With one interview, Scottie Pippen has set the basketball world buzzing. In his interview with the evil four letter station’s Mike & Mike, he proclaimed LeBron James to be better than Michael Jordan. What I find most interesting is that nobody is up in arms over the comments of Mavericks coach, Rick Carlisle, just the day before. He stated that Dirk Nowitzki is a top 10 player in NBA history “because of the uniqueness of his game and how he’s carried this franchise on his back for over a decade.”
Wow! People have really set their standards low today. As much as I admired Pippen as a player, I find his comments crazy. Same with Jim Carrey’s stand in. Lebron is a great player, no doubt. Dirk is a great offensive player, period. How many of us forget that he used to be called Irk Nowitzki because he lacked D? He still does. The guy he gets compared to most (which is a mystery to me) is Larry Bird. Dirk is a more prolific scorer than Bird but Bird was a complete player. Bird was also a killer. It’s taken almost all of Nowitzki’s career to show a killer instinct.
Likewise, Lebron has barely started to show his killer instincts in these playoffs. Jordan was an assassin. Hell, Kobe Bryant is an assassin but even he shouldn’t be mentioned in the same breath as Jordan. Physically, Lebron is better than Jordan; he’s bigger, stronger and faster. Jordan has him beat when it comes to heart and mental toughness and of course the most important aspect – rings! I think Lebron has a better shot at cracking the top 10 list because he is a more complete player than Dirk. That’s not to say he will do it. Only time will tell.
It is kind of sad that in our world (not just world of sports) people have such a low set of standards. With our top speed way of living, everybody is eager to pass out superlatives without really giving thought or value. The need for quick gratification (or even affirmation) surpasses the need for due diligence. The crazy comparisons of Lebron and Dirk is but a microcosm of our world.