Friday , Aug , 17 , 2012 Paul Eide

John Salley Implies LeBron Is Better Than MJ

Former Pistons “Bad Boy” and sworn Michael Jordan hater John Salley claimed this week Jordan wasn’t even one of the top five players he ever played against and that LeBron was better.

HoopsVibe Very Quick Call: All these recent anti-Jordan comments by NBA personalities really speaks to the phenomenal year of basketball LeBron just completed.

Look at these comments from the “Spider Man”:

“I think the greatest player I’ve ever played against was Magic Johnson. Next, was Larry Bird. Then, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The hardest guy I had to guard: Hakeem Olajuwon. No one can guard Hakeem. And then, Kevin McHale.

“Isiah Thomas was the best player I ever played with. At 6-foot-1, scoring 41 points on one ankle. Should have been on Dream Team 1.

“In 1981, when I went down to visit Georgia Tech, I watched Michael Jordan play and literally get ridiculed for taking a jump shot in the championship game that went off the backboard and they won. People are forgetting that Michael was just one of the players when they went to the Dream Team. It was Clyde Drexler, it was Magic Johnson… these were good players. But he wasn’t the best. I watched Joe Dumars and Dennis Rodman push him left and him shoot 32 times… We weren’t worried about him. We knew if we pushed him left and he picked the ball up, he couldn’t pass it.”

Sure, these are obviously ridiculous comments that you can chalk up to “sour grapes”, but even Jim Boeheim had to comment this week.

But where were any of these comments questioning Jordan’s unparalleled greatness over the last 15 years or so? Even at Kobe’s peak, and as much as I love him, you never heard this many comparisons to him and Jordan. Is it because Kobe’s style was (and don’t tell him I said this) and is so similar to MJ’s that he wasn’t seen as a worthy challenger to MJ’s legacy, which is why Kobe’s title count equaling Jordan’s is so important? But because LeBron is so different, and his style is so singular, and so obviously great that these Jordan comparisons become more legitimate?

I don’t know the answer, but if anti-Jordan comments in favor of LeBron’s greatness were a weed right now, they’d be poison ivy and they’d be spreading like an outbreak at a boy scout camp in a densely wooded area.

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