chicago
Scottie Pippen had a front-row seat to watch Miami‘s LeBron James help oust the Chicago Bulls from the playoffs, and the Hall of Famer believes James might supplant Pippen’s former running mate Michael Jordan as the greatest player ever.
“Michael Jordan is probably the greatest scorer to play the game,” Pippen said Friday on “Mike & Mike In The Morning” on ESPN Radio. “But I may go as far as to say LeBron James may be the greatest player to ever play the game because he is so potent offensively that not only can he score at will but he keeps everybody involved.
Basketball Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen says Michael Jordan was the greatest scorer ever, but LeBron James could be the greatest NBA player ever.
“You have to be on your P’s and Q’s on defense. No guy on the basketball court is a threat to score with LeBron James out there. Not only will LeBron dominate from the offensive end as well, but he’s also doing it on the defensive end, which really makes him the complete package. He’s able to get in those passing lanes, shoot those gaps and create transition opportunities where he is pretty much unstoppable.”
Horace Grant, a close friend of Pippen’s who won three titles with Jordan’s Bulls, was shocked to hear of Pippen’s comments.
“Pip is my man, and we will always be close but I totally disagree,” Grant said Friday on “The Waddle & Silvy Show” on ESPN 1000. “LeBron is going to be one of the top players to ever play the game. But Michael Jeffrey Jordan, who we bumped heads with at times, is I think in my era, the best who ever played the game.
“I’m kind of at a loss for words because Michael Jordan … when you win numerous MVPs and you’ve taken the team to six championships — and probably could have been eight if he didn’t retire those two years — and MVPs in the playoffs … and he made us better.
“Believe me, he made myself, Scottie, B.J. [Armstrong], even Bill Cartwright who I love, he made us better players. He gave us that confidence. But first we had to earn his trust. And once we earned his trust you saw championship after championship.”
Pippen took to Twitter to defend himself later Friday.
“For all of you that don’t know, I played the game you keep watching and cheering,” Pippen tweeted.
Later he tweeted: “Don’t get me wrong, MJ was and is the greatest. But LeBron could by all means get to his level someday. ”
The Heat closed out the Bulls with an 83-80 victory in Game 5 on Thursday, setting up an NBA Finals matchup with the Dallas Mavericks. A championship in his second career trip to the Finals could help solidify his legacy, but James already has put to rest one knock on his game, in Pippen’s view.
I’m seeing a great player, and a player that we’ve all admired for the last [seven] years of his career, but this [eighth] year here, he has really brought the complete package,” Pippen said. “I’ve never seen a player that can dominate a game the way LeBron James can. He don’t always have to score. He makes plays for other guys. But when the game is on the line and you need a shot to be made, he’s going to make that play. He’s shown that throughout this series that he can make big shots.
“I think there has always been a knock on him that he don’t make the big shots down the stretch. Well, I think they can put that behind him now. He’s a shotmaker. And right now he’s a man on a mission.”
Pippen, who won six NBA titles alongside Jordan in the 1990s, said the Bulls exceeded their talent level to reach the Eastern Conference finals against the Heat.
“They have to keep their head up and realize they had a great season,” said Pippen, who attends most Bulls games in his role as team ambassador. “I think you have to take something positive from this season. I think this team really laid their hearts out on the line and played great basketball all season long, but I think we all know that (the Bulls) were overachieving to some degree.
“I think we realized we really didn’t have the personnel to go all the way through the playoffs and be considered the NBA champions. This Miami Heat team was established to be able to really run through every team in the league, and they have been able to do that thus far.”
My take on the Miami Heat. Chris Bosh says he wants more touches inside and his teammates need to get him the ball. Look, Bosh in my opinion is not the superstar that he and a few others thinks he is. He has a decent game, but nothing that could be construed as on the same level as LeBron, or D Wade. Bosh is a power forward, but yet he sees himself as a post player, a big man. Look he’s 6’10 and 235. That is not the build or the make up of a center.
Yes the Heat need a formidable center in the middle, a go to guy to take the heat off of James, Wade, and Bosh. But that is just it. They only need someone in the middle that can score consistently and forcefully. They do not have that on this team. Getting the ball more to Bosh inside is not the answer. Bosh is already getting the ball. He’s averaging 18 points per game. The scoring mix is where it needs to be, James is averaging 26 points , Wade is averaging 25, and Bosh is averaging 18 points. The rest of the team is averaging 4 points per game collectively. There lies the problem.
In effect the Heat are playing without a true center. Dampier is big enough and so is “Z”, but neither are productive enough to draw defenses away from the big three and allow them to do their thing. That is the problem. The Heat needs to get more production from Dampier and Z; at least enough to draw attention from opposing teams, and not allow them the luxury to double team either of the big three stars.
There are a lot of opinions on LeBron James’ decision to go to the Miami Heat. Depending upon who you ask you can certainly get a diverse cross section of opinions and responses. LeBron did the wrong thing. LeBron did the right thing. LeBron is a slave. LeBron is not a slave, you get the picture….. all of it is rather ridiculous and the world continues to be held hostage over who will follow LeBron to the revamped Miami Heat.
Every NBA player would like to win a championship and money in that matter is irrelevant. They will take a pay cut if it means that an NBA championship ring is in the immediate future. So we need to give LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh credit, for coming together and producing a player driven assembly of an entire new team. Expect a new NBA Champion to be looming on the horizon, despite the fact that Kobe is patiently waiting to be the spoiler. That champion will be the Heat thank you.
My take on the ” Decision” is “that LeBron James may have made a wrong decision in choosing to participate in an hour long infomercial. But he absolutely made the right decision in choosing the Miami Heat.
James by nature is at best a reluctant leader. No one can ever accuse him of being a ball hog. In this regard he is another Magic Johnson. James will make a huge difference and impact in Miami. He is a multi-dimensional player, who will average triple doubles nearly ever game.
Did he let Cleveland down? Absolutely. Will they get over it? No