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Lebron And Jordan Personify Greatness In Vastly Different Eras Lebron And Jordan Personify Greatness In Vastly Different Eras

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LeBron and Jordan personify greatness in vastly different eras

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If you were LeBron James, you’d have thought it too.

If you gave Cleveland its first major sports title in 52 years and the first ever to the Cavaliers, you’d be emboldened.

And if you’d done it by leading the Cavs from a two-game deficit against one of the best teams in history, you might be tempted to say it aloud, with cameras rolling.

“That one right there made me the greatest player of all time … that’s what I felt,” said James in a now-famous episode of ESPN’s More Than An Athlete.

“The first wave of emotion was when everyone saw me crying, like, that was all for 52 years of everything in sports that’s gone on in Cleveland.

“And then after I stopped, I was like — that one right there made you the greatest player of all time.”

But if you’re LeBron James, you can’t say that.

Not yet.

Michael Jordan 6 Rings Lebron James GOAT

Michael Jordan showcasing his six NBA Championship rings.

Because you’ve got three championship rings and Michael has six.

That’s it. End of story. Slow your roll, young man. Let the adults speak.

“There’s a certain thing about greatness,” said Isiah Thomas, the Detroit Pistons
Hall-of-Famer and two-time champ.

“That demands that you have humility … I have never heard Michael Jordan say he’s the greatest of all time — even though he may think that. You just don’t come out and say that.”

Kevin McHale, a member of the great Boston Celtics teams of the 1980s an early ’90s, had similar thoughts.

“You don’t need to say that about yourself,” said McHale. “Let other people say that for you.

“It’s disrespectful to other players who came before you that were great, great players. You can’t compare eras … I didn’t like the way that sounded.”

In other words: Get off our lawn.

That’s not how we handle things here in the Unofficial NBA Legends Club.

Jordan has yet to publicly comment on the situation, but a 2009 interview with ESPN’s Michael Wilbon has been making the rounds on social media.

Wilbon asked Jordan if he wanted to be known as the greatest player of all time. His response was careful, measured and seemingly humble.

“I don’t want it, in a sense, because I think it disrespects Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West — you know, all the guys that, prior to me, I never had a chance to play against,” said Jordan.

“What everybody is saying I am, I never had the chance to compete against other legends that was prior to me.

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“When I hear it, I cringe a little bit, because it’s a little bit embarrassing, because no one knows. I never had the chance to, once again, to play against those guys.

“I would love to have played against them, but I never did. And for you to say that I’m better than him, I mean it’s your opinion, it’s their opinion. I accept that as their opinion.

“If you ask me, I would never say that I am the greatest player. That’s because I never played against all the people that represented the league prior to Michael Jordan.”

A perfect answer from a man who rarely, if ever, said the wrong thing.

Lebron James 2016 NBA Finals Championship

Lebron James – 2016 NBA Finals Champion

But if you watched James in that 2016 Finals series against Golden State, when he pulled the Cavs out of a 3-1 hole, you saw him on the cusp of the greatness he spoke about.

He put the team on his back, just as Jordan used to. He nearly averaged a triple-double (29.7 points, 11.3 rebounds, 8.9 assists).

He was the undisputed Finals MVP, after putting up one of the greatest performances in Finals history.

So maybe you wouldn’t say it aloud, with cameras rolling. But you’d think it.

You’d have to, because knowing you’re great is part of what makes you great.

Jordan averaged more points and steals than James during his NBA career. He had five regular-season MVPs to James’s four and six Finals MVPs to James’s three.

He was a better free-throw shooter, and was arguably a better defender. His 10 scoring titles vastly overshadow James’s one.

But James is a better rebounder, has averaged more assists and roughly the same number of blocks.

He has more All-NBA Team selections, and barring some disaster he will easily eclipse Jordan in total regular-season points, having already bested him in assists, rebounds, steals and blocks.

Jordan built the modern NBA, and James has gone a long way to guiding its next iteration.

They both personify greatness.

James said aloud what many of us were tempted to think when he brought a championship to Cleveland three seasons ago.

There’s no sense slamming him for an honest, slightly careless statement while he was among friends, perhaps not thinking about the world outside that room.

As McHale said, you can’t compare eras.

We’re not still playing by the same set of rules, either when it comes to defining greatness or in deciding who gets to acknowledge it.

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MVP Brandon Clarke dominates, leads Grizzlies to 2019 NBA Summer League Title

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2019 Las Vegas Summer League Memphis Grizzlies V Minnesota Timberwolves

Canadian Brandon Clarke, the 21st pick of the 2019 Draft dominated the NBA’s annual summer showcase — becoming the first player to take home both tournament and championship game most valuable player honors with a dominant 15 points, 16 rebounds double-double. The No. 8 Memphis Grizzlies the Minnesota Timberwolves 95-92 to win the 2019 NBA Summer League championship.

The former Gonzaga standout added 4 assists, 3 blocks and a steal in 25 minutes.

