Blog Entry

Larry Bird says LeBron is as good as anyone ever

Posted on: June 17, 2011 3:47 pm
Edited on: June 17, 2011 4:18 pm
 
Posted by Royce Young

LeBron James is 26 years old. He's got at least five to seven more years of basketball in his prime which means he has quite a bit of time to re-write all this legacy talk that's dominated headlines over the past week.

So he lost in the NBA Finals. For a second time. Doesn't mean he's got to retire a loser forever now.

Nobody keeps perspective quite like the former all-time greats. They understand what it means to be a champion and the road it takes to get there. Isiah Thomas came to LeBron's defense saying James is just going through things that all stars go through. And Larry Bird -- who when The Basketball Jesus speaks, you listen -- said not to worry too much about LeBron because his time will come. Via Sports Radio Interviews, Bird was asked if he feels bad for LeBron because of all the recent criticism:
“He brought a lot of it on himself, but here’s what I feel about LeBron: he’s as good as anyone that’s ever played this game. I think he’s going to win a lot of titles; I think he’s going to continue to get better. To me, he’s an amazing athlete, he’s never been hurt, he’s got the body of a football player and he’s got skill. I just think he’s off the charts good.

And I think his time is going to come. I think they did a remarkable job in Miami this year bringing that team together and getting where they got. They’ll get better next year. Their time is going to come if he stays healthy, and he’s going to have a lot of success in this league and win championships.”
People like me can say that stuff like that over and over, but when Larry Legend says it, it makes a lot more impact. LeBron's time will come. He's too good for it not to.

Bird sort of took the Scottie Pippen side of things saying LeBron is "as good as anyone that's played this game." And in terms of pure talent, I don't think you can really disagree. But LeBron's not the total package yet. He's got work to do and rings to win before anyone is willing to place him anywhere near an all-timers list.

But there's a lot of time left and a lot of chapters left to be written in the LeBron Legacy. I wouldn't write him off quite yet.
Category: NBA
Comments

Since: Aug 20, 2007
Posted on: June 22, 2011 7:53 pm
 

Larry Bird says LeBron is as good as anyone ever

I love Jordan, I think he's the GOAT, but Pippen was right when he said Jordan was the greatest scorer of all time. I know Jordan made All league defense over and over, but how good of a defender was he? How good a passer was he? Can anybody tell me what shooting guard durring Jordan's career was a legit scoring threat in his playoff runs, other than Clyde Drexler? I couldn't think of any others. Do you guys remember Jordan locking down the best scorer of an opponent? I couldn't even remember the names of any other 2 guards. Jordan scored. That's what he did best. He also scored at will in a league that didn't play zone. I think that makes a big difference in todays game. Just imagine in the NBA Finals, if Gary Payton and Shaun Kemp doubled Jordan as soon as he recieved the ball. Hopefully Jordan would make the smart basketball play and pass, but odds are, he would try to shoot it anyways.

My point is, it's a different game than yesteryear. Strategies are completely different, and if a team wants to stop one player for a game, they can do that. Even though I saw Jordan dominate the game of basketball, I can't say he was as complete a player as others. Jordan was great, but only great at scoring. With the multiple pick and roll or pick and pot offense, I think Jordan, would have a tougher time. Just my opinion.



Since: Jul 9, 2010
Posted on: June 21, 2011 10:25 pm
 

Larry Bird says LeBron is as good as anyone ever

There's not a lot of intelligent comments on here, "People stop comparing him to Jordan!!!!!!!!!"  He's closer to Magic Johnson and do some research before you post something stupid like "Jordan never lost a championship"  besides Jordan and Duncan those who played in 3 or more championships have lost, Bird, Magic, the big O, Wilt, Shaq, jerry west, ect....  Lebron is 26 years old and has plenty of years of bball left at a high MVP level to make his legacy.  The only asshole that hates on Lebron is that prick Charles Barkley and we all know he's pissed because he never won.



Since: Mar 18, 2009
Posted on: June 19, 2011 9:55 pm
 

Larry Bird says LeBron is as good as anyone ever

Seriously you think we didnt have mass media in the 70's and 80's?
Nope, we didn't. Not even close to what we have today. Hell you can throw in most of the 90's as well. If you think reading an article or two in the newspaper, watching a clip on your local sports news, and reading an article in Sports Illustrated somehow compares to what we have today in terms of media coverage............you're nuts!



Since: Nov 5, 2007
Posted on: June 19, 2011 9:27 pm
 

Larry Bird says LeBron is as good as anyone ever

And if anyone brings up Wilt as the best im going to puke.  That argument is dead
I hope you have a barf bag handy.  

Chamberlain was the most dominant player ever.  At his best, O'Neal was a close second.

The title of "best player ever" is a very close call between the namesake of the MVP trophy and the Big-O.
 
