Wednesday, February 13, 2013

It's official, I'm an Angry Old Man But I'm Working on it

This week we have all been inundated with images of a young Michael Jordan, soaring through the air like it was a personal video playlist from the mind of the mind of well even present day Puma. But in the midst of this Jordan celebration we have talked of today’s players against Jordan and who is the true greatest player of all time. And in my eyes the conversation is a quick one. The greatest player is duh, Jordan. But upon this thought it hit me. I have become the old man in the barber shop.

Now when I say I have become the old man in the barber shop what I mean is, in any barber shop if you ask who the greatest football player of all time is, there is was, is and forever will be Jim Brown. No amount of stats, trends, titles etc. is going to change his mind. Michael Jordan is Jim Brown to me and many other fans of the game. I remember arguing until my voice was hoarse and promising that I would never become that old man. Well guess what? Here I am. So I think what I will do that Pops would never do is admit that the argument is not as black and white as I previously had intimated. So here is the Chocolate Puma’s opinion in no particular order on the players who I believe can stake a claim to being the best player of all time.

· Michael Jordan:
"Hey mad?"
Where do I begin? Should I start with the 5 NBA MVPs, the 10 Scoring titles, or the 14 All Star selections? Basically what makes Jordan the greatest player of all time is the absolute dominance of his era. Jordan was the first wing player to literally be able to score at will. Ask Larry Bird and the Celtics about that one.

· Bill Russell:
No DJ Khaled, all Bill Russell does is win.
This man is the gold standard of winners. Period. If your criteria is who helped his team win the most? We have a winner. This man was the greatest defensive player of ALL TIME. Of this I am certain. This is the only man to have ever tamed the unstoppable force that was Wilt Chamberlain. The man averaged over his career 15.1 points per game, along with 22.5 rebounds per game. And possibly even more impressive, he averaged 4.3 assists a night showing his true versatility.

· Kareem Abdul Jabaar:
No matter the name the result was the same.
 A tale of two names, as Lew Alcindor he was so good that rules were created just to slow him down. Like a no dunking rule was actually written into the rule book all because of him. As a pro he became Kareem and this guy destroyed the competition. He was the first player with the defensive skill of Russell and the offensive skills of Wilt. Not only was he insanely good, he was insanely durable. He went almost seamlessly from being the man on teams before Magic Johnson to being the defensive back bone of those LA teams after his arrival. Hell even in his 20th SEASON he averaged 10 points and 5 boards and he played more than 60 games every season of his career.

· Oscar Robertson:

The most criminally underrated player of all time in my opinion, there probably wasn’t a more complete player well ever. He is the only person who averaged a triple double over the course of a season which came in his second season. Hell as a rookie he came in 30.5 points per game (without the 3 point line), 10.1 rebounds per game, and 9.7 assists. In fact in his first five seasons he came with either a half rebound or a half assist from doing it again.

· Wilt Chamberlain:

Before Lebron was setting the world on his fire with talks of being genetically modified to ball, Chamberlain had the people wondering if he was human at all. As a 7-1 freshman at University of Kansas not only did he dominate his older opponents he annihilated them, in his first game he scored 42 points and pulled down 29 rebounds. Once he got the NBA he not only continued to excel, he took it to a new level offensively. He famously scored 100 points in one game, averaging over 30 pointers per game for 10 seasons straight and even averaged 50 over the course of an entire season. And during the course of his career his finished with per game averages 30.1 points, 22.9 rebounds, and 4.4 assists. Those are the definition of video game numbers.

So while in my heart I will always feel Jordan is the greatest of all time I can now accept the arguments for other players and the eventual inclusion of guys such as Lebron, Kobe and whomever the next generation produces.

Unless it’s about Brian Scalabrine is in the convo. We all know he’s the G.O.A.T.
This message paid for by the White Mamba, your copyright laws mean nothing to him.

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