Canadian Basketball Player Brandon Clarke 2019 Nba Summer League MVP
Canadian Basketball Player Brandon Clarke 2019 NBA Summer League MVP

In six games of summer league action, Clark averaged 14.7 points, 9.8 rebounds, 2 assists and 1.8 blocks per game. The Vancouver native shot 55% from the field and becomes the first ever Canadian to win MVP at the NBA Summer League.

Clarke was also named to the first-team all-NBA Summer League team. Other standouts included fellow Canadians Nickeil Alexander-Walker who joined Clarke on the first-team. Toronto Raptors forward Chris Boucher was named to the second-team.

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New Knick RJ Barrett Treated Las Vegas Summer League Like A New York Playground

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New Knick RJ Barrett Treated Las Vegas Summer League Like A New York Playground
R.J. State Of Mind...

Magnitudes off the Richter. An earthquake hit Sin City like jackpot in the NBA’s Summer League in Las Vegas, Nevada out in the desert last week.

And as the Jumbo-tron still shook like the music it was pumping, many people in awe inspired attendance would have been forgiven for thinking it was Zion. As the Duke standout and the first pick in the 2019 NBA Draft Williamson made us feel more tremors than Kevin Bacon. As the new New Orleans Pelican burst out the hardwood and flew, man-handling a steal off an opponent who’s just a poster now’s inbounds pass and put back a viscous, signature slam that felt like they still tested atomic bombs out in the Nevada desert overlooking the electric, neon skyline. All whilst new and former teammates respectively, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart and Anthony Davis looked on with “here comes the big airplane” mouths.

But after the road to Mount Zion’s knee injury lead to more Patrick Ewing ice than up there in Japan’s Mount Fuji, it was better the Blue Devil you know. As the Knicks third pick RJ Barrett ended up moving the needle more over this scorching, seasonal tourney of the youthful future of this association. Looking as good as those beautiful blue Knicks Summer League jerseys that are so clean we want to see them fresh off the press in the the NBA Store in NYC. So much so that even if RJ handed you one of his autographed signatures post game you’d still be like, “you got this in a medium?”

Sounding better than all those thirsty announcers singing “Summer Leeeeague” like The Isley Brothers this time of year classic, ‘Summer Breeze’. Making everything feel fine as he blew through defenders like the Jasmine in my mind. RJ initialed his dynamic debut and mainstream moment. Making Knicks’ fans almost forget that they just lost out on their number one goal, Zion Williamson. Or their free agent duo desire of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, who ended up on the other side of New York, across that bridge from Manhattan in Brooklyn with the Nets…almost. Following the sweated out, hard nosed 90’s were only Jordan and Starks shots got in the way of golden era glory, the Knicks’ now have their first real leader in the post Porzingis era since Syracuse star ‘Melo for the Orangemen.

And he’s not alone. Barrett who was choosing Knicks’ mannequin heads to bucket on New York’s Late Night show with Jimmy Fallon nights before the draft cap has plenty to pass to in a Pelican rivaling young core of young guns, Kevin Knox and Allonzo Trier, new free agent signing Julius Randle (this Pel is still a big ‘cat out of Kentucky like Anthony Davis or DeMarcus Cousins reunited on the Lake Show like purple and gold fans hoped he would be too), Elfrid Payton and of course the soaring Dennis Smith Jr. Not to mention a bolstered bench of Taj Gibson and Reggie Bullock from more than midtown. Call it Chelsea, the Tribeca or even Battery Park after the High-Line of the Meatpacking District. The future of this franchise to the naked eye of ignorance is about to look better than the view from that new Vessel structure in Hudson Yards.

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Barrett began in Vegas with some early snake eyes trouble. But rolling the dice again he turned into a killer like Brandon Flowers. The man. Come round. Nothing can break. Nothing can break him down. First he scorched California’s new look King sized Lakers for 21 points, 10 rebounds and three assists. But it was his spell in his last Summer forecast against the Wizards were RJ showed Washington that just like NYC, DC may be America’s capital, but there’s nothing like New York, New York. He was so good you had to check the instant replay twice, with another 21 and 10, two perfect precision passes off cashing in a triple-double chip like he was a team that had both James Harden and Russell Westbrook on their roster roll call. Houston, do you read me?

Averages of 15.4 points, 8.6 rebounds and 4.2 assists in a televised tournament that is basically a glorified practice scrimmage (tell me, do you even know who won the thing?) show he will be above so. The Canadian Maple Mamba has that syrup for your bacon. Even without free agent big names like Kevin and Kyrie who are one more decision away from being journeymen, forget super-teams, the Knicks may have a lifer in RJ from Coach K’s Duke fraternity administration in the association now. Can you relate? Barrett could be brilliant and New York no longer a rotten apple. But a couple of big names away from having their title again in the Mecca of Madison Square Garden’s, World’s Most Famous Arena in bright Times Square lights.

It’s almost a New Year for New York, time for the ball to drop.

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