Skip to main content

Winning and Competitive Spirit On Different Pages

DPBird-Magic So after the disappointment that was LeBron James and his “decision”, we have the fall out with several NBA legends who have endorsed an almost ringing consensus – where has the spirit of competition gone?

In a previous post (Disappointment: The True Fallout From “The Decision”), yours truly touched base on the letdown of LeBron’s decision. It had nothing to do with the fact that he ditched my beloved New York Knicks, but the very way he has turned himself into an attention seeking personality that is more hung up on “building a brand" and becoming a “global icon” rather than competing. We won’t even go into the way he left his hometown out to dry.

[And lets stop the “he did what was best for him and his family” spiel. It’s amazing how people reiterate common sayings to rectify and justify specific situations. LeBron’s family was well taken care of once he entered the NBA. This decision, as we all could tell by the one hour special, was all about him. Yes, him. But I’ll digress, and return to the regulalry scheduled post.]

The biggest reason for LeBron being a disappointment – is the potential is no longer there. No, not his potential as a player, but his potential as a franchise player, a NBA legend, and yes, even an all-time household name. We all know he can be one of the all-time greatest, but as fans, we looked forward to watching him chase Michael, Larry, and Magic in history.

Because Michael, Larry, and Magic were competitors and winners. Two concepts that used to be intertwined with one another.

But that’s all gone. When LeBron decided to take the easy way out, winning became important. Competitiveness somehow, was left off the wagon.

I’m sure those that disagree with that statement will reiterate that it is all about winning. And you are correct. However, at what expense? A longtime cliché stated, to be the best, you have to beat the best, and to be honest (and to my knowledge) LeBron has never beaten the best. He may win several championships over the next six years, but this will hover over him the way Shaq-less rings haunted Kobe until he shook the 7 foot, 300 pound ghost. Twice.

And now, we have Chris Paul who is complaining (yes, complaining) about “seeking to play with another superstar”. Much like LeBron’s exit from Cleveland, we’ll defy the fact that Paul is still under contract to the Hornets. And yes, the lack of respect for a commitment absolutely drives me crazy about professional sports. Nonetheless, while Paul is very talented, and worthy of have having a quality team built around him, he is looking to “take his talents” elsewhere. All in all, this is just another sign of “its about winning”, as an excuse for a lack of competing.

MJ said it best when he stated:

"There's no way, with hindsight, I would've ever called up Larry, called up Magic and said, 'Hey, look, let's get together and play on one team. But that's ... things are different. I can't say that's a bad thing. It's an opportunity these kids have today. In all honesty, I was trying to beat those guys."

                                                                                      - Michael Jordan

Charles Barkley agreed, saying:

Mike and I are in 100 percent agreement on this. If you're the two-time defending NBA MVP, you don't leave anywhere. They come to you. That's ridiculous. I like LeBron. He's a great player. But I don't think in the history of sports you can find a two-time defending MVP leaving to go play with other people."

                                                                                     - Charles Barkley

And finally, Magic touched on the subject:

“We didn’t think about it ’cause that’s not what we were about. From college, I was trying to figure out how to beat Larry Bird.”

- Earvin “Magic” Johnson

While the summer of 2010 saw three superstars willingly join forces in Miami to win, somehow, someway, they sold their competitive soul to do so.

…And yes, they took the easy way out.

Recent Favorites

2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs Keeps Me Casual on Hockey

It's been a long time since I've talked hockey on this.  Wait! Huh? Come again? Yes, hockey. In fact, the last time I posted anything, I was mesmerized by the 2014 Stanley Cup Finals between the Los Angeles Kings and the New York Rangers.  Fast forward to 2024, and my hockey fandom took another step forward. For years I've been the admitted casual. And you know what, I'm okay with that. Unfortunately, my unconditional love fandom for my New York Knicks presents a conflict that will forever curtail anything serious from happening between hockey and myself.  Nonetheless, I felt like this post-season heightened my hockey fandom to another level. Hockey is amazingly awesome. I very much enjoyed the Stanley Cup Playoffs, caught myself choosing Rangers games over early April Yankees baseball, and overall, found myself playing NHL 24 on the ol' Playstation 4.  Yeah, I fell hard. But before I shelf my spring fling with hockey until April 2025, here are just a few quick pon

Wanting the Alternate Route For Bronny James

Welcome to the NBA, Bronny James!  In what was the worst-kept novelty of a storyline in the sports world in LeBron and Bronny one day gracing the NBA together, we're finally here!  First, congrats to Bronny! Entering the NBA is incredibly difficult, especially more than ever considering its global reach. Regardless, he is now part of the fraternity and amongst the elite in the game. Haters will say what they want, but he's there.  And second, congratulations to LeBron and Savannah James. What will be lost in all of this is that they raised a strong young man who yes, took advantage of his access and genetics, and is now at this point in his life - his ultimate goal. Bronny at the core, had no reason to want this - none. He easily could have rested, relaxed, and enjoyed the spoils of this birth lottery. Instead, he wanted what h knew would be the shadow of a massive legacy - and still did the work. That takes guts.  I commend the kid for not resting on Dad's name and wealth.

Thoughts on First 2024 Presidential Debate

It’s the most unwanted rematch likely in history. Biden vs. Trump What we saw tonight was exactly what many moderates expected and solidified what we didn’t want to say out loud - we have to have better options than these two, no? There isn’t much to say about this debate, especially from this debate nerd. This was the absolute shits in regards to inspiring a nation for an upcoming election season, which in many ways, still resonates with political fatigue from 2020. But you know that, already. You knew that ten minutes into the debate. The two best quotes I’ve come across to wrap up my overall feeling are the following: On one side it’s hell no, and on the other, it’s oh no. It’s who we shouldn’t have be President vs. who we can’t let be President A few more quick thoughts on last night 1st Presidential Debate:  - For me, this format was the biggest positive of the night and a very good baseline for where future political debates need to go. In a world of “takes” and who shouts the lo