It was March when a Sports Illustrated article declared the NBA season done, that June’s champion already a foregone conclusion:Continue reading “NBA Superteams Are Nothing New”
“I never thought of losing, but now that it’s happened, the only thing is to do it right. That’s my obligation to all the people who believe in me. We all have to take defeats in life.”
— Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali was “The Greatest.”
Everyone knows that, but there’s something that seems to be lost in the deification of the man born Cassius Clay: he wasn’t unbeatable.
There’s no need for a preamble. Let’s just say it: Scottie Pippen was fucking great. Not good. Not really good. Not very good. Great. Great great.
“You say ‘LeBron’s playing well,’ and then you look at the stat sheet and say, ‘Oh my goodness’…LeBron James is at a level that’s just impossible to achieve. Only a few guys have gotten there or will ever get there. We should stop taking him for granted.”
— Kevin McHale
It’s common in popular culture to claim that someone is ruining their legacy.
When the topic of the greatest “What If” dynasties in sports comes up, the one franchise that intrigues me the most is the mid-1980s Houston Rockets.
2016 was my first full year with my own site.
Not coincidentally it is also the first year since 2012 in which I did not publish a book.
It’s Friday. (More than) half the country is in a funk. Thanksgiving is next week. Work is crazy. So, instead of obsessing over politics or reading another essay about how to hack your way to greatness, I thought I’d just go light today and run down a list of my favorites.
Sports punditry and analysis is always full of bad arguments and poorly thought-out opinions. The roster that Fox Sports 1 is assembling is proof of that. But the worst sports argument, at least at the moment, concerns LeBron James.
LeBron is playing in his sixth consecutive NBA Finals and seventh total. And he’s going to lose. Again.
That means that his record in the Finals will be 2 – 5. And that means he sucks.
[Author’s note: I was obviously – and happily – wrong about this, but it’s not like I was the only one.]
Forget the fact that he’s in the conversation as the greatest all-around player most of us have ever witnessed. Forget that he’s been under a microscope since high school. Forget that he drags teams full of CYO players and D-League castoffs to the final round every single year. Forget that he’s done it in two cities with two completely different sets of teammates. Forget that in those seven years, he’s had the lesser team at least four times. “In fact, LeBron never played for a team that entered the finals with more than a 2-in-3 chance of winning.”
None of that matters. Because he sucks.
He’s no Jordan.