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
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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.
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Category: NBA
Comments

Since: Jun 22, 2007
Posted on: June 18, 2011 4:43 pm
 

Larry Bird says LeBron is as good as anyone ever

This is probably the most accurate LeBron article i've ever read. Yes, Lebron is probably the most talented basketball player to ever play. but his immaturity, arrogance, and (so far) inability to perform in the clutch will likely keep him out of the GOAT discussion. The Heat will win championships, unless the new CBA features a hard cap and the Heat have to disassemble the Big 3. But Lebron has embraced and promoted this "villain" role that came with "The Decision" and because of the widespread disdain for him, he will never be considered the best player of all time. you look at GOATs in other sports, and how many of them were hated? Wayne Gretzky? Michael Jordan? Willie Mays? Larry Bird? Those players were consumate professionals who were great people in addition to elite players, and that is what holds Lebron back.



Since: Jan 18, 2011
Posted on: June 18, 2011 4:26 pm
 

Larry Bird says LeBron is as good as anyone ever

People need to throw age out of the window! Lebron is 26 and jordan was 28...blah blah balh! Jordan went to college so he won his first Championship in 6 years...Lebron has been in the leage for 8 years so Lebron had a 2 year head start! What is your excuses now? Jordan played against a more talented league where as lebron is playing with the better talent in the league. His physical fram has nothing to do with his game. His talent as a basketball player is not even Kobe talent or even Wade talent...maybe close to wade talent but I saw wade play better basketball this year so that is my argument. Players that have a chance to become great always get compared to Jordan and nobody else. Jordan has set the standard for player ability and that is why he is considered the greatest!



Since: Sep 13, 2010
Posted on: June 18, 2011 4:18 pm
 

Larry Bird says LeBron is as good as anyone ever

He is very talented but he is a espn creation. It takes more than talent to be great.



Since: Nov 6, 2009
Posted on: June 18, 2011 4:16 pm
 

Larry Bird says LeBron is as good as anyone ever

You want to measure a players greatness, then MJ is not
even in the conversation
Congratulations to the dumbest statement of the year.  Nice work - not even in the conversation, huh?

MJ should be mentioned ahead of Kareem bc Kareem never had to evolve his game based on diminished athleticism.
His hook was there and unblockable from very early in his career and congrats to him for developing ONE shot that
was very difficult to stop.
Post players rarely do.  Of course this isn't saying Kareem's game didn't evolve, bc it did.  But not to the degree of Jordan.

As MJ got older, he basically turned into a ballhandling post player as his athleticism decreased.



Since: Apr 9, 2010
Posted on: June 18, 2011 4:13 pm
 

Larry Bird says LeBron is as good as anyone ever

I don't think anyone is disputing that LeBron James is one of the most talented individuals of all-time. He has size, unbelievable athleticism, many different skills, and plays defense. In that respect, Larry Bird is right. He is a very good basketball player who will be in the HOF one day. However, to be what Pippen says, "the best all-time", he needs at least 6 titles to do that. He also needs some moments where he takes over games and hits game winners. He has one of those under his belt, but the problem is is that it didn't matter because his team lost. Everyone must remember when he scored 24 straight points against the Pistons, right? If not, look it up. There was no title that year for him so it gets lost in the shuffle. Having said all of that, I hope this very arrogant player fails to win a title. I want to know what Larry, Magic, and Scottie will say then.



Since: Oct 2, 2006
Posted on: June 18, 2011 4:03 pm
 

Larry Bird says LeBron is as good as anyone ever

This is a great post.  In a similar spirit, I'd add that folks get confused between hating Lebronzeme-before-I've-won-anything for the Decision and denigrating his talent.  The talent is obvious.  Closest thing to it as such is the Big O (who was probably even better, though time will tell).  MJ was clutch in an era of great media hype, and exploited the hype with fierce narcissistic dedication (unlike the genuinely humble and reflective Kareem).  MJ's Bulls vs. Russell's Celts is an intriguing imponderable.  Can't argue with BR's achievement though: greatest not only in b-ball, but any sport (no Yankee even matches it).


sman2011
Since: Dec 19, 2010
Posted on: June 18, 2011 3:46 pm
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Apr 27, 2009
Posted on: June 18, 2011 3:31 pm
 

Larry Bird says LeBron is as good as anyone ever

Bottom line,

LeBron James is as talented, maybe more talented than any player ever!

