The Science of Backing Up Greatness

Rizal Memorial Coliseum
June 18, 2015
The Science of Backing Up Greatness

LeBron James claimed he’s the best player in the planet.
The problem? He couldn’t win another championship with his claim as the Golden State Warriors shut his mouth with a six-game NBA Finals series win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Yes, he averaged with triple-double numbers in that series. Not undermining it, but you can put Russell Westbrook in there and he can produce monster numbers the same way.


So don’t give me that garbage that numbers don’t lie. Championship trophies don’t.


I have nothing about James being the greatest. Go ahead claim it.
But please, have the balls to back it up.

I will name some legends who did.
Michael Jordan knows he’s the greatest but he didn’t claim it. He just showed the world why–by going six of six in the finals and probably eight straight if he hadn’t semi-retired and went with his fling with baseball in the middle of those three-peat feats.

Kobe tried to emulate His Airness and he backed it up with five championships out of seven attempts.

Tim Duncan never bragged but he won five championships in six trips in the Finals.
Bill Russell? He’s an enigma and an introvert. Never talked that much and won 11 titles.
Larry Bird has three and could have won more if not for Magic Johnson.
Magic? He has five and could have won more if not for Bird.
Jerry West has one title in eight finals appearance as he was unfortunate enough to live in the Bill Russell era. Never boasted of his greatness.
LeBron James lost four of his six finals stints and claims to be the best player in the planet today. He tried to be like Magic last year with the Spurs and got humiliated. He tried to be like Kobe and Jordan against the Warriors this season and we all know what happened? Heck, he couldn’t even play with cramps in Game One of the Spurs series last season, unlike Jordan and Kobe who had worst injuries and still played in the most crucial situations.

James will have his place up there with the greatest of greats someday. That is as certain as the sun will set tonight and rise tomorrow. But for now, his legacy is defined by how he couldn’t walk the talk and back his claim. Because being great is not just all about how many points you scored, how many rebounds you grabbed, how many assists you set or by any numbers. It is all about inspiring your teammates and carrying your team.
On your back.
Not with your mouth.
Follow me on Twitter: @JoeySVillar



3 thoughts on “The Science of Backing Up Greatness

  1. From what I’ve read your an MJ fan. I suggest you move o, it’s already 2015. I understand that he is the greatest – no one will ever top that even Kobe. As for your argument that he is 2-4 in the NBA finals, does it tarnish his reputation? Nope, Jerry West the man in the NBA logo is 1-8 in the NBA finals and yet they call him “Mr Clutch” with teammates Chamberlain and Baylor. Enough with the Jordan comparison already.

    “Criticizing LeBron James for the way he played this series is patently
    absurd. He was brilliant, but the odds were so stacked against him that
    his brilliance was futile. That shouldn’t be a demerit in his book. It
    should be a credit to the team that just beat him, and a reminder that
    there’s nothing sadder than a great performance squandered.”

    The best player in the world just lose to a great team. End of story. If he had either Kyrie or Love then this will probably a different story.

    As for Golden State, not to take anything from Steph and the dubs, they just ran into teams with no healthy PG. Pelicans-Jrue Holiday, Grizz-Mike Conley (not healthy enough, Rockets – Pat Beverly and Cavs – Kyrie. As per Steve Kerr luck is on their side so why not grab it. They deserved this championship. Are they one and done? Probably – I doubt if they can still make it to the WCF next season.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Resonating reminder of the poem “If” by Rudyard Kipling —
    If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
    Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
    If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much;
    If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
    Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
    And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!


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