Re: Did not having a rival help or hurt MJ
posted at 7/31/2011 6:09 AM EDT
In Response to Did not having a rival help or hurt MJ
[QUOTE]Magic and Larry Russell and Wilt Did the fact MJ had no one close to his talent help or hurt his legacy. I know he is the greatest ever but was this due to the fact he was on top all alone with no real debate as to who is number 1. He bloomed at the tail end of the Bird Magic era and his sunset was when Kobe, Grant Hill Shaq Garnett Carter Steve franchise all waiting to carry the tourch andf rule the NBA but durring his best years he was with out a rival?
Posted by genaro008[/QUOTE]
Of course, it helped Michael Jordan that he had no peer of the same stature during his prime. I have doubts if he would have been the greatest of all time if he had Larry Bird and Magic Johnson playing against him at their primes. This is because he wouldn't have won those six titles had his Bulls been competing against the Celtics and Lakers of the '80s, and a large part of his greatness rested on those double three-peats that Chicago scored.
In the same manner, I wonder if Bird or Magic would have been perceived as greater players had they not been clashing against each other for those championships in the '80s. One can certainly make a case that Magic would have won more than five had Bird's Celtics not been there to provide his Lakers competition, and the same can be said of Larry himself, who won "only" three titles partly because they lost twice to LA in the NBA finals.
And what about Len Bias? Certainly the guy who mentioned Lenny as providing Jordan the foil, no, make that real competition, that he needed in the '90s was very perceptive as Bias, I submit, would have made the road tougher for Jordan's Bulls for two reasons: His talent was other-wordly, and he would have extended the careers of Bird and Kevin McHale to likewise prolong the Celtics' days as a championship team.
All in all, Jordan would have played as well and as passionately as he did without a real peer - Charles Barkley and Karl Malone sadly don't cut it - but he wouldn't have been as dominant to make himself the greatest of all time in most people's minds.
Bert A. Ramirez a.k.a. 17