LeBron James has been to the finals twice and has not won.

LeBron James made a big spectacle out of "taking his talents to south beach" to play with buddies Wade and Bosh

LeBron James didn't stay with the team in Cleveland and didn't show them any courtesy.


Every year LeBron James does not win a championship is O.K. with me. It isn't like he deserves to win just because
he is talented.

It isn't hatred to dislike the way a person has acted and LeBron just continues to act like something less than we admire.

If he changes the way he is felt about might change as well. 




Since: Nov 3, 2009
Posted on: June 18, 2011 3:27 pm
 

Larry Bird says LeBron is as good as anyone ever

If Larry Bird, better known as "Larry Legend" states that LeBron James is as good a NBA player as there ever was, I won't question that. Bird and Magic Johnson re-invigorated the NBA and played against the "bad boys" of the Detroit Pistons with Lambeer, Thomas, Rodman, the New York Knicks with Patrick Ewing, John Starks, Houston Rockets with "Akeem The Dream", not to mention the Lakers, with Kareem, Worthy, Scott, and Cooper. Of course before that, you've Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Nate "The Great" Thurmond, Wes Unseld, Moses Malone and other past greats. My point is Bird has seen and played enough basketball for me to value his opinion on LeBron.

Before,I go further, if we're talking pure statistics in evaluating one's greatness,Michael Jordan is not in the same category as Kareem Abdul Jabbar, the all-time leading NBA scorer, who had the most perplexed shot of all-time, "The Sky Hook". And, I'm tired of people annoiting
MJ as the greatest to ever play in the NBA. Let's talk titles and championships. Forget that Bill Russell of the Celtics did not win any scoring titles, the fact remains he won more NBA championships than any NBA player ever. You want to measure a players greatness, then MJ is not
even in the conversation. Did he respond in the clutch. Absolutely !!! So did Kareem, who has as many championships as MJ, not to mention
the MVP's, but in terms of the bottom line (championships), it's Bill Russell.  

Finally, until the Miami Heat get a "true" point guard, not Mike Bibby or the others that the Heat tried, LeBron will again be in trouble next year. In Cleveland, he had no such problem. LeBron not only ran the offense, he guarded mostly the opposing teams top player and that
was pretty much on the outer perimeter. His rebounding took a hit from previous years. He had more turnovers, etc. etc. Chris Bosh could
not "guard a chair" and time after time, he was beaten in the paint. He's not consistent defensively. By the way, in 4th quarter situations, LeBron totally took Chicago's Derrick Rose out of his game.Rose admitted it in post game interviews.DWade, goes to the hole with authority and is constantly getting beat up. He plays hard and brings it every night. Unless, they get some additional pieces to really compete, it will
be the same result as next year. MJ could'nt do it without Pippen & Rodman, DWade could'nt do it without Shaq, Kobe could'nt do it without
Shaq or Gasol. Dirk and the Mavs did it with a big man in Tyson Chandler and the outstanding shooting of Jason Terry. And, on Coach Spo of the Heat, no comment !!! The only thing that I felt before his 'infamous" decision, he should have taken his talents to the Windy City. It definitely would have been a better fit. He surprised me by going to Miami.  





Since: Apr 25, 2010
Posted on: June 18, 2011 3:26 pm
 

Larry Bird says LeBron is as good as anyone ever

I'm sorry. Larry Bird is one of the best of all time to have ever played the game, but looking at his track record as coach and president of basketball operations with the Pacers...I'd say he's not the best at evaluating talent.


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