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Enough with the “King James” Hype

Is the NBA hard-up for a savior, or what? Between the relentless Kobe / LeBron labron_1comparisons and the breathless fawning over “King James” by the sports media, I’ve reached overload. I mean, how many times do we have to see his game-winning, time-expiring shot against Orlando or the super slo-mo’s of him traveling, er, taking it to the rack? Is ESPN pimping for this guy, or what?

Ever since Jordan retired, the NBA has been jonesing for their next messiah, that man who will be charismatic, photogenic, articulate, savvy, and adept at getting a lebron_1basketball through a cylinder. But with King James struggling mightily against The-Team-Nobody-Thought-Could-Beat-the-Cavs, I’m guessing the coronation was premature.

Memo to Stuart Scott and the rest of the NBA marketing machine: Wait until the King actually gets a couple of rings before you start calling him the greatest player of all time. Until then, LeBron James is little more than the most over-hyped athlete on the planet.

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{ 14 comments… add one }
  • Dayle May 29, 2009, 5:34 PM

    I have to constantly remind those around me–especially the young among them—just how great Michael Jordan was.

    Sorry, LA fans, Kobe is not even close. He may be one of the two best in the league right now, but Jordan, in is prime, is a pinnacle few have scaled.

    True greatness doesn't have to be hyped. It just is.

    • Mike Duran May 30, 2009, 12:58 PM

      Dayle, I'll agree that Kobe is no Jordan. But he ain't finished playing either. Yes, the Bulls got six rings. But there was little parity in the league at that time. Unlike the 80's Lakers who repeatedly battled Eastern powerhouses for their championships (Celtics, Pistons), the Bulls faced 5 different Western opponents in the Finals. Jordan proved to be a major marketing apparatus for the NBA and the then new ESPN. And really, they pimped for Jordan as much as they do now for James. Once ESPN selected Michael Jordan as the Greatest Athlete of the Century I knew the fix was in.

  • Dayle May 30, 2009, 2:52 PM

    Kobe's definitely got all the moves but he doesn't have the x factor. Jordan would never have had dramas with his team mates.

    This reminds me of the Tiger Woods debate. They always say Tiger doesn't have any competition. I say that's because he's that darn good.

    I don't think the bulls, as a team, was the best for those first 3. Jordan is just that good. By the way, I didn't even like him at first for the reasons you mentioned about the current crop, but after watching him for several years and seeing him play in person, I had to admit how great he was.

    So I disagree that the Bulls didn't have anyone to play against, it's just that Jordan was that much better. It's the price of being so good. He would have won 8 rings in a row if his father hadn't died.

  • RebeccaLuElla May 30, 2009, 5:28 PM

    Mike, I'm so happy to hear others speaking up about the treatment James receives. Stu Lance even said it last night on the radio.

    I had a Facebook discussion making the point because in rounds one and two, media types were handing the championship to the Cavs. Never mind that they were up against teams that wouldn't have even made the play-offs if they were in the west.

    As to Jordan, would that the NBA had tightened up the traveling and palming violations when he was playing! Would that the refs didn't think the superstars should go to the line because a defender looked at them cross-eyed.

    Surprisingly, that latter seems to be back in place for LeBron. Kobe has never received such "respect." (You think the refs would have missed LeBron being pushed in the back on drives to the basket or kneed in the stomach on his shot?) I've wondered why. Kobe's no Dennis Rodman or Rasheed Wallace, but he's certainly been Teed up a lot, especially the last couple years.

    But back to Jordan. He lost my respect when he started referring to his teammates as his supporting cast. Yes, that may have originated with the media, I don't know, but he used it. Ugh!

    I completely agree that Jordan was over hyped. Magic and Bird had created such popularity and revenue for the NBA, and I think the powers that be were terrified when they both were gone so quickly that all the new found wealth would go away.

    Oh, and don't forget the power of Nike. Of course they wanted all the kids to be like Mike, so he had to be tabbed as the greatest.

    Honestly? I don't think he was better than Dr. J.

    And no one was better than Magic when it came to making everyone around him better. Just my opinion. 😉

    Becky

  • Dayle May 31, 2009, 1:10 AM

    Becky,

    How's this for a different perspective?

