G.O.A.T.? What if there isn't one?
Lots of questions around the ether on where he stands now that he’s got his five rings in a decade and is, in my opinion, the best player in the game today.
But what about all time?
Where is he vis-à-vis Michael Jordan seems to be the big question out there now and it such a matter of personal preference there is no answer, only opinions.
And I will say this: As a pure player of the game, that’s shooting and defending and passing and rebounding and leading his team, I will say he is as good, if not better, that Jordan ever was.
No, there are not as many electrifying dunks but Jordan’s jump shot is not comparable to Bryant’s. And in a pure personal opinion, I say Bryant does as many things as well on the court than Michael ever did.
But here’s where it gets sticky when you’re talking about where players fit in history and underscores the unfairness of the whole idea.
Jordan never lost an NBA Finals and has one more ring than Bryant, who has lost a championship series twice.
Both played alongside some great players – Shaq, Pippen, Gasol – and both played along some regular players -- Odom, Kerr, Artest, Rodman.
Jordan changed the dynamic of the game, though, made it a worldwide phenomenon, just as Magic and Larry changed the very way the game was played as big men with sublime passing skills.
Bryant? He’s carried the torch rather than lit it, he is on the continuum that includes Oscar Robertson, Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic and Larry.
I guess what I’m getting at is that it’s really apples and oranges and eras are eras and neither the twain shall meet.
It is fun to sit around and chatter about who is the greatest of all time and how it is determined.
I think right now the answer is there is no greatest of all time, there are great players from every era that we should celebrate in the moment for the skills they have and the joy they bring to fans who watch them.
One cannot be judged as “better” than another because circumstances are different every time, teammates are different, the game is different, the challenges of playing are different.
Kobe Bryant is a great, great basketball player, the best on the planet today; LeBron James is a great, great basketball player. So, too, were Jordan and Johnson and Bird and Robertson and Russell, Chamberlain and Jabbar.
We can’t compare and we shouldn’t.
We should just revel in what we have, remember what we had and appreciate that greatness comes in so many different forms.
There is no Greatest Of All Time.
The Raptors? Well, the word I got from people who took in the entirety of Friday’s two free-agent sessions (I caught the final few minutes of the morning session, hardly long enough to gather an informed opinion) is that no one really stood out.
Maybe after today they’ll find the requisite bodies to fill out the summer league roster but the suggestion I was getting was that there really wasn’t anyone in one day who did enough to turn an awful lot of heads.
But, because I am an intrepid reporter, there are some good stories to tell and I’ll get to tell one in a piece I’ll work on after the Black Stars game.
Hey, how about that ref in the Slovenia-USA World Cup game?
Think the fix was in?
When I was at the Raptors thing and was told the plucky Slovenes were up 2-0, I sent a note off to Rasho wondering if it was the greatest day in Slovenian football history.
By the time I got out and back home to do the question and answer thingy, it was 2-2 and no wonder I never heard back.
Big day in the football, though, wasn’t it?
Heard my first horns honking out here in the streets of Mississauga after the Serbia shocker over Germany and lived the USA angst with a couple of buddies over e-mail.
But the coolest part was sitting on the stool working and watching England-Algeria and watching the Three Lions flame out. Now, being of Old Blighty Blood, I took umbrage at the boring, somewhat disgraceful performance of the lads and, I have to tell you, if I see one more shot of Fabio Capello all natty and angst-filled, I may throw something at the TV.
It’s all well and good to be emotional but it’d be all better if he got the boys to go forward a wee bit.
Anyway, I’d kind of forgotten how much I really love the World Cup and the emotion and passion it evokes.
Listening to handful of Algerian fans cheer wildly, seeing a group of Brits sullen and dejected and hearing those horns honk was neat.
Mail? Got quite a bit but there’s lots of duplication and room for some more so click here and we’ll see what we can get to this afternoon and this evening.
Action: Story breaks somewhere that the Cleveland Cavaliers have called the Raptors about a Bosh sign-and-trade.
Reaction: Duh! Look, every team is going to make a call, if they don’t they aren’t doing their jobs.
Okay, there’s a kitchen to clean, some grass to cut and a deck to sweep as well as a Ghana game to watch and a couple of stories to write.
You all have a fun day, too.