By Craig Kwasniewski
Congratulations to the Dallas Mavericks on a much-deserved championship. As a basketball fan I stand and applaud the Mavs. Thanks for crashing the Heat Index bandwagon, thanks for rendering LeBron James's soccer mom fans helpless, thanks to Mark Cuban for checking the ego for this postseason and thanks for Dirk for being such a gracious champion (that simple sprint to the locker as the clock wound down can never be scrpited... it was pure, unlike the whole Heat expereince in 2011). I just want to get this off my chest as we head into a long offseason...
LeBron win NEVER be better that Michael Jordan! Maybe Scottie Pippen was playing mind games with "King James" and putting extra pressure by claiming he will be better that MJ. Or maybe he was trying to make a name for himself by saying something controversial (like some sportstalk radio clown... CALL MY SHOW... JORDAN WAS A FRAUD!!!! 1-800-SPORTSBS... CALL NOW!!!). Either way, Scottie was waaaaaay wrong. Simply put...
Michael Jordan was never the second best player on his team. Not ever, not at any time, not ever, ever, ever!!! And Jordan was never the second best player on the floor in any of his six Finals appearances.
Look over his career, Jordan was the dominant personality on and off the court. He owned the game from the opening tip right down to the last shot. He was the ultimate competitor who wanted blood at all costs. You never left thinking anyone else was better, more dominant, more complete. MJ WAS the NBA from 1988 to 1998. Sure Detroit beat him, but never were any of the Bad Boys individually better than MJ, they just had a more complete team. And in 1995, MJ was coming off a baseball sabatical and even then with Pippen playing power forward, the Bulls still almost beat the Magic.
LeBron wasn't even the second best player in these Finals. Dirk clearly owned the Finals and Dwyane Wade showed us he has that killer win-at-all-costs thirst that Lebron will never have. Bron clearly hid when it counted in 2011 and 2010. The difference is we all thought he tanked in 2010 because he wanted out of Cleveland. So it made it somewhat acceptable...somewhat to the point we believed he would rise up if he just had some talent around him. Done and done.
What happened this time? Seriously, give me some excuses. The LeBron guys always find some way to convince us that their hero is still the "best player on the planet." Was it coaching? Chris Bosh? Lack of overall talent? The inability to mesh with Wade? What is it? Why did LeBron run and hide with his first title sitting right in front of him waiting to be taken? Why?
Jordan never let the moment take him... he MADE the moment. LeBron, you're extremely talented... a once-in-a-lifetime body with touch, speed, quicks, handles and crazy skills, but deep down you don't have the DNA that makes Kobe, Wade, Bird, Magic, Russell and especially Michael Jordan who they are. You put up great stats and impressive highlights but you're not wired for THE MOMENT.
You never will better than Michael Jordan!
BTW - Does this not put Kobe ahead of the Kobe-LeBron arguement? Sure his 4th quarter numbers were off this year and a few Portland-based writers made their nut writing how he's no longer clutch (WOW, what a shock a Portland guy going off on a Laker... SHOCKING!!!!) But can't something be said for not being afraid? Read the quotes from players alike, like this from yahoo.com:
James won’t get mad, and James won’t get even and make people pay a price. When opposing players hear people insist they ought to be respectful of James out of fear of retribution – be careful they don’t stir him with words – they privately giggle.
“Different guys are different,” Stevenson told Yahoo! Sports in a corner of the Mavericks’ locker room Thursday night. “Kobe Bryant feeds off stuff like that. He looks for it every time. LeBron’s a different kind of person. Obviously he’s a freak of nature, able to do a lot of things, but everybody in this league is built different.”
Built differently. Translated: Where’s the killer within? Where’s the best player in basketball, the prodigious talent that left the Chicago Bulls and Boston Celtics crumpled messes back in the Eastern Conference? Where’s the cold-bloodedness?
I'll take cold-blooded and winning titles over stats and dunks any day thankyou!