    One of the most overrated players ever: the so-called "magic" Johnson. I could have played point gaurd for that team and won 2 titles.

    Best player ever at getting the most from his teammates: Bird, Jordan.

    The two most gifted individual players ever: Dr. J, Pistol Pete.

    Jordan made Nike, not vice versa.

    • Mike Duran June 1, 2009, 6:32 PM

      "I could have played point gaurd for that team and won 2 titles."

      Dayle, I suppose if you were 6 foot 9, could play center, forward or guard, could average 17.1 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 7.9 assists per game in college, along with winning a national championship, average 19.5 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 11.2 assists per game in your NBA career, be named league MVP three times, Finals MVP 3 times, hold the Finals record for assists in a game (21), collect 138 triple-doubles in your career, lead your team to 9 NBA Finals and win 5 of them, and be named as as one of the 50 Greatest Players of All Time, then yes Dayle, you could have played point guard for the Lakers.

  • Dayle June 1, 2009, 11:12 PM

    Hey, I just said I'd win two titles. I was pretty good so I think it was do-able. I probably would have scored more, but I'd definitely wouldn't have got as many boards — I'm only 5'6".

    You know all big market players are hyped. L.A. and New York being the worst offenders. USC alone holds the record. Sometimes I think every sports writer must have went there and they're just hyping the alma mater.

    Magic was overrated for the same reason Brady is overrated. Yes, I could've played quarterback for N. E. and won 1 superbowl. Drew Brees would've won 6.

    But seriously, I didn't say Magic was bad, I just said he was overrated. Numbers aren't the whole story.

  • RebeccaLuElla June 2, 2009, 1:10 AM

    Dayle, I had to laugh at your earlier comment, and Mike gave the very answer I was thinking of, only he looked up the stats. I was going to ask if you were 6'9," could deliver a no-look pass between two opponents and into your teammate's hands … consistently, and brought the term "triple double" into the basketball lexicon.

    I have no doubt that Magic would be as dominant today if he was in his prime as he was back in the 80s. Jordan? Too many great defenders, and the refs would take away his favorite moves.

    And Dayle … QB for N.E. ? Come on, my friend. Even Jordan when he tried to switch sports couldn't make it out of the minor leagues. Do you really have a good handle on your abilities?

    Which of course makes your comments about Magic et. al. even more … entertaining. I hope you're saying all this with tongue in cheek.

    Becky

  • Dayle June 2, 2009, 8:31 PM

    Becky,

    That's my point. Brady isn't that good. He has all day to throw. Am I better than him? No. But I could still win with that team. And he like Magic, is and was one of the best players in the game. Just not as good as their numbers or their big market press say.

    Similarly, during the 90's, my grandma could have averaged 70 yrds rushing with Denver. And she died in the 80's. Situations can make a good player look great.

    As for my skills, At 18, I was pound for pound one of the best athletes on the planet. Of course I only wieghed 130 lbs.

    Actually, if there was a under 5'6" league I would have dominated. I could shoot like Bird and basically play like John Stockton. And yes, I could pull off the no-looks and I was incredibly fast. But short people got no reason…

    By the way, Becky, I do find hyperbole funny.

    But seriously, Magic would be one of the best points in the game today. Jordan would be the best player and have 8 rings today. Unless, he played a Bird led team, then we'd have to wait and see.

  • js1 July 17, 2009, 8:12 PM

    kobe bryant the best

    • js2 July 29, 2009, 6:38 PM

      these guyes are stupid

  • js2 July 29, 2009, 6:37 PM

    kobe is the best

  • Brian Pierson June 13, 2011, 6:52 AM

    “Brady isn’t all that good”? Yeah, three SBs won, no hall-of-fame WRs to throw to (unlike Peyton Manning), and all this coming from being drafted in the seventh round.

    Dayle, you are quite the braggart and your perceptions are a joke.

  • Scathe meic Beorh June 19, 2012, 7:04 PM

    ??? I wouldn’t know a basketball from a racquetball. The computer/D&D ‘A/V boys’ weren’t the only ones to pick on me in high school. So did the jocks. (Yes, I was picked on by D&D players. I know. Sad, right? lol)

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