Brendan Whitt

WHEN BRENDAN WHITT THINKS...

Blought #25: Let Greats be Great!


Last week Le Bron joined NBA Legend Oscar Robertson as the only two players to be ranked in the top 25 in both assists and points all-time. While this is a pretty amazing feat, the story to me isn’t about what Brondo did but rather what he said. Bron made it clear he didn’t want to be compared to Big-O, as we basketball fans know him by.

Le Bron issued a statement after the game saying "I think what we get caught up in, in our league too much, is trying to compare greats to greats, instead of just accepting and acknowledging and saying, 'Wow, these are just great players,'" (Courtesy of Dave Mc Menamin, ESPN). I completely agree.


After the NBA-ABA merger of 1976 there have been several perennial Elite players for each generation or era. The “Post Merger” era elite was Julius “Dr. J” Irving. Magic and Bird were the elites of the “New NBA Era” after David Stern became commissioner. Jordan reigned as the elite of the “90’s Era” while Kobe was the king of the “New Millenium” era leaving Le Bron as the elite of this current era.

It irks me when fans, real fans and not haters of a certain player compare Le Bron to Jordan or Kobe. It’s hard to compare a 6’8” 250 pound forward with a 6’6” 216 pound guard.

Let’s just focus on playing style for a second. If anyone should be compared to Jordan it should be Kobe. They’re the same size at 6’6” with Kobe being listed as four pounds lighter than MJ. Tale of the tape shows both of them were great shooters with unbelievable clutch factors and their slim frames made them finesse slashers versus bruising slashers like Bron.

Bron’s closest comparison in my opinion is Karl Malone. Malone was freakishly built making him a hard match-up for many of his contemporaries. The same can be said for Bron. Anything else used in this argument is irrelevant. Championship rings can never truly measure a great player. Basketball is still a TEAM sport meaning you need a good TEAM to win rings.

Courtesy of: NFLspinzone.com
Too often I hear people compare Tom Brady and Peyton Manning of the NFL. Sure Tom has four rings to Peyton’s one but that doesn’t necessarily make him better. Peyton owns more statistical achievements. Tom Brady always had a solid defensive unit while Peyton majority of the time had better offensive weapons. For every single argument on both sides you have a counterargument.

It’s like arguing with a friend over what food tastes better. You both have different palettes so nothing will taste the same to you as it does to your friend. The same can be said with sports. You’re going to favor what you like more than what you dislike

Like Le Bron said, let’s just accept and acknowledge great players. In a few years the “Big Business” era will begin and we’ll be sitting around talking about the good old days when Le Bron, D Wade, Kobe and CP3 ruled the league, and we’ll miss it.