Since When Did Help Become a Bad Thing?
No NBA player has ever won an NBA title by himself. Michael Jordan, arguably the greatest player ever, had the help of a Hall of Famer in Scottie Pippen, one of the best rebounders ever in Dennis Rodman, great role players like Ron Harper and Steve Kerr, and the greatest coach ever in Phil Jackson.
Magic Johnson, who is considered by some as the greatest point guard ever, won five NBA championships while playing with some of the greatest talent ever assembled.
Magic played with future Hall of Famers James Worthy and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, defensive stalwarts like Kurt Rambis and Michael Cooper, and great role players like Byron Scott.
Magic won all five of his titles in the 80's and the Lakers made an astonishing eight trips to the NBA Finals from 1979-80 to 1990-91, with Johnson being named the NBA Finals MVP three times.
When did that become a bad blueprint to follow? Magic was a great player amongst great players, and to me that seemed to enhance his status more than it hurt it.
When he is introduced, it's done as five-time NBA champion Magic Johnson, not never did it by himself or along for the ride Magic.
The reason for those points is because in this "Summer of LeBron" every news reporter, journalist, fan and everyone else seems to have their opinion on how his decision would affect not only his ability to win titles next season and beyond, but also his legacy.
LeBron is in a situation where he, for the first time ever, can play with a true star player and solid supporting cast should he decide to sign with the Bulls, and there has been talk lately that Dwayne Wade, the other top-notch free-agent available, may join him in his hometown or they may add Chris Bosh and play together in Miami, creating a new Big Three.
Instead of hearing that this would be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, columnists are saying that it would "tarnish" LeBron's legacy by playing with that good of a team.
It's been stated that LeBron could never be considered the greatest player ever if he needs to be surrounded by two or three other All-Stars to finally start winning titles.
Now, it's not enough to win titles, but you have to do it as the unquestioned leader in doing so. That to me is ludicrous. On those aforementioned Lakers teams that won the title, James Worthy and Kareem won the other two NBA Finals MVPs that Magic didn't. Should that hurt him that he didn't make the clean 6 for 6 that MJ did?
This article is to bring clarification to the madness that has now overtaken our sports world and more importantly, the criteria by which greatness is now judged.
It's no longer good enough to win titles, but you must do it as the unquestioned leader of a good but not great team with star teammates but no surefire Hall of Famers, LeBron; otherwise, you are considered less than worthy of the title King James.
By the way, you must also do so in Cleveland so that you can alleviate the past failures of a city that has not won any championship since 1964 despite the fact that they have failed for seven seasons to get you quality help and still lack the personnel or funds to do so now.
So LeBron, when making your decision on where to sign in the next couple of weeks, just be advised that if you make the best decision to help you win a title (ahem, Chicago), that at the very most you will be taken immediately off of the Michael Jordan track and placed onto the Magic Johnson career path.
Five titles, three Finals MVP's, and oh yeah, a bunch of great investment plans off the court that can still bring you the global icon status. Doesn't seem like help is so bad after all, does it?
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