By Tim Lacy, Special to the AFRO
LeBron James can’t seem to stay off of this page, but this time he brought Michael Jordan along. I am sure you have guessed there has been another chapter added to the “Who is the greatest baller of all time” debate: James or Jordan? This latest argument comes from Shashank Uppalike (sounds like a movie). I have never heard of this gentleman, but he sure got my attention.
I have been listening to this comparison long enough for it to get on my nerves, so I gathered my knucklehead grandchildren (Maddie, John and Jordan) around the kitchen table to see if we could shed any light on this subject, (we are still fighting over the Joe Louis, Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson – “who was the greatest?” debate. No luck.)
The first thing we settled on was the fact that they were too young to see a lot of the greats and had to rely on research and what they learned from my stories. But so have a lot of the so called experts. The best thing about using young minds is they have no fear and will jump in on an argument with both feet.
LeBron is used to crashing through the lane like Grant went through Richmond, but with Dikembe Mutumbo in the paint, LeBron could start his charge in Cleveland and wind up in South Beach. “Not in my house!” And we could all say a prayer for King James as he started through the lane to challenge Shaq. This would be like trying to ride a tricycle through the Great Wall.
Michael Jordan had a storied career, but people forget that Dr. “J” was gathering frequent flyer miles from the top of the key to the hoop, long before people were buying Air Jordan sneakers.
Allen Iverson created a highlight film when he decided he wanted to go to the basket. Allen bobbed his head, shuffled his feet, rolled his shoulders and left Jordan wondering, “Where the Hell did he go?” The only way Jordan could stop “The Answer” was to nail one of his shoes to the floor.
This is just a short list of game changers, but waiting in the wings are, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Kobe Bryant, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell (Mrs. L’s contribution) and Walt Frazier.
I got a little flak over Walt, but all I had to do was confiscate the ice cream scoop and order was restored.
I am sure you can add a few favorites to this list and we welcome the support.
This article originally appeared in the AFRO-American.