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The TC Report: Is Lebron The Greatest? Nah.

The TC Report: Is Lebron The Greatest? Nah.

I’m sure we can all agree that we were Bulls fans in the 90’s.  Unless you’re a Knicks or Pacers fan, I bet most of us followed the Bulls.  Especially in Dallas due to the fact that our Mavericks were well on their way to becoming the laughing stock of the NBA.  The reason we all liked the Bulls was not just because they were winners, but because they had Michael Jordan.  I also liked them because their uniforms were cool, but whatever.  Our love for Michael Jordan was because of his skill set but also because of his competitiveness.  He hated to lose.  He was a great trash talker and we rarely caught him mucking it up with the competition.  And we SURELY never saw him wish to team up with a fellow competitor to help increase his chances of winning.  After all the money and all the fame, Jordan cared about winning.  That’s it.

This is why Lebron James will never be greater than Jordan.  Even if Lebron shatters every record the greats of the game have ever produced; Even if Lebron wins 7 titles, he’ll never be the G.O.A.T.  He might as well have been tested positive for steroids, because every title he racks up while being a member of the Heat deserves an asterisk.

This isn’t a column just to “hate” on Lebron James.  This isn’t about jealousy and this isn’t about coveting what the Miami Heat has.  My team, the Mavericks, dismantled the Heat with an entire nation behind them in 2011.  Even after the “experts” gave us zero chance.  I’m content with that one.

This column is about how Lebron has tarnished his legacy by joining a super team and admitting that he couldn’t win without help from 2 other superstars and other big named role players.  But the major media is so obsessed with finding the next “Jordan” that they have turned their coverage to Lebron and have been blinded by the fact that he has help from his roster.  There’s nothing wrong “help”.  But the help should come from within the system by drafting or adding role players without having to offer a max contract.  Jordan had Pippen (draft pick by Seattle but traded same day).  But he also had help from other role players that were never “great” until Jordan helped make them “great”.  That’s what the greats do.  Not the other way around.  Wade and Bosh have helped provide more scoring opportunities for Lebron, that’s obvious.  The fact that you can’t leave Ray Allen or Battier open beyond the arc has helped create more one on ones for Lebron.  It’s undoubtedly unfair.  The fact that Lebron made the “decision” to take his “talents” to south beach opened the door for many other free agents to do the same.  It’s opened the door for ownership to implement severe over-spending tactics just to compete with Miami.  It’s a slippery slope of destruction.  This shouldn’t be celebrated, it should be frowned upon.

In fact, it sucks that I can’t enjoy watching a Heat game without becoming disgusted in their success.  I wish we could all sit back and watch Lebron operate on the court and give him full credit and be amazed by his play.  Had he stayed in Cleveland, I’d probably be one of his biggest fans. But I simply can not give the Miami Heat credit for anything that they do.  I call them the Miami Cheat.  I personally don’t understand how or why a player would want to play there.  Yes, it would be the fastest way to a ring; but how rewarding is that?  Winning a ring Dirks way, that’s rewarding.  Winning a title John Elway’s way, that’s ideal.  Winning a championship like Kobe did in 2010, that’s perfect.  Proving doubters wrong and coming through for your team and for your city, that’s how it’s done.  That’s where legends are made.

Some athletes have their legacies tarnished by drugs or legal problems.  For some, their history is never written due to injuries. But Lebron James has had none of those.  He’s stayed clean off the court and represents himself well as a father and a human being.  But he’s tarnished his sports legacy by simply his choosing to take the easy way out.  Maybe he never wanted to be the greatest of all time.  Perhaps it’s the media that’s put that pressure on him.

Or maybe not.

“My momma always told me that you always want to be better than your idol.  My idol was Michael Jordan.  So you want to prepare yourself to be better than him.”

– Lebron James, 2003

Maybe Lebron has a more diverse skill set than Jordan.  Maybe he’ll break every Jordan record there is.  But he’ll never be “better” than Jordan.  Jordan wouldn’t have allowed himself to play for the Celtics with Larry or to play in New York with Ewing.  He wouldn’t have left Chicago to go to LA to keep that dynasty going.  Jordan put winning over EVERYTHING.  But he would never consider joining forces with a rival.

Free agency in sports has become a major issue in the MLB and NBA.  It’s a deadly mix of stupid ownership and bad decision making by players.  They’re all chasing the money or chasing an easy win.  They’re leaving their original teams in the dust without a single tap on the breaks or one look in the rearview mirror.  Millions of fans that idolize these players in smaller markets are left heartbroken and confused.  The disconnect between the fandom and the business of sports has never been greater than what it is right now.  Lebron James is the poster boy for this.  To be the “best”, you have to play well but you also have to represent well.  Loyalty matters; no matter what an agent or GM tells you.  Stats don’t mean anything if you’re not respected by the fans.  Being selfish is not a great quality.  It doesn’t make you the Greatest of all Time.


Ryan Wilson founded Mavs Fanatic (Now Dallas Sports Fanatic) in January of 2012. He had a vision of starting something new and different. A place where fans of the Dallas Mavericks and fans of writing could come and be heard. A blog "Run By Fans For Fans". He is also a fan of the Dallas Cowboys and the Chicago WhiteSox (His hometown team). Mavs Fanatic is now known as Dallas Sports Fanatic, a blog that covers all of the major Dallas pro sports teams.    

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