 
I do admit that when these players were establishing the standards for 'all-time-great', there was less in
the way of competition, but that was simply because the country had less than half our current population
and no one else in the world played the game.  They met all comers in their time, which is all they could do.

The same argument applies to Jim Thorpe, Jesse Owens, Rafer Johnson . . . had they gone head-to-head
with the late-comers who broke the records (with better coaching, better nutrition, better facilities), no
one can know the probable results.  There will never again be an Olympic record lasting 36 years, never a
dual pentathlon-decathlon winner.  Sports didn't begin in 1975, for cripesake! 



Since: Nov 16, 2010
Posted on: June 19, 2011 1:42 pm
 

Larry Bird says LeBron is as good as anyone ever

Unless when it really counts LeBron gets that killer instinct where he wants the ball and to take the big shot doesn't matter how good he is. In Game 6 at the end he was clearly afraid to take the big shots. He wasn't even looking to shoot just past. That has to change mentally or talent won't matter. Guys like Bird, Magic, Isiah, Kobe, Wade, Jordan etc all wanted the ball. All wanted to be the one taking last shot to win the game. They didn't look to past when game on the line Lebron did when finals on the line. 



Since: Apr 7, 2007
Posted on: June 19, 2011 1:28 pm
 

Larry Bird says LeBron is as good as anyone ever

In any area, including sports, it takes a lot more than talent and physical attributes to be great or dominating.  There are many intangibles such as the desire, willingness to develop your game, focus and commitment to the game.  The way I see it, LeBron has just several more years until other players with even better physical attributes and more desire arrive in NBA.  



 



Since: Apr 20, 2009
Posted on: June 19, 2011 3:06 am
 

Larry Bird says LeBron is as good as anyone ever

Most of you seem caught up in the player vs player comparisions.  The Bulls were a GREAT TEAM, The Lakers all had GREAT TEAMS, The Pistons had a GREAT TEAM, and The Celtics were a GREAT TEAM. Jordan was the engine that drove the Bulls, Magic was the engine that drove the 80s Lakers, Bird drove The Celtics, and Isiah drove the Pistons. The Heat are confused on who is their driving engine, while Dallas knew that Dirk was the engine that drove them. Kobe is much better than a "maybe" top ten or 15 player, and say what you will, but he is the driving engine of the present day Lakers, but without a team, NONE of the greats mentioned win championships. Until a team was assembled around Jordan, he did not win either. The player vs player talk is the four letter network's reporting, and because they have no competiton, they have shaped the debate.  MENTAL STRENGTH wins in The NBA over physical ability. The four letter network judges everything with a stat line, but I watched players like Magic dominate games, but not the stat line.



Since: Oct 15, 2006
Posted on: June 18, 2011 9:22 pm
 

Larry Bird says LeBron is as good as anyone ever

This is true... but it's also true that Jordan had to contend, during those early years, with 2 of the top 5 all time greatest players in the game: Larry and Magic. 
LeBron doesn't have anything like standing in his way. Yes, Kobe is probably top 15, MAYBE top 10. But 2 in the top 5??? 
LeBron has had 2 chances in the NBA finals and couldn't finish the job. When Joradan got that close... he made damn well sure it was his. He was 6 for 6 in the Finals. LeBron is 0 for 2
Im on record in my posting days as saying jordan is the greatest player I have laid my eyes on, and that will not change until someone proves other wise, and in no way have I said Lebron is even in the same company as him at all.  Not even winning 2 or 3 rings would put him up there with Jordan.  Lebron is young, that is all I am saying, and he will have more opportunities since he did something jordan never did, and thats team up with two other stars to win.  Any stars jordan played with were created through him, unless you want to call rodman a star player which defensively, and rebound wise I guess you could say he was.  Lebron should never be mentioned in the same breath as Jordan (I just did it though Surprised), and until he wins not 1, not 2, not 3, not 4, not 5, but 6 championships, imo Jordan will remain the greatest I have ever seen.  Yes even if Kobe wins 2 more, I put jordan ahead of him since Kobe did have arguably the most dominant player in NBA history for his first three championships.



Since: May 2, 2010
Posted on: June 18, 2011 9:02 pm
 

Larry Bird says LeBron is as good as anyone ever

 Only thing I pointed out is Jordan did not start winning rings till he was 28 years old
This is true... but it's also true that Jordan had to contend, during those early years, with 2 of the top 5 all time greatest players in the game: Larry and Magic.
LeBron doesn't have anything like standing in his way. Yes, Kobe is probably top 15, MAYBE top 10. But 2 in the top 5???
LeBron has had 2 chances in the NBA finals and couldn't finish the job. When Joradan got that close... he made damn well sure it was his. He was 6 for 6 in the Finals. LeBron is 0 for 2



Since: May 2, 2010
Posted on: June 18, 2011 8:59 pm
 

Larry Bird says LeBron is as good as anyone ever

 LeBron looks like he think it is owed to him. I can't stand punks like that!
Bingo


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com