Jester James Commentary By Marc Farzetta
The arguments between old and young men over who was the greatest basketball player in history, dropped a name from the mix Thursday night. The two names “Wilt” and “Michael” are the names that get argued over the most when the discussion gets brought up, with of course honorable mention to “Magic”, Larry, Russell, and now Kobe with 5 rings. But one name that should be stricken from the record is the fraud of a “Great” LeBron James.
None of the aforementioned names threw up the white flag so early in their careers and made such a mad cry for help the way LeBron did. Now “Jester” James scampers off to a real King’s Court to try and learn the ways of a champion. Lebron will now be a cog in Dwayne Wade’s wheel. Lebron will be the star and leading scorer, but Wade will make him a champion.
The baller formally known as “King” seemed to be well on his way to building a Jordan-Like reign of his own in Cleveland. He was 22 years old and took a team to the finals practically by himself. Jordan didn’t get to a Final until he was 27. Now at 25, James has won MVP’s, a scoring title and has shown he could perform in the playoffs. He also had an owner in Dan Gilbert that, despite recent comments did try to get LeBron help in his home town. Gilbert was willing to support and pay acquisitions such as Mo Williams, Antawn Jamison, and Shaquille O’Neal. Its not like James was left out to dry after they made it to the Finals in ‘07. Pieces to building a champion were there with of course one of the supposed greatest ever, in LeBron honing his skills.
If “the once and former King” is as good as advertised, why leave a team that seemed to be on the upswing and was committed to winning so early in his career? Maybe because he’s not that good and doesn’t deserve to be in conversations of the greatest ever, any more. A great scorer? Sure. A great regular season winner? Absolutely. But not a champion. Jordan, Magic, Bird, and Russell made their teams champions. James, with this bitter drawn out exodus from the Cavs, is inadvertently admitting he’s not good enough to be in the conversation of the “Greatest.” He’s going to someone else’s team to help them win another.
This move would make sense to me if James was 32 years old and still hadn’t won anything, which is unlikely because it’s not like the league is getting better around him. Kobe is not getting any younger. The Celtics showed their age in the Finals. The Spurs have come and gone. Will the next dynasty please stand up? Not many people have a problem with a guy like Ray Bourque leaving the Bruins to finally win a Stanley Cup with the Avalanche. This is an athlete, in his prime, already being compared to the greats, leaving in desperation for help.
Sports are more than just who was better than who, on paper. Its about Legacy; how a player obtained their greatness. That’s what we really argue about. Jordan accomplished all his greatness with the Bulls as players improved around him. “Jester” James is running to a ready made team. That’s fine if he wants to win championships, which of course is the goal, but if he wants to have a legacy compared to that of Wilt, Jordan, Magic and so on…he’s thrown that honor away.